Another Public Health Experiment?
When the US health authorities demonized fat intake
decades ago they were warned that there could be
unintended health consequences. The critics of that
decision were right. We not only have a population of
overweight and obese adults, weíre now working on the
kids. That decision led us to a public health nightmare
with sky-rocketing health care costs that will bankrupt
this country. However, the decision made the food
industry very happy. They were able to create and market
so-called ďhealthyĒ foods and reap enormous financial
A recent decision by the American Academy of Pediatrics
recommending that some kids as young as 8 years old be
given statins to lower cholesterol may be another public
health experiment, one that will make the drug industry
happy. The pharmaceutical industry would love to create
another life-long group of pill-poppers.
More than the financial ramifications of this
recommendation are the unknown health consequences for
the use of statins in kids so young. Even though the use
of these drugs in this age group has not been studied,
fear of future heart disease is behind the move. Why are
we not mobilizing to address the real reason why kids
are at risk? Its obesity and the Western diet! Yes,
statins will lower LDL cholesterol but will not prevent
premature type 2 diabetes that ultimately leads to
cardiovascular disease. Nor will statins address high
triglycerides or improve low HDL levels- risk factors
for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Proper
lifestyle changes will address all of these issues, not
simply put a band aid on a blood test. And do so
significantly less expensively.
Things to Think About
By resorting to drug therapy for dealing with the risks
of being over-fat are we admitting that this is the best
we can do?
Since cholesterol is used to make adequate levels of
hormones including sex hormones do we know the long term
effects of suppressing cholesterol production in one so
Since statins hit the market millions of prescriptions
have been written with serous, occasionally fatal or
permanent side effects being reported. Where is the
evidence rather than opinion that these drugs are safe
in an immature body?
Think Outside of the Box
Admit that USDA guidelines have failed and support more
than a one-size-fits-all approach to maintaining or
regaining health? The diet that can become a lifestyle
is the one that should be supported as long as it relies
on real food.
Provide significant support for lifestyle changes
especially in this toxic food environment.
Better educate parents who need to be realistic about
their kidsí weight issues and make health a family
affair. Of course that means parents need to set an
example and address their own poor dietary choices for
the sake of their kids. Are they willing to?
One misguided approach to the obesity problem is
insisting that kids consume low fat or fat free milk as
if US kids got fat drinking whole white milk. Educate
the public that natural fats have value and provide
satiety that can make controlling food intake easier.
Stop the silliness about natural fat.
Stop scaring the public about eating too much protein. A
regular intake of protein has been shown to manage
hunger. When hunger is controlled by consuming high
quality protein, calorie intake is lower.
Stop pushing a high carb intake as healthy for everyone.
It doesnít work. It simply drives more hunger and
cravings leading to higher food consumption.
Donít think that drugs can make up for an unhealthy
The use of drugs should be the last resort especially
since there is no evidence that treating kids now will
prevent disease later. Will we realize 30 years down the
road we made another bad decision?
The information presented on this site is in no way
intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical treatment.
This information should be used in conjunction with the guidance and
care of your physician. Consult your physician before beginning this
program as you would any weight-loss or weight-maintenance program.
Those of you on diuretics or diabetes medication should proceed only
under a doctorís supervision as changing your diet usually requires a
change in medication dosages. As with any plan, the weight-loss phases
of this program should not be used by patients on dialysis or by
pregnant or nursing women. As with any weight-loss plan, we recommend
anyone under the age of 18 follow the program under the guidance of