Nothing good comes from leading an unhealthy lifestyle and this starts at home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 21% of American children and teens have some form of “abnormal” blood cholesterol reading that puts them at risk for heart disease as they get older.
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CDC researchers compiled federal health data from 2011-2014 and they found that:
- 13% of kids had unhealthy low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol
- 8% had high levels of other forms of cholesterol that are bad for the arteries
- 7% had unhealthy high levels of “total cholesterol
Obesity helped drive these trends because 43% of children that were obese had an abnormal cholesterol reading, compared to 14% of children that were normal weight. Unfortunately the numbers only get worse as kids age. For example, 6% of kids ages 6 to 8 had high levels of bad cholesterol and those numbers doubled to 12% by the time the kids reached their mid-teens.