Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Paediatric academy recommends Cholestral drugs for eight year olds

This post is about the news item on the recommendation of cholesterol drugs for children as young as 8yrs old to treat obesity and risks associated with it.

It is disturbing to read about the advocacy of medication to deal with childhood obesity and the associated risks. This needs to be exercised as an option only in very specific cases after a very careful evaluation. On most other instances one should seriously try life style modification options to get the desired health benefit in such young age groups.

Childhood obesity is rising at alarming levels in India and strong efforts needs be done to address this issue without causing long term health hazards to the children. Schools should consider having something like the health card(aligned to the progress report card) and can offer reward points for adopting to healthy lifestyle choices. A child can be rewarded with a few good points if it brings vegetables for lunch and avoids/limits junk food for the snack box that the children bring to school.

I came across an online competition from the Hopelab which uses innovative interactive game techniques to improve health and quality of life to children Ruckus on getting innovative ideas to get the kids moving and driving them to active lifestyle. We could also evolve ideas that would work in our context and try its effectiveness.


Narasimhan said...

Dear Magesh,

Truly shocking endorsement by the American Academy of paediatricians regarding the use of cholestrol drugs. More so in the light of recent revelations that Lipitor, the blockbuster drug for cholestrol reduction in adults, infact is not as effective as advertised.

RW Jhonson foundation has a child obesity program, the link of which i am giving here.

When i see Billions Served outside each Mcdonald stores here it is a sign of the kind of public health disaster that US is on the verge of encountering soon.

Many public schools have started removing soda from school vending machines, but it is yet to reach a wide acceptance.

One important issue in child obesity apart from eating habits (junk food etc) is the role of TV and video games (Play Station, X-box and Wii) that is nothing but development of couch potatoes, as they call it here.

With Regards

Ramadoss Magesh said...

Dear Narasimhan,

On any issue when the huge pharmaceutical giants with their vested interests are involved, one has to tread with a great degree of caution.

One should also be aware the risks of obesity in both adults as well as kids are extremely hyped up and this hype certainly serves and is driven by corporate profit motives.

It is important to keep the perspetive that an adult or a young children can deviate from the defined standards of height and weight but still can be healthy or might just need some simple life style modifications to stay healthy and have a completely satisfactory quality of life.

Best regards,

Anonymous said...

Lifestyle changes, games, sports, less video games and lesser computer/internet time. Seriously, in those days we didnt have any of these things and the only entertainment for playing cricket in the streets. These days kids are influenced in lots of ways. Parents should help them get into doing these things.

Ramadoss Magesh said...

Dear Maduraiveeran,

Thanks for dropping in and commenting on my blog.

Yeah, you are right that there are lot of activities that engage children in current times which do make them move around and exercise their body, unlike the earlier days.

Best regards,