Aaaccckkk! Lipitor for children?!

I have to rant. I am horrified to read about the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The academy released its new guidelines today. They are recommending that some children as young as 8 be given cholesterol-fighting drugs to ward off future heart problems. They are also advising low-fat milk for 1-year-olds. (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, July 7th, 2008).

I can barely write because I am so disgusted. Why are we being advised to give our children drugs? Why are little babies supposed to have low-fat milk? They need the fat for brain development!!

Parents—TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OVERWEIGHT CHILDREN! This is ridiculous! How are the kids getting fat in the first place? Are six, seven, and eight- year -olds driving themselves to the store to buy pop, cake and candy? Are ten-year-olds driving themselves through fast food places and ordering and paying for huge sodas and ridiculous food that has no nutritional value?

I am sorry, but I truly think, letting your child get fat, get no exercise, and eat poorly, is a form of child abuse. I know that sounds harsh, but my heart is breaking for children. And now, we are going to give drugs! Stop the kids from eating so much junk and help them get some exercise!

This isn’t rocket science. Eat properly and exercise more. No, it isn’t easy, but this problem is causing problems for everyone. Our medical costs, insurance costs, etc. are going to skyrocket if we don’t get this under control!

We have too many overweight children and overweight adults! We cannot keep treating this as if it is normal! People are eating too much! We don’t need to treat this with drugs! We need to stop pretending this is normal. It is not!

If one and two year olds weren’t already overdoing the fat in the rest of their diets, the kind of milk they drink would be a moot point. This is insane!

Why don’t people want to take better care of themselves—that may be a question for therapists. I am more concerned about the lack of concern for children. They are our future. Do we want them fat, sick, out of breath from walking up stairs, and unable to live happy lives because of it? I don’t think so. But something has to change.

12 Responses to “Aaaccckkk! Lipitor for children?!”


  1. 1 effiemyrtle July 7, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    How about a young woman of 23 who since she was first tested at 16, has cholesterol running well over 230 – 260 at last check? She, at 5’6″, has never weighed more than 115. She eats fish, white chicken (no skin, ff milk products, fruits and vegetables. VERY little fat. She has run marathons and played tennis in HS. Doctors have refused to allow her to take statins due to the fact that she is of child-bearing age. So much for watching your diet and getting exercise.

    My physician says that diet and exercise play maybe a 25% part in the cholesterol. Some of us simply have bad genes.

    Yes, many children need to get more exercise (throw away those durn video games) and eat healthier. But do allow for the fact that some of us are programmed genetically to have high cholesterol.

  2. 2 coachfletcher July 7, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Yes, these are excellent points. I do not think a 23-year-old choosing to take Lipitor freaks me out as much as a small child of 8. 230 is high, but I guess she has to weigh out the risks– pregnancy vs. her own chances of heart problems. It sounds as if this young woman does take very good care of herself. Yes, some people have high cholesterol and it is genetic. I am not against drugs to lower cholesterol. I am against giving up and not fighting the good fight. Thank you so much for writing.

  3. 3 Russell July 8, 2008 at 5:44 am

    Please!!! drug companies are NOT the philanthropic organizations some make them out to be, they exist solely to make money, lots of it.
    Give statins to children? Having been on Lipitor I know well the arthritis like joint pain and the full side effects of statin drugs.
    Note that the clinical trials never or hardly mention the side effects.
    Trust drug companies to research thoroughly?, remember a drug called thalidomide?
    Think long and hard before you feather the drug companies pockets by allowing them to create another “market” for their products.

  4. 4 coachfletcher July 8, 2008 at 6:55 am

    This is such a good point. Though I see the benefit of many prescription drugs,you raise a very valid point–the money point. In the article I ranted about yesterday, this is another paragraph that got me… “Dr. Stephen Daniels, of the academy’s nutrition committee, says the new advice is based on mounting evidence showing that damage leading to heart disease, the nation’s leading killer, begins early in life. It also stems from recent research showing that cholesterol-fighting drugs are generally safe for children, Dr. Daniels said.” (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, July 7th, 2008)
    GENERALLY SAFE FOR CHILDREN!!!!!! Is that really enough to go on to start giving drugs!!
    Though I think that checking cholesterol levels in children who come from high risk families may not be a bad idea,(Also brought up in the article) I don’t think the logical next step is drugs. The logical next step would be proper nutrition and exercise.

  5. 5 Kevin July 8, 2008 at 10:43 am

    I’ve read about the dangers of statin drugs for years now, having first been informed by Dr. Richard Blaylock. Wouldn’t it be better to use the natural substances that Blaylock claims are as effective as statins, without the cost or side effects?

    Blaylock also claims that MSGs are a great contributor to obesity, and are in almost everything we eat,as the FDA allows for name changing if it is below 99 percent MSG, such as calling it natural flavoring, which is why some Campbell’s soups contain three different forms of MSGs, yet there’s no way for a consumer to know it.

    I’m sure that most people that work for the FDA are well intentioned, but I also know how un-informed people can be working within a large business (I think our government qualifes), as information is funneled downward. It appears to me that the FDA has become a partner with the drug companies, and, more or less, an advertising agency for BIG PHARMA, with the FDA having the power to tell Americans what drugs they have to use–very dangerous.

  6. 6 coachfletcher July 8, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    These are great comments! I think the FDA may have lost its way a little. I didn’t really think about MSG, though I always ask for my Chinese food to be made without it. (Holdover from pregnancies.) Anyway, thanks for writing! Diana

  7. 7 Kate July 8, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Parents who allow their children to become overweight are indeed abusing their children, because they are teaching them terrible habits that will affect their whole life time. My sister-in-law is very heavy (over 300 lbs.) and so is her husband. They model eating chips, pizza, and very few vegetables. She once told her 2-year-old daughter “you can have zucchini bread when you finish your pancake covered in syrup.” We are all worried about her and her younger brother being overweight, and struggling with it for their entire lives.

    Why parents (or anyone) think that they can solve problems with drugs, while they continue to live their sedentary, junk-food-filled lives is BEYOND me. My daughter is nearly 6 months and hasn’t had any drugs in her at all, of any kind. And she won’t, unless there is a dire need. It certainly won’t be our first choice.

    The mainstream culture in the country absolutely disgusts me. What are people thinking, drugging up these children? I just read the NY Times article, too, and one doctor is quoted as saying “these drugs help adults and we’ve extrapolated that data to children. We think it will help them too.” Does he realize that a growing child’s body chemistry is extremely different from an adult’s, especially a prepubescent child? Did he actually go to medical school or did he get his degree in a Crackerjack box? Ugh.

    People need to grow up, embrace lifestyle changes, and learn a little something about delayed gratification. Oh yeah, and all MODERATION and TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF. Sigh.

  8. 8 coachfletcher July 9, 2008 at 7:58 am

    I feel like I could have written this letter myself. I did, however, let my children have all their vaccinations and do use medication when necessary. There is such a tendency, though, to look for the easy fix with medication.
    This is why we have the problem with antibiotics now, and new strains of bacterial infections starting. Some people are wising up and trying not to run for an antibiotic at the first sign of trouble and physicians are exercising more caution.
    I do hope that pediatricians will advise against the Lipitor. Perhaps if they had more nutritional training in med school…?
    Thanks for writing! Diana

  9. 9 Danae August 22, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    When I was 11 years old, my cholesterol was at 333. I was at average height and I was and still am considered thin. Now at 16 years old I am 5’5 and 117 lbs. I take lipitor and zetia. My grandpa had several heart attacks, a stroke and eventually a heart transplant. If it weren’t for lipitor, I would be surely in that direction. No amount of diet and exercise can control my cholesterol, it’s all in the jeans.

    • 10 coachfletcher August 23, 2009 at 8:44 pm

      Layla, I am so glad you wrote, and I would never assume that someone in your situation should go without a life saving drug. My concern is that sometimes people jump to conclusions about their health situation, and assume a drug will fix it and let them off the hook. Then they don’t have to take any responsibility. My husband’s father had two heart attacks, and his mother had a stroke and a heart attack.(Both have passed away.) He watches what he eats, and exercises, but we still feel Lipitor is the right choice for him. Each situation is unique, but I would not want any child taking a drug instead of trying other possible solutions. Good luck with your health, and thank you so much for writing!

      • 11 Terri September 15, 2009 at 11:24 pm

        Diana,

        I got on this site because my son’s pediatric cardiologist wants to medicate him for his high cholesterol. Believe me, it has nothing to do with being overweight; it is all in the genes. My father had by-pass at age 50 and his brother had it at age 45. We have dealt with high cholesterol all of our lives and have watched our diet. No dieting has helped my children. My older son is on Lipitor because his LDL is 200. My younger son’s is 192. For two years I have fought with myself on what to do. He is in great shape; even when he ran cross country averaging 5 miles a day, his cholesterol did not budge. He is very well built–probably more on the thin size. Generally, these are the people who have the high cholesterol. I know many heavy people who don’t have any problems at all. It’s unfair that my kids have to deal with this, but there’s nothing we can do. Now I have to make the decision….medicate or not. Believe me, I have just as much fear of medicating him as not medicating him.

  10. 12 Sue March 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I have Familial hypertriglyceridemia. This disorder was discovered when I turned 30 years old and my triglycerides levels were over 1000. Familial hypertriglyceridemia is a common disorder passed down through families in which the level of triglycerides (a type of fat) in a person’s blood are higher than normal. I decided at that time to also put my two daughters on a cholesterol diet, both were born very big. We only have whole wheat or whole grain pasta & bread, use smart balance butter & sea seat. We watch what we eat and my daughters love riding their bikes. They do not have a tv in their room or play video games. I never have pop or junk food in my house. My daughters are ages 9 & 7 were just Diagnosed with the same condition that I have. Both their pediatrician and Pediatric Cardiologist recommend that they take Lipitor. As much as I do not want to put them on medication, since diet & exercise hasn’t helped and because of my condition, I do not want to see my daughters go through what I did.


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