An interesting project has been underway in West Virginia for ten years. The purpose of the study, among other things, is to determine the amount of children who would not be screened for abnormal cholesterol levels under current best practice guidelines for this population (who should have been).
This is more of a pilot program than an intervention and some might suggest doing the evaluation in other states. I prefer using this data to do one or both of the following:
1) Begin standard screening of all children, in school and at no cost
2) Create systematic and intensive school and community based programs to address what West Virginia has already found
The findings include that a significant portion (more than 30%) of children have high enough levels of low density lipoprotein to warrant lifestyle interventions on nutrition and physical activity.
I have to say that in reading about the WVA work I was initially very skeptical regarding the end that they were heading to – which is medicating the kids and that did come up. However, the lead investigator Dr. Neal denies any industry ties or funding.
The study is published in a journal titled, Pediatrics.