At his heaviest, James Michaud weighed 280 pounds. Then, in the 9th grade, he found out his cholesterol wasn't much lower. That's when he decided that something had to change, "Before I'd go to bed, I'd have like a can of soda or something. But now, I stay away from soda.
And I've been working out since March."
The rest of the members of James's family are also battling high cholesterol along with type two diabetes. It's families like the Michauds who are the target of the American Academy of Pediatrics. They released a reccomendation Monday to test children for high cholesterol, starting as early as two years old especially if they're at risk.
Dr. Francine Kaufman, Proessor of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital in Los Angeles says, "we're looking at an explosion of obesity and overweight in our children. And were starting to see what we used to think of as adult diseases, now occurring in the pediatric population."
Starting prevention in childhood is key, several studies have shown that among school age children with high cholesterol, 75% of them continued that pattern into adulthood.
On the other side of the issue, some pediatricials argue that telling kids they have high cholesterol may worry them unnecessarily, and distract them from more pressing threats to their health such as drugs, depression, cigarettes and violence.