An unhealthy lifestyle defines most of us and the numbers define it better with 75 per cent of people suffering from this lifestyle disorder. Not only lifestyle disorders but a general increase in the number of ailments have been smoothly imbibed by our generation, just like watching Netflix with our food. Binge eating and binge-watching are like our guilty pleasure.
The sunny side is always up if we focus our lenses on the pleasure aspect, but unfortunately, it too has its shortcomings. And even the children are a part of it now.
Cholesterol can be good and bad at the same time, depending upon the ratio of HDL(High-Density Lipoprotein) and LDL(Low-Density Lipoprotein). Higher LDL can be fatal while higher HDL can be good for your cardiac system. According to a study done by HealthNews Daily nearly 35 per cent of children with no signs of obesity had high cholesterol levels.
Out of which 70 per cent had this level maintained as constant when they entered their teenage years. “For children, higher cholesterol levels won’t be an instant problem, but it becomes critical as they grow”, mentions Dr Anand Vardhan, Paediatrician at Vatsalya Hospital, Lucknow.
However, the chances of higher cholesterol levels leading to a heart attack in children are nearly zero. “But this doesn’t mean they cannot experience one in their teenage years. Patients aged 23-25 nowadays, suffer from heart attacks”, adds Dr Vardhan.
The major contributing factors to this are obesity, family history and especially unhealthy lifestyle. “Junk foods are literally poison for everyone. However their effects are much more elaborate in children as their systems in spite of being active are very sensitive”, says Swati Shekhawat, dietician and nutritionist, who runs an eponymous clinic in Lucknow.
Mild chest pain, nausea and muscle spasms are the major symptoms experienced by children with higher cholesterol levels. “What needs to be done is to ensure that your child completely abstains from junk foods and is involved in a lot of outdoor activities” advises Dr Vardhan.
A sedentary lifestyle poses a higher threat to our little ones. Lack of activity not only results in higher LDL levels (bad cholesterol) but can decrease the BMR of the child, deteriorate the immune system and induce the feeling of sluggishness in the child.
A study done by Dr Raman Puri on 2,500 school students aged between 14-18 years of age found that 23 per cent of them had high cholesterol levels which, an indicator of a heart ailment. What this reflects is that high cholesterol can affect any age group and when it starts affecting the young ones, community health runs into turmoil.
With more children and teenagers being susceptible to heart attacks and other ailments found in adults, changing lifestyles is something that society needs.