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For the first time, an influential doctors group is recommending that some children as young as 8 be given cholesterol-fighting drugs to ward off future heart problems.
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.
The academy has long recommended against reduced-fat milk for children up to age 2 because saturated fats are needed for brain development.
Li said that 15 years ago most of her patients with cholesterol problems had an inherited form of cholesterol disease not connected to obesity. "But now they're really outnumbered" by overweight kids with cholesterol problems and high blood pressure, she said.