A look at health happenings nationwide.

* New research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) insists that cholesterol testing should start as early as childhood.

Researchers examined 81,488 men between 18 and 39. The men participated in health studies between 1959 and 1973, with follow-ups 34 years later. The researchers discovered that the men with high cholesterol as young adults had higher rates of heart disease later in life, and died earlier. This indicates that preventive steps should have been taken earlier in the men's lives.

Currently, cholesterol screening normally doesn't begin until age 35. However, the researchers believe that testing should start before the age of 10 - or, at the very least, in the early teens - and be repeated every three to five years.

* A study in the Archives of Family Medicine demonstrates the importance of eating as a family. Researchers studied more than 16,000 boys and girls, ages 9 to 14. They found that the children who ate dinner with their families were less likely to consume junk food and more likely to eat fruits and vegetables.

Share this tidbit with your club's moms and dads. And if you host family activities, make sure you make your members aware that healthy families eat together.

In the British Medical Journal, Danish researchers announced that, despite sporadic reports of deaths during jogging, regular jogging doesn't increase the risk of heart attack. The researchers came to this conclusion after examining the jogging habits of 4,658 men, ages 20 to 79.

* The study took place over the course of five years. The researchers categorized the men into three groups: non-joggers, regular joggers and new joggers.

After looking at death rates, the investigators noted that the persistent joggers had a significantly lower risk of dying compared with non-joggers and the new joggers. Jogging's effects even remained strong when other risks - such as smoking or obesity - were taken into consideration.