Children and Cholesterol – Part II

This post is a continuation from Children and Cholesterol – Part I.  In this blog, we’ll focus on ways to lower your children’s cholesterol.

Coronary heart disease in the number one cause of death in our country.  (Leading Causes of Death by Center for Disease Control and Prevention – FASTSTATS.)

Source: Health Central 

According to a position paper by the Expert Panel Program and the Academy of Pediatrics, there are two approaches – The Population Approach and The Individualized Approach.  (This is specific for children over the age of 2.)

The Population Approach – Recommendations:

  • Eat a wide variety of foods for nutritional adequacy.”
  • Consume energy (calories) adequate for growth and development and to reach and maintain a desirable body weight.”
  • Achieve the following pattern of nutrient intake: 1) Total fat – an average of not below 20% and not more than 30% of total calories; 2) Saturated fat – less than 10% of total calories; and 3) Dietary cholesterol – less than 300 mg/day.”
  • Increase physical activity to 60 minutes each day – “encourage to engage in play and activities rather than “exercise”.”  Physical Activity Guidelines 

The Individualized Approach – Possible Factors and Misc. Info:

  • Genetic Factor – Two types of genetic hypercholesterolemia: familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and familial combined hyperlipidemima (FCH).  These are “thought to result from a genetic mutation which produces defective LDL breakdown and very elevated blood levels of LDL.”
  • Screen children with a cholesterol test if they have the following four criteria: 1) “Children whose parents or grandparents, at 55 years of age or less, underwent diagnostic coronary arteriography and were found to have coronary atherosclerosis.”  (Includes – balloon angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery.);  2) “Children whose parents or grandparents, at 55 years or less, suffered a documented myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease or sudden cardiac death.”; 3) “Children whose parents have been found to have high blood cholesterol, 240 mg / dl or higher.”; and 4) “Children whose parental or grandparental history is unobtainable, particularly if other risk factors warrant.” 
  • High Cholesterol Treatment via The Step One diet/The Step Two diet.
  • Cholesterol-Lowering Medications – These are only recommended for children over the age of 10 that were unable to succeed through the diets mentioned above. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON HEALTH PROMOTION and DISEASE PREVENTION –Improving nutrition intake and eating habits in this population will pay big dividends for our nation’s future health and well-being for generations.”  

Source: Childhood & Adolescent Nutrition by Kala Shipley, RD, LD


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