As part of a program evaluating nutrition education for hypercholesterolemic children, a pediatric practice-based cholesterol screening program identified 261 3.9-9.9 year old children with elevated cholesterol levels (At-Risk). At baseline (before any intervention), the diets of these children were found to be relatively low in fat (29.7% calories as fat, and 11.2% as saturated fat). This is approaching recommended levels and is lower than has been reported for similar groups of children. To help evaluate potential influences upon the dietary intake of these At-Risk children, their diets were compared to the diets of children without elevated cholesterol levels (Not-At-Risk, n=81). The diets of the Not-At-Risk children were then compared to a group of children who had not completed cholesterol screening nor dietary intervention (not-screened, n=49). Three 24-hour dietary recalls were completed by telephone with each child at baseline and averaged. These recalls and subsequent comparisons showed that the only statistically significant differences between the groups were a lower caloric intake and fiber intake for the At-Risk group as compared to the Not-At Risk group. These results suggest that some groups of American children are consuming a diet with fat, saturated fat and cholesterol content closer to recommended levels than previously reported. In addition, participation in preventive health screening, such as a cholesterol screening program and being labelled as hypercholesterolemic, seemed to have little influence on the intake of fat, saturated fat or cholesterol.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics