Less fat advised in children's diets

August 11, 1991|By McClatchy News Service

The government has acknowledged, for the first time, that children above the age of 2 need to eat less fat.

In fact, said the National Cholesterol Education Program's "Report of the Expert Panel on Blood Cholesterol Levels in Children and Adolescents," children should follow the same recommendations as adults: Total fat no more than 30 percent of calories; saturated fat less than 10 percent of calories; cholesterol less than 300 milligrams per day.

"Compelling evidence exists that the atherosclerotic process begins in childhood and progresses slowly into adulthood, at which time it leads frequently to coronary heart disease, the major cause of death in the United States," said the report as printed in the Nutrition Action Healthletter from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington.

The CSPI said the report is something of a milestone because one of the groups that co-sponsored it is the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is the first time the AAP has endorsed the notion that children don't need more fat than adults, said the CSPI.

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