More Than Half Of Children Eat Too Much Fat

November 10, 1998

More than half of a group of children surveyed by Johns Hopkins get too many of their daily calories from fat, according to a new study. Ten percent of the children exceed the daily recommended levels of cholesterol.

"While most people wait until adulthood to worry about cardiovascular disease, the habits we form as children can make a difference in how we fare in this difficult fight," says Kerry J. Stewart, Ed.D., lead author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. "Because cardiovascular disease begins in childhood, we urge parents to take a second look at what their children are eating."

Results of the study will be presented at 9:30 a.m., Nov. 10, at the American Heart Association's 71st annual Scientific Sessions in Dallas.

To assess whether children were meeting the recommendations established in 1991 by the National Cholesterol Education Program, researchers studied the 24-hour diet records of Boy and Girl Scouts (145 girls and 158 boys) ages 8 to 14 in the Baltimore area. More than half of the children exceeded the daily recommended levels for total fat intake.

The researchers looked at the different types of fat children consumed -- saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. More than half of the children exceeded recommended levels of the "undesirable" saturated fats found in butter, red meat and cheese that can lead to high cholesterol. In addition, about half of the children fell short of the suggested levels of "desirable" monounsaturated fats found in canola and peanut oils. Very few children consumed enough of the polyunsaturated fats found in corn oil and margarine.

"Childhood eating patterns carry into adulthood," Stewart says. "Our goal in working with Scouts is to change these patterns early in life, with the long-term goal of preventing adult heart disease. These findings lay the groundwork for our educational intervention. We must teach children not only to reduce their total fat consumption, but also to change the types of fat they consume."

The study joins several suggesting that teaching children about a healthy lifestyle should be a priority for improving community health and reducing heart disease. In 1989, Hopkins Bayview's Heart Health Department implemented the Food Re-Education Elementary School Health (FRESH) Program, which sends counselors into schools to educate students about the importance of diet and exercise in a healthy lifestyle. In addition, Bayview also instituted the Healthy Eating Activity and Recreation in Today's Scout (HEARTS) Program to address Boy and Girl Scouts outside of the school system.

The study's other authors are Teresa A. Moore, Linda D. McFarland and Jennifer A. Bass.
-end-
Media Contact: Karen Infeld
(410) 446-3294 (AHA conference, cellular phone)
(214)742-5678 (Hampton Inn West End)


Shelly Belcher (Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center)
Sandy Reckert (410)550-0128

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions' news releases are available on a PRE-EMBARGOED basis on EurekAlert at http://www.eurekalert.org, Newswise at http://www.newswise.com and from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs' direct e-mail news release service. To enroll, call 410-955-4288 or send e-mail to bsimpkins@jhmi.edu.

On a POST-EMBARGOED basis find them at http://hopkins.med.jhu.edu, Quadnet at http://www.quad-net.com and ScienceDaily at http://www.sciencedaily.com.
-end-


Johns Hopkins Medicine

Related Cardiovascular Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Changes by income level in cardiovascular disease in US
Researchers examined changes in how common cardiovascular disease was in the highest-income earners compared with the rest of the population in the United States between 1999 and 2016.

Fighting cardiovascular disease with acne drug
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and Stanford University have found the cause of dilated cardiomyopathy - a leading cause of heart failure - and identified a potential treatment for it: a drug already used to treat acne.

A talk with your GP may prevent cardiovascular disease
Having a general practitioner (GP) who is trained in motivational interviewing may reduce your risk of getting cardiovascular disease.

Dilemma of COVID-19, aging and cardiovascular disease
Whether individuals should continue to take angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is discussed in this article.

Air pollution linked to dementia and cardiovascular disease
People continuously exposed to air pollution are at increased risk of dementia, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

New insights into the effect of aging on cardiovascular disease
Aging adults are more likely to have - and die from - cardiovascular disease than their younger counterparts.

Premature death from cardiovascular disease
National data were used to examine changes from 2000 to 2015 in premature death (ages 25 to 64) from cardiovascular disease in the United States.

Ultrasound: The potential power for cardiovascular disease therapy
In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications volume 4, issue 2, pp.

Despite the ACA, millions of Americans with cardiovascular disease still can't get care
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for Americans, yet millions with CVD or cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) still can't access the care they need, even years after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Excess weight and body fat cause cardiovascular disease
In the first Mendelian randomization study to look at this, researchers have found evidence that excess weight and body fat cause a range of heart and blood vessel diseases (rather than just being associated with it).

Read More: Cardiovascular Disease News and Cardiovascular Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.