A new report released today by the CDC shows that 21% of children and adolescents have at least one abnormal cholesterol reading, putting them at increased risk for heart disease development down the road.
“Abnormal” cholesterol values captured in the data included either:
- Low HDL (“good”) cholesterol
- High total cholesterol, or
- High non-HDL cholesterol (namely LDL “bad” cholesterol)
There were only slight differences in rates between male and females and values did not differ significantly by race.
The report summarizes data from 2011-2014, and does not delve into exactly how much of that elevated cholesterol can be attributable to diet or lifestyle (vs. genetics).
But there is no doubt that overweight and obesity are certainly contributors driving these rates of what historically was an “adult” disease, now being seen in children.
As I commented in today’s Healthline article on the report, “We’re seeing the effects of poor lifestyle choices trickle down into the younger generation.”
A diet high in the wrong types of fats (saturated and trans fats) and low in dietary fiber contributes to cholesterol abnormalities.
Depending upon what data you are looking at, the typical American only eats about 16 grams of fiber per day. This is roughly half of the recommended amount of dietary fiber that individuals needs to help support optimal health.