In the 1983 AAP Committee on Nutrition statement, "Toward a Prudent Diet for Children," the evidence linking dietary factors with the risk of atherosclerosis was reviewed.1 Based on the analysis of the available information, the Committee made seven recommendations concerning steps to be taken during childhood that would reduce the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in adults. With respect to childhood eating habits, it was noted that, after 1 year of age, a varied diet that includes items from each of the major food groups is the best assurance of nutritional adequacy. The dietary trends in the United States during the last few decades, with emphasis on decreased consumption of saturated fats, cholesterol, and salt and increased intake of polyunsaturated fats, were recommended as sensible when followed with moderation.1
Since publication of that Committee statement, recommendations for alteration of childhood diets have also been made by the American Heart Association, 2 by the American Health Foundation, 3 and by a Consensus Development panel sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).4 All three of these groups have recommended more restrictive childhood diets than had been recommended by the Committee on Nutrition.
The American Heart Association2 recommends a total fat intake that would be approximately 30% of total calories; this 30% would include 10% or less from saturated fat, 10% from monounsaturated fat, and less than 10% from polyunsaturated fat. The recommendation for daily cholesterol intake was 100 mg/1,000 calories and not to exceed 300 mg/d, total.
Similar recommendations have been made by the American Health Foundation3 to achieve a target goal of serum total cholesterol values averaging 140 mg/dL for children and young adults.
- Copyright © 1986 by the American Academy of Pediatrics