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Study Shows Reduced Fat Diets for Kids May Meet Their Nutritional Needs

Children can reduce their fat intake and still meet their nutritional needs - a good way to help protect them against the risk of future heart disease, according to a study of Pennsylvania researchers.
The study, reported in the November issue of the American Academy of Pediatrics journal Pediatrics, indicate that children between the ages of 4 and 10 show no ill effects when they reduce the overall intake of high-fat foods and replace them with lower-fat foods within the same fats/oils, meat, eggs, dairy and bread food groups. The children had the best results when they made changes in their dairy intake - particularly by replacing whole milk with skim milk.

The research team from Pennsylvania State University, Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

studied 303 children over a 3-month span. The children who reduced their average percent of categories from total fat did so under guidelines established by the National Cholesterol Education Program.

The researchers say the kids who reduced their fat content tended to consume more fruits, vegetables and low-fat desserts. And their intake averaged two-thirds above the recommended daily allowance for all nutrients with the exception of vitamin D.
What the kids didn't do is eliminate foods from food groups, and that's considered important by the researchers. They see simple switches in diet, rather than difficult dietary modification, as the best way to help young children reduce high cholesterol levels and reduce their weight.

McNeil is a division of Johnson & Johnson. The company says it is continuing a campaign designed to inform parents on how to use over-the-counter medications safely; over the weekend, the company announced it will put warnings on Children's Tylenol to advise parents of the risks of overdosing the medication, particularly among infants. Cases of liver cancer have been attributed to acetaminophen overdoses.

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