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Kids and Cholesterol: Keeping Cholesterol Under Control
Should My Child Be Screened?
LDL Cholesterol Levels in Children and Teens 2-19 Years Old
|Acceptable||less than 110 mg/dL|
|High||130 mg/dL or greater|
Total Cholesterol Levels in Children and Teens 2-19 Years Old
|Acceptable||less than 170 mg/dL|
|High||200 mg/dL or greater|
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
- Encourage your child to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Choose lean meats. Lean cuts of meat (beef, pork, lamb) include round, sirloin, tenderloin, and chuck. For poultry, the leanest choice is skinless, white breast meat. Be sure to include fish, beans (peas, dried beans, lentils), and tofu in meals as healthy alternatives to meat.
- Limit foods that are high in cholesterol.
- Limit foods that are high in saturated or trans fat.
- Consume nonfat or low-fat milk and dairy products.
- When cooking, do not use solid fats. Instead, use vegetable oil.
- Avoid foods and drinks with a lot of sugar. Encourage your child to drink water.
- Those muffins, donuts, and cupcakes on the grocery store shelf may not be the best snack option for your kids. Opt for healthy snacks, like fresh fruit, vegetables with low-fat dip, popcorn, and low-fat yogurt.
- Get out and play! Encourage your young child to play as much as possible. As your child grows, encourage her to continue to be physically active every day. It's also important that you limit how much time your child spends watching TV, playing video games, and using the computer. Total screen time should be less than two hours a day.
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
Kids Health—Nemours Foundation http://kidshealth.org
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://ww2.heartandstroke.ca
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx#toc. Published October 2008. Accessed March 7, 2014.
Children and cholesterol. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/UnderstandYourRiskforHighCholesterol/Children-and-Cholesterol%5FUCM%5F305567%5FArticle.jsp. Updated May 1, 2013. Accessed March 7, 2014.
Cholesterol and atherosclerosis in children. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Cholesterol-and-Atherosclerosis-in-Children%5FUCM%5F305952%5FArticle.jsp . Updated April 8, 2014. Accessed March 7, 2014.
Cholesterol and your child. Nemours' Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/heart/cholesterol.html Updated July 2013. Accessed March 7, 2014.
Familial hypercholesterolemia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 22, 2014. Accessed March 7, 2014.
NHLBI integrated guidelines for pediatric cardiovascular risk reduction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 12, 2013. Accessed March 7, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014
- Update Date: 03/07/2014