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Health Psychol. 1999 Nov;18(6):604-13.

A cholesterol-lowering diet does not produce adverse psychological effects in children: three-year results from the dietary intervention study in children.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Children's Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60614, USA.


The Dietary Intervention Study in Children (DISC), a 2-arm, multicenter intervention study, examined the efficacy and safety of a diet lower in total fat, saturated fatty acids, and cholesterol than the typical American child's diet. A total of 663 8- to 10-year-old children with elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were randomly assigned to either an intervention or a usual-care group. Intervention included group and individual counseling sessions to assist participants in adopting a dietary pattern containing 28% or less of calories from total fat (<8% as saturated fat, up to 9% as polyunsaturated fat, and 11% as monounsaturated fat) and dietary cholesterol intake of less than 75 mg/1,000 kcal. The dietary intervention reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and 3-year results showed no adverse effects for children in the intervention group in terms of academic functioning, psychological symptoms, or family functioning.

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