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Circulation. 2007 Aug 28;116(9):1032-40. Epub 2007 Aug 13.

Impact of repeated dietary counseling between infancy and 14 years of age on dietary intakes and serum lipids and lipoproteins: the STRIP study.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Turku, Kiinamyllynkatu 4-8, 20520 Turku, Finland. harri.niinikoski@tyks.fi

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Atherosclerosis development might be delayed or prevented by dietary measures. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the effect of low-saturated-fat, low-cholesterol dietary counseling on fat intakes, growth, serum cholesterol values, and pubertal development in children and adolescents.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

In the randomized prospective Special Turku Coronary Risk Factor Intervention Project (STRIP), a low-saturated-fat, low-cholesterol diet was introduced to intervention infants (n=540) at 7 months of age, and control children (n=522) received an unrestricted diet. Dietary intakes, serum cholesterol values, somatic growth, and development were followed up throughout childhood and adolescence. Saturated fat intakes, serum total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol values were lower (P<0.001) in the intervention than in control children during the 14 years, whereas high-density lipoprotein cholesterol values in the 2 study groups showed no difference. Boys had lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations than girls throughout childhood (P<0.001), and the intervention effect on serum cholesterol concentration was larger in boys than girls. The 2 study groups showed no difference in growth, body mass index, pubertal development, or age at menarche (median, 13.0 and 12.8 years in the intervention and control girls, respectively; P=0.52). The cholesterol values decreased as puberty progressed. Mean concentrations of total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased from approximately 4.5 and approximately 1.4 mmol/L, respectively, in Tanner stage 1 (prepubertal) boys to approximately 3.9 and approximately 1.1 mmol/L in Tanner stage 4 (late pubertal) boys.

CONCLUSIONS:

Repeated dietary counseling remains effective in decreasing saturated fat and cholesterol intake and serum cholesterol values at least until 14 years of age. Puberty markedly influences serum cholesterol concentrations.

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