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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Cholesterol levels of US children down significantly

By Melissa Healy





JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Against the drumbeat of bad news on obesity and diabetes among children, researchers have uncovered a cause for cautious optimism: a steady and significant improvement in the cholesterol profiles of American kids over the last 20 years.

The proportion of young people ages 6 to 19 with high total cholesterol dropped 28% between the two time periods sampled in the report, from 11.3% in 1988-94 down to 8.1% in 2007-10, the new study found.

At the same time, the average American teen's levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglycerides — dangerous fats that circulate in the bloodstream and slowly clog arteries — improved too.

Scientists said they weren't sure what had led to the encouraging changes reported Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. Use of cholesterol-lowering drugs remains rare among children, they noted. Their best guess is that some environmental factor — perhaps lifestyle changes — may be driving down cholesterol, and several surmised that the improvements were rooted in reduced rates of smoking and the success of campaigns to lower fat and cholesterol in the diet.

The findings "cannot be interpreted as anything but good news," said Dr. Rae-Ellen Kavey, a specialist in children and cholesterol at the University of Rochester in New York. Kavey acknowledged that she found some of the changes inexplicable, but said she did not question their significance, since improvements were seen in kids of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and even among children who were already obese.


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Study lead author Dr. Brian K. Kit, a researcher with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, said that the apparent good news was qualified by the finding that 1 in 10 American children still has cholesterol readings that raise his or her risk for developing heart disease.

Still, the findings may temper a tide of gloom over the prognosis for the nation's youths, whose obesity rate has tripled over the last three decades. A recent projection by the American Heart Assn. estimated that the increase would translate into a 16.6% rise in heart attacks by 2030.

The trends found in the latest study "may portend improved … outcomes for the future," wrote Dr. Sarah D. de Ferranti, a specialist in heart disease prevention at Boston Children's Hospital, in an editorial accompanying the article.

Given the high rates of obesity and diabetes among children and their well-chronicled sedentary behavior, it is unlikely that children are adopting heart-healthy habits, De Ferranti added. More plausibly, she said, what has improved is the nutritional profile of foods that children are offered at school and home or that they can easily buy for themselves.

During the decades studied, a growing awareness of the dangers of a diet high in saturated fat led many parents to switch from whole milk to reduced-fat or fat-free milk, and food manufacturers reformulated many products to reduce their saturated fat content.

And starting in 2003, a public health campaign ultimately led to the removal of most trans-fatty acids — which raise heart risk even more than saturated fats — from packaged foods sold in the United States. From 2000 to 2009, the level of trans-fatty acids in the average middle-aged American's bloodstream had plummeted 58%, according to a February report in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.

But De Ferranti cautioned that the changes in foods on the American market could have a dark side: In reducing saturated fat and removing trans fats, many manufacturers have pumped up the sugar and carbohydrate content. That may help explain why obesity among children and adults continued to grow through much of the study period, even as cholesterol readings improved.

Though complex, cholesterol measures have become one of medicine's strongest predictors of a person's risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers have long linked obesity to rising levels of dangerous cholesterol and an increased likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.

The study underscores that cholesterol is "not completely driven by obesity," said Dr. Stephen R. Daniels, pediatrics chief at Children's Hospital Colorado. As researchers unravel which other factors most influence cholesterol profiles, children across all weight classes can learn how to protect themselves from developing cardiovascular disease, Daniels said.<


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© 2011, Los Angeles Times Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.