Kids' Cholesterol Down; Lower Trans Fats Credited

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The latest health news regarding children has a rare bit of good news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pointing to decreasing cholesterol levels among American children, according to new data released Tuesday.

CDC officials said that between 1988 and 2010, the total rate of cholesterol in children between the ages of 6 and 19 dropped from 11 percent to 8 percent. However, the Associated Press noted that despite the decrease in cholesterol rates, obesity has remained steady in that age group. Indeed, obesity rates among children in the U.S. have tripled since 1980, said WebMD.

Yet, health officials were surprised by the positive news.

"I think this is the first time we are seeing a real decline," said Sarah de Ferranti, director of preventive cardiology at Children's Hospital Boston. "The changes aren't big, but if you look at the population level, this is good news."

ABC News said that researchers speculate the reason for the fall in cholesterol is the reduction of trans fats in packaged foods.

The research will appear this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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