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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2002 August;54(4):305-14

language: English

Long-term safety and efficacy of low-fat diets in children and adolescents

Clauss S. B., Kwiterovich P. O.


The safety and efficacy of low-fat diets in children and adolescents were evaluated through a systematic review of the current literature. Eight major studies were reviewed. The safety of the diets was judged by measures of growth and development and by meeting nutritional requirements. The efficacy of the diets was evaluated by their effect on the plasma levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. All studies except 1 showed that children and adolescents exhibited normal growth and development while on a low-fat diet. In 3 of the studies, nutritional requirements for calcium, zinc, phosphorous and vitamin E were below the recommended daily intake. In each of the 5 studies in which efficacy was determined, a significant decrease in the levels of total or LDL cholesterol was observed. Low-fat diets are generally safe and efficacious when performed under medical supervision.

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