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May 10, 1995

Reducing Blood Cholesterol Levels in ChildrenWhat Have We Learned From the DISC Study?

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

JAMA. 1995;273(18):1461-1462. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520420077043

The main findings of the multicenter Dietary Intervention Study in Children (DISC) are presented in this issue of The Journal.1 This national project sought to evaluate the safety and efficacy of lowering dietary total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol in reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in healthy hypercholesterolemic children. The results have important implications for clinicians who provide care for children, public health officials, and future research in cardiovascular disease prevention.

DISC represents an intense effort to modify food intake in healthy free-living children by dietary education of students and their parents. The intervention was well designed and used current behavioral modification techniques to change eating patterns. The results of DISC deserve serious consideration given the study size and quality of the design.

The first finding relates to the safety of a low-fat diet, which some have suggested is deleterious to the growth and development of children.2 DISC

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