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July 17, 1996

Improving Dietary Patterns and Physical Activity Levels Among Children and Adolescents

Author Affiliations

University of Tennessee Memphis

JAMA. 1996;276(3):195. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540030029015

To the Editor.  —Although some may be disappointed that the Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health (CATCH)1 did not accomplish the blood cholesterol reductions it set out to achieve, we view the findings of this ambitious endeavor positively. Indeed, the CATCH results present encouraging findings for those who are concerned about the relentless and possibly accelerating increase in obesity in the United States.Bad news about the obesity epidemic2 continues to accumulate as numerous publications document increases in over-weight in adults3,4 and, most disturbing, in children.5 As evidence mounts that "caloric balance as well as diet composition, from childhood on, has great potential for contributing to the prevention and control of hyperlipidemia"2 and thus cardiovascular disease, the success of CATCH in lowering food energy intake and total fat intake is welcome news.CATCH succeeded in limiting increases in total energy intake to 1.6%