Good News–Bad News. Cholesterol down but kids still fat

And their rates of type 2 diabetes remain way too high.

In a recent TIME article (See link below), scientists reported that the proportion of children with high cholesterol had dropped 28% over the past two decades. For 16,000 kids aged 6 to 19, the  percentage with high cholesterol dropped from 11.3% (1988 to 1994) down to 8.3% for 2007 to 2010.

The article also reported that type 2 diabetes was still too high and the obesity rate of 17% remained steady. This study does lessen the fear that we might start doing cholesterol testing on all children, as was discussed in 2011:

Late last year, a government-appointed panel recommended cholesterol screening for all children aged 9-11 in order to identify at-risk kids and get them to make diet and lifestyle changes early on. The advice was controversial, however, because of concerns that widespread screening would lead to increased prescription of powerful statin drugs.

Cholesterol numbers improve, but obesity and diabetes rates still high.

The problem with good news is that it breeds complacency. (See more blogs below if you’re feeling complacent.) They didn’t mention the number of overweight kids, but according to my ongoing informal survey, it remains way too high. So what caused the cholesterol numbers to improve?

The authors suggested that it may have been something as simple as the ongoing efforts to remove trans-fats from our food supply.

The scientists can’t say for certain what caused the decreases, but they think lifestyle and environmental changes — like declines in teen smoking and reductions in trans fats in processed and fast foods — had something to do with it. “We know that dietary intake of saturated fat and trans fats and exposure to secondhand smoke are related to blood cholesterol, so changes aimed at limiting these may have contributed to the changes that we observed,” study author Dr. Brian Kit, a pediatrician and epidemiologist at the CDC, told HealthDay.

Ticking bomb. But with obesity and diabetes rates still high, we know we’re sitting on a time bomb as those kids head off to college, put on the “freshman 15” and then move into adulthood with chronic disease just waiting to happen. So what are we going to do about this continued deadly situation among our children?

I would like to think that change was right around the corner and that soon our nutritional scientists, medical doctors and the USDA would get it right with regards to what we should be eating. But I think we’re many decades away from that happening. In fact, I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better. And ultimately, it may take some kind of disaster to jolt our totally ineffective “system” into taking the appropriate action.

Dr. Don Wagner is no longer accepting patients who don’t agree to shift to a plant-based diet. We need more doctors like this man.

Earlier this week, I appeared on the Dr. Don Radio Show in Arizona. It was my third appearance on his show and we spent the time talking about the health and the environmental effects of the food choices of the human race. At the very end of the show, Dr. Don implored his listeners to think of their children and urgently begin to make the appropriate changes in their homes.

The Bottom Line. It really is all about the children. Lately I have been blogging about the longterm ability of our planet to sustain human life. In one blog, I suggested we don’t need to worry about “saving the planet;” rather we need to worry about doing our part to help mother Earth sustain the human race indefinitely. The lives of our great grandchildren depend on it.

Attention Responsible Parents. Want to do the best thing for your own health, the health of your children and all of their descendants? For less than $50, you can be well on your way to learning exactly what you need to do. Unless you have a doctor like Dr. Don, you don’t have time to wait on her to tell you what you should feed your children.

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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2 Responses to Good News–Bad News. Cholesterol down but kids still fat

  1. Sal Liggieri says:


    I was reading on Amazon some critiques of our plant based diet. I was surprised and shocked at how much hatred and venom is directed at Campbell, McDougall, Ornish, Barnard, Fuhrman, Hicks, Pritikin, etc. It seems that we who follow this diet are brainwashed, stupid, misguided, ignorant of the truth and it goes on and on.

    It bothered me in that all these negative comments were coming from advocates for the Paleo Diet.

    Sal Liggieri


    (CNN) — Neil Armstrong, the American astronaut who made “one giant leap for mankind” when he became the first man to walk on the moon, died Saturday. He was 82.

    “We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures,” Armstrong’s family said in a statement.

    Armstrong underwent heart surgery this month.


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