Tag Archives: CDC

CDC offers Cholesterol Website

The Centers for Disease Control has a new website with a collection of information on cholesterol. The website explains the threat of cholesterol, offers fact sheets, prevention steps and proivdes links to publications.


CDC Study Finds One in Five American Youths Have Abnormal Lipid Levels

Twenty percent of young people aged 12-19 years in the United States have at least one abnormal lipid level, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Abnormal lipid levels are major risk factors for heart disease, the leading cause of death among adults in the United States.

The report, “Prevalence of Abnormal Lipid Levels among Youths —United States, 1999–2006,” was published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The report examined data for 1999–2006 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), an ongoing study that explores the health and nutritional status of about 6,000 participants every year. Researchers analyzed measurements of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol (LDL-C); high-density lipoprotein, or “good,” cholesterol (HDL-C); and triglycerides.

The researchers found that young people who were overweight or obese were more likely to have one or more abnormal lipid levels compared to normal weight youth. Fourteen percent of normal weight, 22 percent of overweight, and 43 percent of obese youth had one or more abnormal lipid levels.

The study also found that 32 percent of these young people would be candidates for lipid screening based on American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines. The AAP recommends lipid screening for young people with a family history of high blood cholesterol or premature cardiovascular disease, or the presence of at least one major risk factor for heart disease, such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, or overweight/obesity.

Reviewing health indicators for 3,125 youths, researchers found that differences in lipid levels were associated with sex, age, and race/ethnicity. Specifically:

* More boys (24 percent) than girls (16 percent) had at least one abnormal lipid level.
* Fourteen- and 15-year-olds (9 percent) and 18- and 19-year-olds (10 percent) were more likely to have low HDL cholesterol levels than 12- and 13-year-olds (5 percent).
* Non-Hispanic white youths were more likely to have low levels of HDL cholesterol (8 percent) and high triglycerides (12 percent), compared to non-Hispanic black youths (5 percent and 4 percent, respectively).

Typically, heart disease develops in adulthood. But its risk factors, such as abnormal lipid levels and overweight/obesity often emerge during childhood and adolescence.

“Overweight and obese young people are at far greater risk of having abnormal lipid levels than are youths with normal weights,” said Ashleigh May, Ph.D., Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, and lead author of the report. “The current epidemic of childhood obesity makes this a matter of significant and urgent concern.”

In the past three decades, obesity among American youths has increased from 5 percent to more than 17 percent. In light of this, the study’s authors suggested that clinicians should be aware of guidelines for lipid screening and treatment among youths.

The full MMWR report is available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr. For more information about heart disease, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp.

CDC gives NC low marks for healthy eating

The newly published State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2009 shows that no state is meeting national goals for the amount of fruits and vegetables Americans should be eating.

The goal is for at least 75% of Americans to be eating at least 2 fruits daily and for 50% to be eating at least 3 vegetables daily. However, only 33% and 27% of adults are meeting these goals.

According to the report: 25 percent of NC adults are eating 2 fruits daily and 30 percent are eating at least 3 vegetables daily. In NC, 25 percent of teens are eating 2 fruits daily and 10 percent are eating at least 3 vegetables daily.

According to the report: NC has 1.6 farmers markets per 100,000 residents. 25 percent of middle and high schools offer fruits and vegetables as competitive foods. Fruits and vegetables are harvested on three percent of cropland acreage.

Majority of Americans not Meeting Recommendations for Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

No U.S. state is meeting national objectives for consumption of fruits and vegetables, according to the first report to provide state–by–state data about fruit and vegetable consumption and policies that may help Americans eat more fruits and vegetables.

The Healthy People 2010 objectives aim for at least 75 percent of Americans to eat the recommended two or more daily servings of fruit, and for at least 50 percent of Americans to eat the recommended three or more servings of vegetables daily. However, CDC surveys indicate that only 33 percent of adults meet the recommendation for fruit consumption and 27 percent get the recommended servings of vegetables.  The statistics are even worse for high school students – 32 percent report eating at least two servings of fruit daily and 13 percent say they eat at least three servings of vegetables each day.

“A diet high in fruits and vegetables is important for optimal child growth, maintaining a healthy weight, and prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, all of which currently contribute to health care costs in the United States,” said Dr.
William H. Dietz, director of CDC′s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity.  “This report will help states determine what is taking place in their communities and schools and come up with ways to encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables.”

The report highlights consumption and three key policy and environmental areas:

Healthier Food Retail: Retailers, such as supermarkets and grocery stores that stock a variety of high–quality fruits and vegetables are a critical asset for the health of residents.

  • Only eight states have a policy for healthier food retail improvements, which can help increase the number of full–service grocery stores in areas where they are unavailable, increase the availability of healthier foods in small food stores, and promote healthier foods through information at the point of purchase.

Availability of Healthier Foods in Schools: Schools are in a unique position to influence and promote fruit and vegetable intake among youth, school staff, parents, and other community members.

  • Only 1 in 5 (21 percent) middle and high schools offer fruits and non–fried vegetables in vending machines, school stores or snack bars.
  • 21 states have a policy to support farm–to–school programs that can increase access to fruits and vegetables as well as teach school children about nutrition and agriculture.

Food System Support: A systems approach to food considers many factors involved in getting fruits and vegetables from farms to consumers, including the roles of growers, processors and retailers.  Food policy councils are organizations made up of many agencies and community organizations that look at access of fresh produce at the community and state levels.  These councils make recommendations about policies and programs such as farm–to–school programs, community gardens, farmers markets and availability of fresh produce in supermarkets.

  • 20 states have a state–level food policy council, and 59 local food policy councils exist across the nation.

“We have seen the tremendous benefit of state and local officials, health professionals, employers, food store owners, farmers, school staff, and community members working together on food and nutrition issues,” said Heidi Michels Blanck, Ph.D., CDC epidemiologist.  “Their efforts can help to increase the availability of affordable healthier food choices such as fruits and vegetables.”

You can read the full report here.

CDC Presents Obesity Prevention Awards

Eight organizations were awarded the Pioneering Innovation Award at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Weight of the Nation Conference in Washington, D.C. These organizations were recognized for their work in advancing policies and environmental strategies to prevent and control obesity.

With rising rates of obesity in adults, particularly those from certain racial and ethnic groups, the CDC recognizes the need for a variety of approaches to impact this growing epidemic.

Applications were submitted by peers or the organizations themselves in response to a call for nominations for the Pioneering Innovation Award.  Over 35 applications were received.  The conference planning committee, comprised of numerous public health organizations, reviewed applications and chose the winners based on their merit.

The awarded non-profit organizations, health care providers, and tribal nations have worked successfully to influence environmental, economic, social and cultural shifts toward obesity prevention and control.

Awardees are:

  • Alliance for a Healthier Generation
  • Baptist Health South Florida
  • Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Navajo Nation
  • Nemours Health and Prevention Services
  • Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative
  • Produce for Better Health Foundation

CDC Hosts National Discussion on Obesity

On July 27-29, 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, will host its inaugural conference on obesity prevention and control, Weight of the Nation, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Weight of the Nation is designed to provide a forum to highlight progress in the prevention and control of obesity through policy and environmental strategies and is framed around four intervention settings: community, medical care, school, and workplace.

The primary audience includes elected and appointed public policy makers; federal, state and local public health leaders; as well as partners and researchers engaged in policy related obesity prevention and control initiatives.

The conference objectives are:

  • Identify strategies that overcome barriers to the primary prevention of obesity for youth and adults in communities, medical care, schools, and workplaces
  • Discuss economic analysis of obesity prevention and control efforts (e.g., cost burden of obesity on healthcare system and employers, cost effectiveness of prevention)
  • Discuss the use of law-based efforts to prevent and control obesity (e.g., legislation, regulation and policies)
  • Explain the evidence base for policy and environmental strategies to prevent and control obesity and identify indicators of success for the strategy

After the Weight of the Nation, the CDC plans to work with partners to:

  • synthesize lessons learned from the conference to identify the challenges to obesity prevention and control, identify setting appropriate policy and environmental strategies to overcome these challenges and determine indicators of progress in implementing these strategies, and then disseminate policy and environmental best practices for obesity prevention and control.
  • utilize this information to produce its “National Road Map for Obesity Prevention and Control”; guidelines for investing in integrated obesity prevention and control initiatives.

Obesity among low income preschool aged children slowing

One of 7 low-income, preschool-aged children is obese, but the obesity epidemic may be stabilizing, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The prevalence of obesity in low-income two to four year-olds increased from 12.4 percent in 1998 to 14.5 percent in 2003 but rose to only 14.6 percent in 2008, said the report, based on CDC′s Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System (PedNSS).

“These new data provide some encouragement, but remind us of two things—one, too many young children are obese, and two, we must not become complacent in our efforts to reduce obesity among young children,” said Dr. William H. Dietz, director of CDC′s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. “Childhood obesity remains a major public health problem that increases the risk of developing serious chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and adult obesity.”

The report shows that the prevalence of obesity for this group has remained constant or declined since 2003 among about half of the states, territories, and Indian tribal organizations contributing to PedNSS. The study defined obesity as a body mass index -for-age at or above the 95th percentile based on the 2000 sex-specific growth charts.