This study was published in the American Journal of Diseases of Children 1989 May;143(5):537-42
Study title and authors:
Growth failure. A complication of dietary treatment of hypercholesterolemia.
Lifshitz F, Moses N.
Department of Pediatrics, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, NY 11030.
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2718985
This study describes the effects of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet on eight children as treatment for "high cholesterol".
The study found that the low-fat, low-cholesterol diet caused growth failure:
(i) Three children had nutritional dwarfing. (Nutritional dwarfing is where there is a marked retardation in growth due to insufficient food consumption).
(ii) In five children, weight loss or insufficient weight gain occurred.
Regarding the diet, the study found:
(a) Children with growth failure consumed significantly less energy and zinc compared to children growing well.
(b) The dietary intakes of the three children with nutritional dwarfing were the most markedly deficient in total energy, fat, and micronutrients.
The data from the study suggests that the diagnosis and dietary treatment of "high cholesterol" may have potentially adverse health consequences. The application of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet may lead to growth failure due to inadequate intake of energy, vitamins, and minerals.