Cholesterol levels improving in U.S. children

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Cholesterol levels in children and teens improved in the latest analysis of U.S. health surveys, yet only half of them had readings considered ideal.

   Overall, 7% of kids had high cholesterol in surveys from 2009 to 2016. That was down from 10% a decade earlier. In children, high levels mean 200 or above. Ideal measures are below 170.

   The researchers say the mixed bag of results could reflect stubborn rates of childhood obesity, offset by U.S. kids eating fewer snack foods containing unhealthy trans fats. Manufacturers began phasing those out before a 2018 U.S. ban.

   The analysis involved 26,000 U.S. kids aged 6 to 19. The results were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.