Monitor the health of your community here

Growing rates of obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating among children continues to be a major problem in the United States. In fact, the American Heart Association notes that current rates of overweight and obese children and adolescents have tripled in the last 50 years 15. It should come as no surprise, then, that some children have begun to develop chronic health conditions -- like high triglyceride levels -- much earlier than expected. Identifying normal triglyceride levels is crucial for parents who want to ensure the health and longevity of their children.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Triglyceride Basics

Triglycerides are a type of fat found in blood plasma. While a portion of total triglyceride stores are naturally produced by your child's body, others come from dietary sources -- such as carbohydrates. Calories not immediately used as fuel by your child's body may be converted to triglycerides and stored in fat cells in the blood stream, notes the American Heart Association 15. These stored triglycerides may be released by fat cells for energy during physical activity and between meals.

Normal Child Triglyceride Levels

The American College of Sports Medicine reports that normal triglyceride levels for children under the age of 18 are less than 150 mg/dL.

Causes of High Triglyceride Levels

The University of Rochester Medical Center notes that obesity and the consumption of significant amounts of fat, alcohol and sweets may also lead to this condition. In some cases, children with a strong family history may develop high triglyceride levels at an early age.

Treatment for High Triglycerides

Lifestyle modification is crucial for children who have been diagnosed with abnormal triglyceride levels. The American Council on Exercise reports that children who have abnormal triglyceride levels should be encouraged to start a regular exercise program that includes 60 minutes of aerobic exercise each day 4. Reducing caloric intake, lowering saturated fat consumption, and incorporating a colorful blend of various fruits and vegetables is essential for children who want to achieve normal triglyceride levels. Children who use tobacco or alcohol should stop immediately to keep triglyceride levels in check.

The Wrap Up

Growing rates of obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating among children continues to be a major problem in the United States. These stored triglycerides may be released by fat cells for energy during physical activity and between meals. The American College of Sports Medicine reports that normal triglyceride levels for children under the age of 18 are less than 150 mg/dL. The University of Rochester Medical Center notes that obesity and the consumption of significant amounts of fat, alcohol and sweets may also lead to this condition.

×