September is national Cholesterol Education Month, an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that brings awareness to the importance of getting your blood cholesterol checked and taking action if it is too high. More than 102 million American adults have high cholesterol, but fortunately standards support the steps that can be taken to lower cholesterol and maintain it at a healthy level.
Adults should have their cholesterol checked every five years, and children or young adults should have their cholesterol checked if they have risk factors such as being overweight or a family history of high cholesterol. Ideally, adults should have a total cholesterol level less than 170 md/dL, an LDL ("bad") cholesterol level less than 110 mg/dL, an HDL ("good") cholesterol level of 35 mg/DL or higher, and triglycerides less than 150 mg/dL.
If cholesterol levels are too high, one lifestyle change recommended by doctors is eating more low-fat and high-fiber foods, such as fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and whole grains. A convenient way to up your intake of produce is by having a homemade smoothie or freshly pressed juice every morning for breakfast. CSA C22.2 No. 195-2016, Motor-operated food processing appliances (household and commercial), is a standard that provides guidelines on kitchen appliances including blenders and juice extractors used to create these healthy, fruity drinks. The document was developed by CSA Group, a member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Beyond eating a healthy diet, the CDC also recommends that adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week to lower cholesterol levels. Running, jogging, and even brisk walking are easy and effective ways to get cardiovascular exercise. Thanks to standards, these workouts can be done safely in the home or in a gym with the use of a treadmill on cold, rainy, or snowy days. ASTM F2115-18, Standard Specification for Motorized Treadmills, was developed by ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International. The standard covers the establishment of parameters for the design and manufacture of motorized treadmills by use of individuals age 13 and up.
As children can also suffer from high cholesterol, they are advised to follow similar guidelines for healthy eating and frequent physical activity. The CDC recommends that individuals aged 6 to 17 get at least one hour of physical activity each day. ISO 8098:2014, Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles for young children, is an international standard that specifies safety and performance requirements and test methods for the design, assembly, and testing of bicycles for young children. The standard was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 149, Cycles, Subcommittee (SC) 1, Cycles and major sub-assemblies. ASTM International is the ANSI-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator for this committee.
Good health should be a top priority at every age. Whether you seek to lower high cholesterol levels or maintain optimal levels, standards are there to help you achieve these goals and continue on a healthy journey through life.