New study compares diets for weight management in obese children

March 14, 2012, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

A new study of three diets with obese children shows that all diets are effective in managing weight but that a reduced glycemic load diet – one that accounts for how many carbs are in the food and how much each gram of carbohydrate raises blood glucose levels – may be most promising.

The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center study of low-carb, reduced glycemic load and portion-controlled diets with obese children is published online in the Journal of Pediatrics.

The study shows that children have more difficulty following a strict, low-carb , particularly long-term. Since children adhered best to a reduced glycemic load diet, this diet may represent the most promising approach for pediatric weight management, according to Shelley Kirk, PhD, RD, lead author of the study.

"This is the first long-term randomized clinical trial to compare the effectiveness and safety of these three diets using a family-based behavioral approach for younger obese children," says Dr. Kirk, PhD, RD, of the Center for Better Health and Nutrition at the Heart Institute, Cincinnati Children's. "All three diet groups had significant improvement in weight status and other health measures and showed no adverse effects. Since all three diets were effective, practitioners can offer any one of these approaches for helping achieve a healthier weight."

The study included 7 to 12 year olds, who were instructed to follow their assigned diet for 12 months. During the first three months they received weekly dietary counseling and every other week group exercise sessions. They continued their assigned diet on their own for the following nine months. Their height, weight, body fat, and several other clinical measures were taken at the beginning of the study and again after three, six and 12 months. Clinical measures included cardiovascular risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin. Of the 102 children enrolled, 85 completed the year-long study.

After three months, children on each diet showed improvements in body mass index and percent body fat. These changes were maintained at 12 months. Children in all three groups were successful in maintaining a reduced caloric intake, even in the final nine months of the study, which were without guidance or counseling from the research staff.

"This raises the possibility that an intensive initial intervention for any of these diets can lead to long-term successful ," says Dr. Kirk.

Explore further: Desserts with a low glycemic index may benefit weight-loss efforts for obese children

Related Stories

Desserts with a low glycemic index may benefit weight-loss efforts for obese children

June 6, 2011
Overweight girls lose more weight and can better stay on a healthy diet if they eat sugar-free, low-fat desserts several times weekly, as opposed to any dessert once a week, a new study finds. The results will be reported ...

Calories, not protein or carbs, are key to weight loss for people with diabetes

February 7, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Overweight or obese people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to reduce weight if they focus on cutting back on total calorie intake, rather than specific high protein/high carbohydrate diets according ...

Intermittent, low-carbohydrate diets more successful than standard dieting

December 9, 2011
An intermittent, low-carbohydrate diet was superior to a standard, daily calorie-restricted diet for reducing weight and lowering blood levels of insulin, a cancer-promoting hormone, according to recent findings.

Recommended for you

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

Study reveals what sleep talkers have to say

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in France has conducted a study regarding sleep talking and has found that most sleep talking is not only negative in nature, but involves a large amount of swearing. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.