Fear that a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet could adversely affect the growth and cholesterol level; parents have few option to help their kids to lose weight.
The researchers randomized 46 severely obese teenagers to eat either a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet or a low-fat diet for 13 weeks. The teenagers were 14 years old and were at least 175% above ideal weight.
At the end of the study, those who took high-protein, low-carb diet lost 29 pounds while those on the low-fat diet lost only 16 pounds. Most importantly, both groups were able to maintain the weight loss 9 months later.
The high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet appeared to be safe, with no serious harmful effects on growth, bone mineral density and cholesterol levels. In fact, LDL cholesterol declined but HDL cholesterol increased.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
Source: J Pediatr 2010.
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