Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of bariatric surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said young people tend to have better success at weight control with behavioral therapy and dietary education. But he feels the message of the study is probably lost on most Americans, who continue to grow heavier despite the prevalence of nutritional information.
Seventeen percent of American children are overweight, according to the study, and more than two-thirds of adults are either overweight or obese.
"I don't necessarily feel the results are earth-shattering or incredibly impressive, but I think people have to give up on the [idea] that we can educate ourselves out of the obesity epidemic," Roslin said.
One benefit for young people who follow the DASH diet will be better overall health as they age, said Dr. Joseph Diamond, a fellow at the American Society of Hypertension.
"There's going to be less likelihood to progress to hypertension, either if they're genetically prone or because of poor lifestyle," said Diamond, also director of nuclear cardiology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. "It's going to help prevent heart attack at that classic middle age, where it's so prevalent. And I think starting between 9 and 19 is the right time to do it."
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more on the DASH diet.
SOURCES: Jonathan Berz, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, and associate program director, Preventive Medicine Residency Program, Boston University Medical Center; Joseph Diamond, M.D., director, nuclear cardiology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center,
All rights reserved