FRIDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- If you're trying to get your child to drop a few pounds, here's some food for thought: A new study finds that among three types of diets, kids preferred the one emphasizing foods that don't cause blood-sugar imbalances.
Kids also lost weight on the other two diets, however.
"We know the diets are effective. The question now is how we can get people to follow them," said study lead author Shelley Kirk, a dietitian and assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
About 20 percent of children aged 6 to 11 in the United States are obese, which is a step beyond simply being overweight, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate is similar in adolescents aged 12 to 19.
In the new study, researchers examined 85 obese 7- to 12-year-olds who accepted an assigned diet for a year. The kids had weekly dietary counseling and biweekly exercise sessions for the first three months, and then were on their own for the remaining nine months.
One of the diets is similar to the Atkins diet for adults, and focused on very low carbohydrate consumption and a lot of high-protein foods. Another diet focused on foods with low glycemic indexes (such as fruit, nonstarchy vegetables, whole grains, poultry and fish) that are less likely to cause blood-sugar levels to fluctuate. The third diet focused on controlling food portions and making sure calories overall were 55 percent to 60 percent carbohydrates, 10 percent to 15 percent protein, and 30 percent fat.
The researchers found that the participants on average lowered their body mass index (BMI) -- a measurement of body fat based on height and weight -- and the percentage of fat in their bodies. Their waist sizes didn't decrease after a year, but it's not clear if that's because they grew.
All rights reserved