Stories about: low-glycemic index

Do low-carb diets work for kids?

A new study that looked at which diets work best for kids found that compared to portion control and low-glycemic index (GI) diets, low-carb diets work just as well for weight loss, but are more difficult for kids to stick with long-term.

The study also showed that low-GI diets, which promote foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains yielded similar weight-loss success, but showed greater long-term compliance a year later. This diet is part of the innovative clinical research conducted by David Ludwig, MD, MPH, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children’s Hospital, and its Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Clinic.

Since long-term habits are the foundation of healthy living, Ludwig and his colleagues focus on choosing the right combination of foods to limit hunger and overeating, rather than encouraging people to eliminate entire classes of nutrients, like carbohydrates. Ultimately, this method makes it easier for a child to accommodate his or her personal and cultural preferences, allowing the diet to more easily become a lifestyle.

“When you line up biology and behavior, you can accomplish greater results with less work,” says Ludwig. “On a bicycle, if you’re in the wrong gear, you can pedal a whole lot and still not get very far. When you find the right gear, however, suddenly that effort pushes you forward more efficiently.” The same is true for choosing the right weight-loss plan for a child.

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