Monday, May 07, 2007

Study Shows Low-Carb Diet 'Effective' For Teens, New Reality Show Puts It To The Test

We all know how well livin' la vida low-carb works for adults to produce weight loss, improvements in health, and changes in your life that are simply indescribable. I can personally attest to all three of these and enjoy proclaiming them boldly and proudly here at my blog as much as possible on a daily basis.

But what about children and teenagers? Is a low-carb diet appropriate for them, too? Well, according to this Newswise story, there's a new study that answers that question with a resounding and undeniable YES!

Lead researcher Dr. Robert Siegel, medical director at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, wanted to see the impact of a low-carbohydrate diet weight loss approach on obese teenagers when a pediatrician is involved in dietary recommendations and support. The study lasted six months and carbohydrate restriction was the primary means for attaining the objective.

The study participants were from 25 pediatric offices with 47 pediatricians in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and were between the ages of 12 and 18 with a body mass index (BMI) in the 95th percentile range for their age, or clinically morbidly obese. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of the children were placed on a ketogenic low-carb diet with 50g or less carbohydrate daily.

The pediatrician and a dietitian counseled the study participants regularly to make sure they understood their new diet and to provide any helpful tips and advice about what they can eat and thrive on low-carb. Nearly 60 percent of the study participants stuck with the plan for the entire six-month period.

So, how well did livin' la vida low-carb perform for these teens?

Very few of the study participants failed to lose weight with an impressive 84 percent of them experiencing an average 11-pound weight loss. There was a wide range of results from a 12-pound weight GAIN (how much you wanna bet this kid didn't eat less than 50g carbs?) to an eye-popping 53-pound weight LOSS (an average of 18 pounds a month! WOW!).

Just as impressive was the fact that the teenagers saw a "significant decrease" in their BMI and a huge boost in their self-esteem. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of livin' la vida low-carb. Because you see such quick weight loss on low-carb rather than the discouragingly slow drip-drip-drip of a half-pound or so a week on low-fat diets, you DO feel more confident and better about yourself.

When you are a teenager, this is VERY important when self-image is magnified a MILLION times more than when you become an adult. Perhaps these obese teens who are losing weight have never had the courage to go out on a date, speak up in class, participate in social activities, and other such formative events in their life. I remember how it felt to be an outcast of sorts because of my weight as a child and young adult. Livin' la vida low-carb changed that FOREVER! WOO HOO!

Dr. Siegel was impressed with the results of the low-carb diet and warned that the obesity epidemic will only get worse the longer we ignore low-carb as a possible remedy.

“Most obese children go on to become obese adults and will face related morbidity and mortality risks," he said. "Pediatricians are often frustrated in finding an intervention that is feasible and successful in the office setting. A low-carb diet may be one answer.”


Can we put that in the headline of every newspaper in America, flash it across the screen on all the cable news channels, quote it on the radio at the top of the hour news...oh, sorry, I got so caught up in how amazing that quote from Dr. Siegel that reality escaped me momentarily. You and I both know that'll NEVER happen with the anti-low-carb bias that exists in the media! Otherwise, it would have ALREADY happened, right?

Wanna know what else happened to the teens in the study typical of a low-carb diet? They spontaneously cut back on their calories. Yep, even without counting them, the average daily caloric intake was CUT IN HALF--an incredible 1200 calories--from 2,401 down to 1,153. This study shows it's true!

Also typical of the low-carb lifestyle that was borne out in this study is that the amount of fat consumed actually remains unchanged, although the percentage of fat in the diet increases. As much as the low-fatties like to claim the Atkins low-carb diet is so "high-fat," the fact is the amount of fat eaten is the very same as what people have been eating. So much for that lame excuse. How's that for some cold hard truth?!

It all comes down to making better food choices rather than obsessing over foods and even teenagers can learn an invaluable lesson that will serve them well for the rest of their long and healthy lives. No more inevitable weight loss surgery for these kids.

In a related story, this London Telegraph story takes advantage of the popularity of television shows like NBC's "The Biggest Loser" and CBS's "Survivor" to create a reality show for obese British teenagers unlike anything you've ever seen before!

The six one-hour shows over a three-week period, set to feature five boys and five girls 16-19 years old, will be called "Fat Teens Can't Hunt" and will feature the original Aborigines children teaching 10 overweight British teens about how to eat like the native people did. Yep, you heard me right, these kids will have to become hunter-gatherers just like our early ancestors.

It won't be airing until late 2007/early 2008, but what an incredible concept! Much in the same way Michael Pollan described in his book The Omnivore's Dilemma, the kids will be required to find and kill their own food or go hungry. EEEK!

What's gonna be in their diet? Nuts, berries, fish...hmmm...

Do you notice what the macronutrient composition of that diet is? If you answered high-fat, high-protein, and low-carb, then you would be absolutely correct! Yeah!!! When can we get this show to come to the United States, hmmm?

I'm sure low-carb researcher Dr. Jay Wortman, who I met this past weekend in Nashville, Tennessee at the Nutrition & Metabolism seminar, would be more than happy to introduce some obese American teenagers to the First Nations aborigines people in Canada.

Although they have already been criticized for being cruel to the children on the show by making them actually find the food they want to eat, the show's producers say it's a novel concept that will make the teenagers appreciate where their food comes from.

"These kids will have to catch, trap, pluck, skin and eviscerate the animals they come across," the producer said. "We'll film them tasting the fruits of their labours."

If the teens get stuck and can't find any food to eat for two days or more, then the television show's producers will provide "emergency rations" to help them survive. Of course, medical professionals will be on hand to keep track the health of the contestants. The producers anticipate the move to livin' la vida low-carb as a permanent healthy lifestyle change takes about three weeks, so they are hopeful the contestants will continue their new habits beyond the show.

I love the attitude of the producers about their show.

"This experiment gives our teenagers a unique opportunity to address their dysfunctional relationship with food, once and for all, before they reach adulthood," they said.

Hallelujah! Somebody pinch me because this has got to be a dream. Livin' la vida low-carb is gonna be on full display featured prominently in a major television series in the UK. When the kids successfully start losing weight and on the road to a healthy life. It's a beautiful visual of what Dr. Siegel found to be true in his study.

Let the endless screaming by the pompous low-fat gurus begin!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home