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Carbohydrate-restricted diets in the treatment of obesity in children

24 months
Approved budget:
Dr Caryn Zinn
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Feasibility Study
Lay summary
Current ""best practice"" weight loss guidelines promote an energy-restricted, high carbohydrate, low fat macronutrient profile. This has had limited efficacy, and highly suggests alternative strategies are needed to improve adherence to good dietary practices and sustained health outcomes, especially in children. We propose a randomised controlled trial to test an alternative carbohydrate-restricted, high fat, whole-food focused weight loss regime for children aged 5-10 years to compare fat loss and metabolic parameters with “best practice” in the short and long term. Before this can be fully designed, a single-arm feasibility trial is proposed to first assess the acceptability, adherence, perceived affordability and rate of attrition for this alternative diet regime, and the magnitude of change in body composition, in particular percentage body fat and metabolic parameters (blood lipids, endocrine and inflammatory markers). Successful outcomes have the potential to contribute significantly towards reducing childhood obesity and associated chronic disease, particularly for Maori children.