Carbohydrates, or usually called “carbs” are a source of fuel and energy used by our bodies to do work. It can be obtained from grains, fruits and vegetables. Carbs are categorized into two categories, i.e. simple and complex. Simple carbs are easily digested while complex carbs will take longer time. Although carbs are important during growing years, excess carbs taken in will have a negative impact on health and leads to overweight or obesity problem.
The problem of obesity is serious among American children who live a sedentary lifestyle which lack of daily physical activities and exercises. More than 20% of them are classified as overweight or obese. If this issue is not taken seriously, they are very likely to grow up as obese adults and will face related morbidity and mortality risks.
Recent study done by researchers from University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine in year 2010 found out that by following a high-protein and low-carb diet under a medical supervision, it can help severely obese teenagers (average 14 yrs-old and at least 175% above ideal weight) to lose their weight effectively and safely. These patients also continuously kept their weight loss for as long as nine months after the study, the expected quick regain of weight doesn’t happen. Therefore, it is believed that these obese teens might be able to achieve more weight loss if they are giving ongoing support.
Researchers also found out that this relatively high in fat diet are safe to be followed as it has no seriously side effects on for example growth and bone density. It has increased the good HDL cholesterol levels but reduced the bad LDL cholesterol. With this study, it has provided another effective treatment option for tackling adolescent obesity problem.
Though a low carb diet is effective in treating obesity among teens, they should only follow the diet provided it is prescribed by a medical practitioner or a dietician. Excessive dieting without medical supervision might be harmful to growing up teens and affecting their normal growth.
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