There is not much scinece-based knowledge on children following a ketogenic diet, most physicians would not want children on such a restrictive diet to prevent them from eating disorders. But this doesn’t mean that the diet doesn’t work as good for children as it does for adults.
From experiences from James SIdbury Jr’s work in 1975 is has been clear that a ketogenic diet works just as well for children as for adults struggling with obesity and being overweight. In his experience, children following this diet led to them eating to satiety and feeling less hungry throughout the day. Comparing to a calorie restrictive diet which led to snack-attacks, secretly eating and mostly not maintaining the diet.
Keto family plans are usually the best way to go in the case of an unhealthy overweight or obese child, making it the child much easier to maintain when their family eat the same as they do. This way brothers, sisterts or parents won’t go around eating high carb foods like pizza and the child finally giving in and going back to their usual eating habits. One third of children following this programme show huge weightloss and overall more health. One third will lose some weight in the beginning but gain it back after some time and the last group have little to no interest in changing their eating habits and the overall message the dietician is trying to get across. The key to success seems to be the degree to which the child and family can embrace the ketogenic/ LCHF diet.
The trick with children on a keto diet is to slowly incorporate this new eating habit by:
– Change sugary beverages into zero versions
– Make small changes (hamburgers without the bun, burritos without the tortilla)
– Cut out high sugary snack (cookies, candy) and replace them with vegetables or meat snacks
Unless a keto diet is recommended and guided by a physician it’s an inappropriate diet for most children and teens.
“The case for keto” – Gary Taubes
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