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J Pediatr. 2003 Mar;142(3):253-8.

Effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor in overweight adolescents.

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  • 1Division of Adolescent Medicine, Schneider Children's Hospital, New Hyde Park, New York 10128, USA.



To compare the effects of a low-carbohydrate (LC) diet with those of a low-fat (LF) diet on weight loss and serum lipids in overweight adolescents.


A randomized, controlled 12-week trial.


Atherosclerosis prevention referral center.


Random, nonblinded assignment of participants referred for weight management. The study group (LC) (n = 16) was instructed to consume <20 g of carbohydrate per day for 2 weeks, then <40 g/day for 10 weeks, and to eat LC foods according to hunger. The control group (LF) (n = 14) was instructed to consume <30% of energy from fat. Diet composition and weight were monitored and recorded every 2 weeks. Serum lipid profiles were obtained at the start of the study and after 12 weeks.


The LC group lost more weight (mean, 9.9 +/- 9.3 kg vs 4.1 +/- 4.9 kg, P <.05) and had improvement in non-HDL cholesterol levels (P <.05). There was improvement in LDL cholesterol levels (P <.05) in the LF group but not in the LC group. There were no adverse effects on the lipid profiles of participants in either group.


The LC diet appears to be an effective method for short-term weight loss in overweight adolescents and does not harm the lipid profile.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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