Does a High-protein Diet Improve Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Children?

Gately, Paul J., King, Neil A., Greatwood, Hannah C., Humphrey, Lauren C., Radley, Duncan, Cooke, Carlton B., & Hills, Andrew J. (2007) Does a High-protein Diet Improve Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Children? Obesity, 15(6), pp. 1527-1534.

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Objective: To evaluate the effect of a high-protein diet on anthropometry, body composition, subjective appetite, and mood sensations in overweight and obese children attending a residential weight-loss camp.

Research Methods and Procedures: Children (120; BMI, 33.1 5.5 kg/m2; age, 14.2 1.9 years) were randomly assigned to either a standard or high-protein diet group (15% vs. 22.5% protein, respectively). All children were assessed at baseline and at the end of the camp for anthropometry, body composition, blood pressure, biochemical variables (n = 27), and subjective appetite and mood sensations (n = 50).

Results: Attendance at the weight-loss camp resulted in significant improvements in most measures. Campers lost 5.5 2.9 kg in body weight (p < 0.001) and 3.8 5.4 kg in fat mass (p < 0.001) and reduced their BMI standard deviation score by 0.27 0.1 (p < 0.001) and their waist circumference by 6.6 2.8 cm (p < 0.001). Subjective sensations of hunger increased significantly over the camp duration, but no other changes in appetite or mood were observed. There were no significant differences between the two diets on any physical or subjective measures.

Discussion: Weight-loss camps are effective in assisting children to lose weight and improve on a range of health outcomes, independently of the protein content of the diet. The implications of an increase in hunger associated with weight loss needs to be considered. Further work is warranted to investigate whether higher levels of dietary protein are feasible or effective in longer-term weight-loss interventions of this type.

Impact and interest:

19 citations in Scopus
14 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 15187
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: weight management program, appetite, childhood obesity, protein, hunger
DOI: 10.1038/oby.2007.181
ISSN: 1930-739X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Sports Medicine (110604)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Nature Publishing Group
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 15 Oct 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:37

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