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Dieting and Weight Loss Study - Children
Children Who Diet More Likely to Gain Weight in Long Term than Normal Eaters
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Dieting and Weight Loss Study: Children

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Dieting Study Summary
Children who diet are more likely to gain weight in the long term than those who eat normally, according to recent weight loss research. Over 16,000 boys and girls aged nine to 14 found those who said they were eating fewer calories and exercising more actually gained weight.

Dieting Study Method
Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts followed the children from 1996 to 1998. They monitored their eating habits by asking the children to fill out questionnaires.

Dieting Study Results
They found that, around 30 percent of the girls and 16 percent of the boys were dieting to one degree or another when the weight loss study began. Even though the dieters reported being more active and getting fewer calories than their peers, they gained more weight than non-dieters. Girls who dieted less often gained slightly less weight, but still more than non-dieters.

Dieting Study - Weight Control
The researchers speculated that the children who dieted could have put on more weight because their metabolism became more efficient, requiring fewer calories to maintain weight or become overweight. But they said it was more likely that restrictive diet regimes were often not maintained for long periods and were followed by binge eating.
In that scenario it would be the repeated cycles of overeating between the restrictive diets that would be responsible for weight gain. Although medically supervised weight control may be beneficial for overweight youths, our data suggest that for many adolescents, dieting to control weight is not only ineffective, it may actually promote weight gain.

Dieting Study Conclusion
Researchers said young people and adults who were not severely overweight should be encouraged to adopt a modest and therefore sustainable weight control strategy that includes physical activity and does not require severe restriction of total calories.

Source: BBC News

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