New Study Suggests Very Low Calorie Diets Could Be Safe for Obese Teens

by Ella

Researchers at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO 2024) have presented new findings indicating that short-term very low-calorie diets (VLEDs) could be safe for teenagers grappling with moderate to severe obesity, although it should be overseen by experienced dietitians.

A report released by Medical Express sheds light on research conducted in Australia, which is set to be unveiled at the European Congress on Obesity in Venice. According to the study, many teens involved in the research found VLEDs to be an acceptable method for weight loss.


VLEDs involve consuming fewer than 800 calories per day and are recommended for obese individuals who have not responded to conventional diets and exercise programs. These diets typically consist of meal replacements providing between 1845 and 3280 KJ (450 and 800 Kcal) per day, which are consumed three times a day in place of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


While various studies have demonstrated the efficacy of VLEDs in promoting rapid weight loss among young individuals, there is limited data on potential adverse effects and the acceptability of VLEDs among this demographic. Furthermore, there is a lack of information on the impact of VLEDs on growth, heart health, and psychological well-being in young people.


Dr. Megan Gow, from Children’s Hospital Westmead Clinical School at The University of Sydney, Westmead, Australia, has emphasized that concerns about VLEDs are unfounded. Dr. Gow stated, “Given the associated rapid weight loss, their use should be emphasized in clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of severe obesity and obesity-related complications in adolescents, especially before pharmacological or surgical intervention.”


Obesity among Teens in India

A global analysis published in The Lancet journal revealed that in 2022, approximately 12.5 million children aged between five and 19 in India were overweight. Of this figure, 7.3 million were boys, and 5.2 million were girls.

The total number of children, adolescents, and adults worldwide living with obesity has surpassed one billion. Researchers underscored that these trends, coupled with the declining prevalence of underweight individuals since 1990, position obesity as the most prevalent form of malnutrition in many countries.



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