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Old 08-04-2012, 08:57 AM   #1
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Target carbs for kids?

We saw a nutritionist who recommended 300 g carbohydrate per day for my overweight nine-year-old, but I KNOW that he gains on that many carbs.

We've recently started reducing carbs and adding more protein and fiber, but I wonder what our target should be for the daily carbs. I kept a careful food log one day and the carbs came to 210.

I don't want him to stop eating fruit. I suppose every person is different, so the carb target must vary from one child to another, but I'm curious what other families have found to be effective but workable.

I have also posted this question as a follow-up in another forum. If an administrator wants to help me clean things up with one post pointing to another, I don't mind.

Thanks, everyone!

(Son's BMI index: currently 96th percentile, down from above 99 a year and a half ago)
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:29 AM   #2
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I would do some more research to see what studies have been done on low carb diets with children. I suspect the results would be same as for the adults. I followed a very similar path of your son - overweight by age 9 and always struggling to loose. I battled my whole life to lose weight and could not keep it off - until I dropped the carbs altogether. Now I'm on a high fat, low carb, medium protein diet and it's not only the easiest diet I've ever been on (because I don't get hungry and don't have to count calories) but I've maintained my weight loss for well over a year now. But I'm now 36, so I'm hardly a kid anymore.

My personal theory based on what I've read is that for most of us as kids a moderate amount of sugars from fruits and such are probably no big deal. However if we have too much sugar and unrefined carbs we sort of pass a "point of no return" whereby our body learns to store carbs as fat. Once we've passed this point, the only option is to cut out the carbs.

Presuming there are no unusual risks to a low carb diet for kids, I would try an Atkins-type diet which will cut the carbs to about 20 per day and kick start the weight loss. Part of Atkins involves figuring out where your son's carb threshold is. So one week you may add in fruit, and if he continues losing weight then you know fruit is okay for him. But if fruit stalls the weight loss, then you have your answer.

Best of luck!
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:42 AM   #3
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I think dieticians follow a USDA food guidelines. IMO, those guidelines have helped contribute to the obesity issues in the US. I would stick to Dr. Atkin's plan with my son and add fruits when indicated in the book. The phases outlined are necessary to reset insulin receptors for insulin resistance.
I think patience and faith are key. God bless.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:39 AM   #4
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He should be able to handle more carbs than us adults. I don't really know what the magic number would be, but my guess would be around 100. You don't really want him to lose weight, just maintain his current weight as he grows.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:09 AM   #5
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300 grams seems so high - that's 100 grams/meal for 3 meals.

What calorie level is he suggesting? That could be WAY over 50%.

I have no expertise in the area, but what if you try for 150 grams, then 140, 130, etc. making the meals as nutrient-dense as possible? Maybe if it's done subtly with the bias towards the right foods, you can find the right balance.

This was an interesting article:

Low-glycemic index diet may be best at keeping off pounds - HealthPop - CBS News
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