Model predicts effects of diet on child weight

A new computer model that can predict the efficacy of various dietary regimens in children has been revealed by researchers.
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have confirmed the accuracy of the new system and the results will appear in today’s (July 30th) issue of the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal.
The model considers each child’s unique physiology, including changes in body composition that come with age, especially during puberty and although it has not been tested in a controlled clinical trial, researchers are optimistic it is up to the task.
Scientists analysed data from children aged five to 18 to create the system and merged information pertaining to actual changes in children with various diets and physical activity regimes.
Interestingly, the National Institutes of Health researchers found that double the amount was needed to be eaten by children to create an extra pound of fat compared to adults.
Dr Kevin Hall, who was one of the lead authors on the study, said: “Creating an accurate model of energy balance in children was challenging, because they are still growing …. [but] our model, which takes growth into consideration, helps quantify realistic goals for weight management in children and adolescents.”

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