Don’t put kids on a low-carb diet, pediatricians say

Doctors say it's bad for their overall health, even for kids with or at risk of diabetes
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 7:23 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Brand new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The APP says despite the growing popularity of low-carb or keto diets for managing diabetes in adults, there are safety concerns when it comes to kids who have or are at risk for diabetes.

Health experts say for your child, restricting carbs to control weight or blood gluclose is not healthy.

The big concern is a low-carb diet for a child who is at risk for diabetes can affect their overall health.

Pediatricians say you should focus on reducing the amount of nutrient-poor processed snacks your child is eating. Limiting sugary drinks is another suggestion. Read the full study here.

For kids and teens, a low-carb diet could lead to growth problems -- nutritional deficiencies, poor bone health, and poor eating behaviors. The APP says kids 4 to 18 years old get 10% to 30% of their total energy intake from protein. That’s to help support normal growth and development.

As far as carbs, most calories from carbs should come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and dairy products.

If your child has or is at risk for diabetes, talk to their pediatrician about a plan that includes daily exercise.

It’s also important to note that neither the American Diabetes Association nor international diabetes groups endorse low-carb diets for kids with or at risk for diabetes.