Help Kids Lose Weight

The key to shedding pounds is choosing foods that fight hunger.

Avoid Starchy Carbs

Child standing on a scale

If your child had a bagel for breakfast this morning, it wasn't much more nutritious than eating a bowl of sugar, says Parents advisor David Ludwig, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and director of the Optimal Weight for Life Program at Boston Children's Hospital. That's because most starchy carbohydrates, like bread, white rice, and potatoes, dissolve into glucose soon after you swallow them. Starting the day with eggs or another source of protein instead will not only help your child feel fuller, but it will help him lose weight.

Dr. Ludwig is seriously worried about how many kids are getting fat -- the percentage of 6- to 11-year-olds who are overweight has doubled in the last 25 years. And the situation is only going to get worse: Children who are overweight are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and could face kidney failure and amputations by age 30. Ironically, our focus on low-fat eating over the last decades -- and the subsequent boom in high-carb meals and snacks -- may be a key factor in the obesity epidemic, says Dr. Ludwig. But an Atkins-style low-carb diet isn't the answer either. In his eye-opening new book, Ending the Food Fight: Guide Your Child to a Healthy Weight in a Fast Food/Fake Food World, he offers a road map -- backed up by the latest scientific research -- for helping kids stay slim.

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