Background: The effects of carbohydrate-restricted (ketogenic) diets on metabolic parameters in children have been incompletely assessed.
Objective: To compare the efficacy and metabolic impact of ketogenic and hypocaloric diets in obese children and adolescents.
Subjects: Fifty-eight obese subjects were placed on one of the two diets for 6 months.
Methods: Anthropometric measurements, body composition, oral glucose/insulin tolerance test, lipidemic profile, high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin, whole-body insulin sensitivity index (WBISI), and homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were determined before and after each diet.
Results: Both groups significantly reduced their weight, fat mass, waist circumference, fasting insulin, and HOMA-IR (p = 0.009 for ketogenic and p = 0.014 for hypocaloric), but the differences were greater in the ketogenic group. Both groups increased WBISI significantly, but only the ketogenic group increased HMW adiponectin significantly (p = 0.025).
Conclusions: The ketogenic diet revealed more pronounced improvements in weight loss and metabolic parameters than the hypocaloric diet and may be a feasible and safe alternative for children's weight loss.