Endocrine and metabolic consequences due to restrictive carbohydrate diets in children with type 1 diabetes: An illustrative case series

Pediatr Diabetes. 2018 Feb;19(1):129-137. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12527. Epub 2017 Apr 11.


Low carbohydrate diets for the management of type 1 diabetes have been popularised by social media. The promotion of a low carbohydrate diet in lay media is in contrast to published pediatric diabetes guidelines that endorse a balanced diet from a variety of foods for optimal growth and development in children with type 1 diabetes. This can be a source of conflict in clinical practice. We describe a series of 6 cases where adoption of a low carbohydrate diet in children impacted growth and cardiovascular risk factors with potential long-term sequelae. These cases support current clinical guidelines for children with diabetes that promote a diet where total energy intake is derived from balanced macronutrient sources.

Keywords: carbohydrate; children; growth; nutrition; type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diet therapy*
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male