Very low calorie diets safe for teens with obesity when monitored by a dietitian, say researchers

Short-term very low calorie diets are safe for teenagers with moderate to severe obesity when closely monitored by an experienced dietitian, according to new research. These diets, which typically involve consuming ≤ 800 calories per day with meal replacements to ensure essential nutrient requirements are met, can be an acceptable way for adolescents to lose weight. Although side effects such as headache, fatigue, and muscle cramps were common, most participants completed the diet and experienced an average weight loss of 5.5kg. The study suggests that professionally monitored very low calorie diets could be a viable option for adolescents with severe obesity and related complications.

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