Following one of these 3 eating patterns can make your child healthier

1 in 5 children are struggling with obesity

What to know about child obesity and eating patterns.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital released a study that compared the benefits of three different types of diets for children who are obese.

“We studied 9 to 18-year-olds who were at the greater than 95th percentile for their body mass index (BMI), which is the definition of obesity,” Dr. Michael Macknin said. “We studied them and one of their parents and randomly assigned them to one of three healthy eating patterns. Either the Mediterranean diet, the American Heart Association diet, or a plant-based diet.”

The study indicated that all three diets had similar results in improving a child’s health. It included significant decreases in weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. The risk for heart disease declined as well.

Read: Study: These 3 healthy eating patterns can improve child obesity, overall health

What else did researchers discover?

The child didn’t have to be perfect in how they consumed the food. The average compliance with the diets was just 55% to 65% throughout the year-long study. Still, researchers saw impressive changes.

“We encourage everybody to follow these principles that are common to all healthy eating patterns,” Macknin said. “Eat lots of fruits and vegetables of a variety of sources and then also have whole grains, and when you eat protein, make it a healthy protein. Don’t eat too much red meat or processed meat.”

While children often get pegged as “picky eaters,” the study actually found that the kids had an easier time adapting to the new diets than their parents, highlighting the importance of introducing these healthy habits while kids are young.

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About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.