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When a group of overweight girls was allowed to enjoy desserts that were low in sugar and fat four times per week, they lost significantly more weight than their peers who were instructed to have one weekly dessert of their choosing, according to researchers at Athens University School of Medicine.
The scientists tested their theory on a group of 29 girls aged 10 to 14 whose body mass index (BMI) was in the 85th percentile or higher. They ate diets that were made up of 45 percent carbohydrate, 35 percent fat and 20 percent protein, with half of the participants having regular, healthy dessert and the remainder indulging in occasional splurges.
The researchers found that the girls in the healthy dessert group not only lost more body fat than their indulgent counterparts, but also experienced lowered blood pressure.
"Childhood obesity is pandemic, and dietary changes among overweight and obese children must be a priority," said lead author Antonia Dastamani, M.D., Ph.D. "Desserts with a low glycemic index and glycemic load, when eaten in moderation, are valuable tools in the treatment of pediatric obesity."