CHILDREN have the opportunity to take part in research by Curtin University on whether a high fibre diet can help overweight and obese children to lose weight and keep it off.
The 16-week study requires overweight but otherwise healthy children (approximately 25 – 35 BMI) aged 9 to 13 years to take a fibre supplement with no other dietary change or extra physical activity required.
Volunteers must be non-diabetics, have no thyroid disorders or serious medical problems and those who take lipid lowering medication are also ineligible for this study.
Curtin University researchers have long been studying the benefits of fibre supplementation in adults.
Previous studies coordinated by associate professor Sebely Pal from the School of Public Health found that eating a high fibre breakfast reduced blood lipids (such as triglycerides levels) by 24 per cent and increased fat burning by 10 per cent.
Now this team wants to see if consuming fibre can help overweight and obese children to lose weight.
Dr Pal said most people associate fibre with good digestion and bowel health but not with keeping weight in check.
“According to the Australian dietary guidelines, children should consume 20-24g per day of dietary fibre with good sources being fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains,” she said.
“However, most people find it difficult to eat enough high-fibre foods through their daily diet, consuming only 10 -15g of dietary fibre per day.
“A simple strategy of fibre supplementation may offer an easier solution to long-term weight loss and management, reducing the risk of developing metabolic syndrome-related conditions, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.”
To apply for your child to be part of this study, visit tinyurl.com/fibreforkids and answer the questions so the researchers can assess your child’s suitability.
For more information, call Monica on 0434 360 844, or email FibreForKids@curtin.edu.au.