A new study published in the December issue of Pediatrics says overweight adolescents between the ages of 10-15 can lose a considerable of weight if they substitute the high calorie, low nutrient snacks they typically eat with peanuts or peanut butter along with a fruit or vegetable.
The study, “Weight Loss in Overweight Mexican American Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial” found that children typically skip school lunch and only eat a high calorie snack provided by the school. However, if schools start to provide healthy snacks these adolescents tend to lose weight.
“We know that afternoon is one of the most vulnerable periods for weight management. To address this issue, we provided peanuts or peanut butter with a fruit or vegetable as a healthy, nutrient dense alternative”, said Dr. John Foreyt, Director of the Behavioral Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and principal investigator of the study.
The researchers used peanuts and peanut butter in the children’s weight loss program because peanuts were well-liked among the students and peanuts are known to keep people fuller longer. The adolescents in the study lost weight over a 3 month period of time and were able to keep the weight off for six months.