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Overweight/Obese Children Lose Weight, Improve Lipid Levels in Pritikin Family Program

November 11, 2004 – The Pritikin Longevity Center announced data demonstrating dramatic results in reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, in addition to weight, among children. The data studied children aged nine to 16 who participated in the annual Family Program at the Pritikin Center in Florida. The children were tested upon entering and leaving the program. After only 13 days, these children had reduced:

    Weight by an average of nearly eight pounds,
  • Levels of LDL, the harmful cholesterol, by an average of 34.2 percent,
  • Levels of triglycerides by 42.9 percent,
  • Insulin levels dropped 31%

These data were also presented at the American Heart Association Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention in March. Dr. James Barnard, Ph.D., Professor and Researcher, Department of Physiological Science, UCLA and Research Director, Nathan Pritikin Research Foundation and Pritikin Longevity Center, said. “Scientists at that meeting told me that this was the most important research presented at the conference. It is research that America must hear to stem the rising tide of childhood obesity and save children from developing diabetes and heart disease.” The United States is now facing an epidemic of childhood diabetes; up to 45% of children with diabetes are diagnosed with Type 2, once the preserve of adults. Barnard is the author of 190 studies focusing on diet, exercise, and disease prevention.

The Pritikin Program has been acclaimed for nearly 30 years for its success in helping adults reverse the effects of obesity-related diseases and launch healthy lifestyles. Now this approach has proven its success with children. Since the Center was launched in 1975, the Pritikin Program has documented its results in more than 100 research studies. These studies demonstrate the Pritikin Program’s effectiveness in preventing and even reversing the risk of life threatening diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancers in adults. The Family Program, launched in 2003, was developed in response to growing concerns about the health of America’s youth. It is a response to the call by the American Heart Association and others that children undergo lifestyle retraining.

These data underscore a highly effective approach to reversing the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. A recent Institute Of Medicine report on childhood obesity stated that nine million children in the U.S. under the age of six are obese and pointed to cases of children as young as seven showing signs of damage to their arteries. The report called for sweeping changes in all sectors of American life to address the problem, including calling on parents to encourage their children to eat healthy foods.

“We acquire eating behaviors when we are young. If we teach kids to exercise and enjoy healthy foods early in life, they will do so later in life,” said James J. (Jay) Kenney, Ph.D., R.D., F.A.C.N.. “At Pritikin we also make it fun.” The Pritikin Eating Plan emphasizes a balanced selection of foods from all food groups, but zeroes in on foods that are high in nutrients and fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, but low in fats and calories.

Families who can’t get to the Pritikin Longevity Center can follow the plan through the Pritikin book series, including The Pritikin Principle, the Pritikin Guidebook, and the Pritikin Cookbook. These books, along with a quarterly newsletter and other information pieces are all available on the Pritikin Web site at

About The Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa:
The Pritikin Longevity Center is located at The Yacht Club at Turnberry Isle in Aventura, Florida. No other diet-and-exercise approach has been more closely studied by the scientific community or has achieved such phenomenal success. Over the past three decades, more than 100 studies have been published in key medical publications like the New England Journal of Medicine and the Archives of Internal Medicine. These studies have documented the Pritikin Program’s achievements in helping people overcome heart disease, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, adult-onset diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and even cancer. Scientists from Harvard Medical School, Stanford University, UCLA, and many other research institutions have lauded Pritikin’s effectiveness in improving people’s health and lives.

Marika Olsen
Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa

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