The modified Atkins diet in children with Prader-Willi syndrome

Grace Felix, Grace Felix, Eric Kossoff, Bobbie Barron, Caitlin Krekel, Elizabeth Getzoff Testa, Ann Scheimann, Ann Scheimann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is the most common genetic cause of obesity. Various dietary strategies have been used for weight management for people with PWS. Methods: This was a clinical feasibility study to test the use of the Modified Atkins Diet (low carbohydrate and high fat) for children with PWS ages 6-12 years who were overweight/obese. Participants went on the Modified Atkins Diet for 4 months and then returned to have anthropometry repeated including repeat labs and behavior questionnaires. Results: Seven children (ages 6-12) were enrolled in the study. Four participants completed the 4-month diet trial; two were unable to comply with the diet and stopped prematurely. One patient lost 2.9 kg; the others maintained their weight. Adverse effects were increases in LDL (expected based on larger studies) and hypercalciuria (with no renal stones) for one patient. Positive effects on hyperphagia and behavior were noted subjectively by families. Conclusion: The Modified Atkins Diet can be a feasible low carbohydrate option for children with Prader-Willi Syndrome for weight management. Long-term use of the diet in patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome needs to be studied further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number135
JournalOrphanet journal of rare diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 3 2020


  • Diet
  • Ketogenic
  • Low-carbohydrate diet
  • Obesity
  • Pediatric obesity
  • Prader-Willi syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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