Traffic Light Diet to counteract childhood obesity


Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the University at Buffalo


Leonard Epstein, PhD, chief of the division of behavioral medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences


We all know what the colors on a traffic light stand for—and that tri-color palette creates an easy-to-follow diet for overweight children. Known as the Traffic Light diet, it divides foods by the colors of a traffic signal: green for low-calorie foods that can be eaten freely; yellow for moderate-calorie foods that can be eaten occasionally; and red for high-calorie foods that should be eaten rarely. Since it was launched, pediatricians have widely used the Traffic Light Diet to encourage healthy eating habits among their patients. The key to the diet is parental involvement.