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Unless you are literally living in a cave, you will not be oblivious to the recent trend in social media that has taken over the millennials – that is, the latest diet craze, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig’s Whole30 diet program. It started with the New York Times bestseller “It Starts with Food”, followed by the official 30-day program that had recipes that appealed to the 20 and 30-somethings.
According to Ecumenical News, the program promotes healthier eating habits by cutting out certain food groups such as alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes, processed foods, sugar, and soy for a month or 30 days. It is not for the fainthearted, what with the rigid diet schedule with massive health benefits. And here begins a heightened food-affects-mood bandwagon for millennials.
In a recent interview WGN TV, the two nutritionist authors indulged in the basic concepts of the food program. Melissa outlines the four qualities of good food that people on the Whole30 program must adapt for a successful journey: “We think the food that you eat should promote a healthy psychological response. You should be in control of your food choices. We think it should promote a healthy hormonal response, so blood sugar regulation and hormonal balance. It should promote healthy digestion and not mess with the integrity of your digestive tract. And it should calm the immune system and not promote systemic inflammation.”
The Business Insider reports that it is often compared to the Paleo Diet but there are marked differences like in the restrictions to sugar. The hashtags #iamwhole30 and #whole30recipes, over 157,000 Instagram followers as of the time of this posting, and testimonials on Facebook attest that this craze is not going anywhere else anytime soon. Many of the people on the Whole30 diet claim that cravings for unhealthy food stops and fat loss is a bonus; healthy eating habits are more of the main goal. If anything, the only caveat is that some critics slam the method for cutting out whole food groups like dairy out of the equation and consider this as unhealthy or not recommended for long-term use.
WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) — In a small study of obese patients, weight-loss surgery was better at keeping type 2 diabetes at bay than diet and exercise alone, researchers report.
In fact, three years after weight-loss surgery, more than two-thirds of those who had a procedure called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass to shrink their stomach didn’t need any diabetes medications. And one-third of the people who chose a procedure called adjustable gastric banding no longer needed diabetes medications three years after surgery, the study found.
“Surgical treatments show promise for durable, longer-term, type 2 diabetes control in people with obesity,” said lead researcher Dr. Anita Courcoulas, a professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
The report was published July 1 online in JAMA Surgery.
The researchers recruited 61 obese patients with type 2 diabetes for the study. They were between the ages of 25 and 55 years old. The researchers randomly assigned the study volunteers to either an intensive weight-loss program for one year followed by a less intensive program for two years, or weight-loss surgery. Some patients had a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and others had adjustable gastric banding.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass reduces the size of the stomach to a small pouch — about the size of an egg — which reduces the amount of food you can eat. Adjustable gastric banding restricts the size of the opening to the stomach, also decreasing the amount of food you can eat.
In terms of type 2 diabetes, researchers found there was more improvement in the surgical groups than in the lifestyle-only treatment group. Forty percent of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and 29 percent of the adjustable gastric banding patients achieved complete or partial remission of their diabetes at three years, Courcoulas said. No remission was seen in the nonsurgical group.
Moreover, people who had the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass lost 25 percent of their starting weight, adjustable gastric banding patients lost 15 percent, and patients who took part only in the diet and exercise program lost just under 6 percent of their starting weight at three years, Courcoulas noted.
“Our study provides evidence that after three years, surgical treatments are better than lifestyle modification alone to treat type 2 diabetes,” Courcoulas said.
The cost of weight-loss surgery varies, but the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) estimates the cost is generally between $20,000 and $25,000. Insurance coverage for the procedure depends on the insurance company.
The risks associated with these procedures are similar to those of other surgeries. These can include bleeding, infection and blood clots that can travel to the lungs, according to NIDDK.
Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said that after these procedures patients see their diabetes go away, but over time it is likely to return.
When diabetes returns, it has to be treated. “But patients need fewer medications and are easier to treat,” he said.
Zonszein said weight-loss surgery can be particularly effective for younger obese patients for whom diabetes medications aren’t working well.
“For these young people, I do recommend bariatric surgery and we are using it more and more,” he said. “It’s not a bad choice for young people with aggressive disease.”
For middle-aged and older patients, Zonszein said he prefers to control their diabetes with medications.
For more information on weight-loss surgery, visit the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases..
SOURCES: Anita Courcoulas, M.D., M.P.H., professor, surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Joel Zonszein, M.D., director, clinical diabetes center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; July 1, 2015, JAMA Surgery
Copyright © 2015 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
DaVita Kidney Care
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers say that the only injectable weight loss drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) helps people to lose more than 12 pounds, more than twice as much as people taking a placebo.
The study is one of several that the FDA considered before approving the drug in 2014. It included data on 3,731 patients who were randomly assigned to take liraglutide or a placebo for just over a year. The trial continued to follow the patients for another year, and that data will be published soon.
Liraglutide is similar to an already approved drug to treat type 2 diabetes, but is used in higher doses for weight loss. The drug mimics the effects of a hormone that works in the gut to signal the brain that you’ve eaten enough and feel full. As a diabetes drug, it helps the beta cells in the pancreas release insulin to keep blood sugar levels in check. In the NEJM study, none of the patients had diabetes, although some were pre-diabetic, and the FDA says liraglutide for weight loss should not be used together with the diabetes drug, also made by Novo Nordisk.
According to the study’s lead author, Dr. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, director of the obesity research center at Columbia University, liraglutide works as well as phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia), which doctors believe works by suppressing appetite. They key to making any weight loss medication effective, he says, is combining it with diet and exercise changes as well, which is what the participants in the study did. One advantage of liraglutide is that it can be used by women in their child-bearing years.
So far, the side effects of litaglutide, which include nausea, diarrhea, gall bladder abnormalities and pancreatitis, were minimal and did not outweigh the benefits of weight loss. But in approving the drug, the FDA asked the company to continue to study the drug to ensure that the adverse events remain within an acceptable range.
Last night, shirtless pictures of former Senator Scott Brown appeared in my inbox.
He sent them.
In one, he stood sunburned on the beach, his belly protruding over his khaki shorts and his arm around his sarong-wrapped wife, Gail. In another, he stared down at ripped, tanned abs, dressed in nothing but American flag-printed swim trunks and sneakers.
“Olivia … Thanks for emailing me about your interest in Advocare,” the message began.
Founded in 1993 by Charles E. Ragus, an insurance salesman who had worked for Herbalife, a nutrition company which may or may not be a Ponzi scheme, AdvoCare is a “wellness” brand that “Builds Champions ®” and is “backed by the latest science,” according to its website. Ragus died in 2001, at 58. His obituary doesn’t cite a cause.
AdvoCare products, just like Herbalife, are not available for purchase in traditional stores, which is why they are successful: the goods are given to “independent Distributors” who then sell them to people that they know, and if they recruit other people to hawk the products, they make a commission on their sales. This is technically called “multi-level marketing” but you may call it a gigantic scam.
I had not, in fact, emailed Brown about my “interest in Advocare.” I had contacted him to request an interview about his diet after he took to Facebook last week to tell the world about it.
On June 25, Brown wrote to his 300,000 fans (?) to “answer a few questions that people have had about my recent weight loss.” He explained that he and Gail realized they had gained weight and they decided to embark on a diet together. Luckily for them, Brown said, their son-in-law “turned me onto a product called Advocare,” which he claimed “guaranteed” a 15-pound weight loss in 24 days.
Brown claimed he liked that it was “all natural” and only cost him “pretty short money, about $180 in total.”
Brown says the products helped him lose 42 pounds. He included two photos as proof: the same sunburned ‘before’ picture, which appeared in my email, and a different ‘after’ photo: sinewy and tan in tight Spandex workout clothes, a triathlon medal around his neck and his thumb raised.
He encouraged people to talk to him about healthy living at [email protected].
It was not supposed to end this way for Scott Brown, emailing strangers pictures of his pecs and waxing poetic about diet supplements.
Brown rose to prominence in 2010, when he defied the odds of his long-shot Republican candidacy and won the special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat vacated by the death of Teddy Kennedy. Brown went from unknown to instant star, due almost entirely to the fact that, in 1982, he won Cosmopolitan‘s “America’s Sexiest Man” competition and posed nude in the June issue.
But Brown’s Senate career would not last. In 2012, he was ousted by Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Two years later, he ran for the Senate again—except this time, from New Hampshire. Dogged by charges of carpetbagging, he was narrowly defeated.
And now he’s in my inbox and who knows how many other inboxes without a shirt.
“I am here to help you get started,” Brown’s email read. “As you can see from my story and pictures, these products from Advocare really do work.”
Brown went on to say that “as a fitness advocate” (he’s competed in half a dozen triathlons) “I am very skeptical about many products out there,” but his son-in-law, Keith, “used Advocare products through his 8 year professional baseball career” and that was enough to convince him to jeopardize his well-being for vanity.
“If you’re ready to get your health back on track,” Brown said, “allow Keith and me to get you signed up today!”
Brown is offering me the following: “20-40% off products” if I become an AdvoCare distributor; “Nutrition and Fitness guidance to maximize your results”; and “product regimens to help you reach your goals.”
In the comment section of Brown’s Facebook post, he wrote, “FYI I’m not a paid spokesman for them. Neither is Gail,” and in a separate post, two hours after the initial post, he reiterated, “Just as an update which I put out as a comment on the original post, neither Gail nor I are paid spokesrepresentatives for Advocare [sic].” He added, “Some of you have to relax a little bit. Go for a nice bike ride or something. Ha.”
I emailed both the gmail account Brown provided on his Facebook as well as his personal email address to ask if he or his son-in-law are profiting in any way from his advertisements. He didn’t respond.
A request for comment from AdvoCare was similarly ignored.
On AdvoCare’s website, there is a list of over 100 magic ingredients, few of them in English, that will allegedly make you look like the after photo of Scott Brown. They call it a “nutrient glossary,” and it includes things like Vitamin D, Niacin, and something called Beta-phenyl-Gamma-aminobutyric acid “(GABA) (phenibut).” In 2008, swimmer Jessica Hardy was forced to resign from the U.S. Olympic Team after she tested positive for clenbuterol, a performance-enhancing drug. She blamed AdvoCare, saying she was unaware the substance was used in their products.
Reviews of AdvoCare seem to be overwhelmingly negative. On Amazon, where you can purchase the 24 Day Challenge that allegedly worked wonders for Brown for $179, users report itching, swelling, rashes, uncontrollable shaking, headaches, constipation, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, blurred vision—and subsequent ER visits.
I asked Brown if he had ever experienced any side effects while taking the product, and he responded, “Not at all I’ve been taking the products with Advocare for 10 years and they have treated me great. Thanks.”
10 years? On Facebook and in his email advertisement, Brown said he had been introduced to the products recently and they are what caused his weight loss.
“Keith has been taking them for 10 years through his baseball career,” Brown said when I told him his response didn’t match the rest of his story. “He turned them on to me a few months ago. Thanks.”