Archive for » April 24th, 2012«

A feeding tube is now a bride’s best friend? – Chicago Sun


April 24, 2012 11:15AM

Hospitalized With Feeding Tube

Updated: April 24, 2012 11:30AM

Wedding season is upon us, but instead of happily planning their big day, many brides-to-be are desperately trying to shed pounds before walking down the aisle. Some brides are so desperate, in fact, that they are abandoning actual food.

How? With the latest trend: the feeding tube diet.

Also known as the K-E Diet, the feeding tube diet requires brides to refrain from eating for 10 days. Instead, they are fed 800 carb-free calories each day via a feeding tube. (The cost is around $1,500).

Although it sounds like something out of a “Saturday Night Live” skit, the feeding tube diet is quite real. It’s growing popular with brides in the United States, Europe and beyond. These days, it isn’t enough for women to simply hit the gym or order salad dressing on the side. To attain the ideal body that they see featured everywhere from magazines to sitcoms, even the average woman will go beyond the pale to lose weight, even if it means going to work with a feeding tube in her nose.

Another recent news story also shines a light on the numerous issues women have with their bodies. Sexy stars Maria Menounos, Debra Messing, Taraji P. Henson and Heidi Klum posed nude in the latest issue of Allure magazine. The stars stripped off more than just their clothes, they also came clean about their body image issues and how they have grappled with feeling comfortable in their own skin. 

While it’s hard to imagine that these beautiful women are shamed into dieting and hating their own bodies, it’s also indicative of the problem as a whole. Certainly the average woman probably would kill to have a supermodel frame, but that doesn’t mean that supermodels are free of body hatred. And being skinny isn’t a free pass either, as these women are often told they are too skinny, too tall, too flat-chested, etc.

Where can we place the blame? While the fashion industry often is accused of encouraging unhealthy body ideals for women (and men), the truth is that we all play a role in creating these drastic and dangerous weight loss goals. We all want a perfect body and some people will do anything to get it. For many women, dieting is an internal blood sport, and sadly it is a game that no one ever wins. And, while the brides-to-be on the feeding tube do lose weight, most of them gain it all back on their honeymoon and then some.

More importantly, instead of being happy and excited while planning their big day, these women are voluntarily spending their pre-wedding days attached to a feeding tube. And, while these brides are ostensibly losing weight to look great in their dress and blow their grooms away, I think most men would much rather prefer a healthy, happy bride over one who is pale and wan touting a tube up her nose. Sure, the wedding pictures might last a lifetime, but the wedding memories will last a lifetime as well. Is it worth losing 10 pounds to look back at your wedding only to remember the fatigue, embarrassment and doctor’s visits leading up to the event?

While the feeding tube diet is extreme, I hope it serves as a wake-up call for women everywhere across the country. Most of us wouldn’t opt for this diet, but we do participate in other body-shaming behavior. We skip meals and turn down dinner invitations with our friends, only to miss out on good times with our loved ones in an attempt to have a so-called perfect body. 

We have to release ourselves from these unrealistic ideals that even supermodels can’t achieve without an airbrush. And, more importantly, we have to support each other and take ownership of our own insecurities. It’s not about him. He likes the curves you loathe. It’s about us. And only we have the power to change our attitudes.


Dr. Berman is the star of “In The Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman” on OWN and director of

N.M. shelter puts 39-pound cat on a diet – Sarasota Herald

The 2-year-old orange and white tabby tips the scale at nearly 40 pounds, and the Santa Fe Animal Shelter is on a mission to get the feline back into shape.

Meow’s 87-year-old owner could no longer take care of him, so the pet was turned over to a shelter in southeastern New Mexico that called the Santa Fe shelter for help.

“The thing with this cat is when you look at it, certainly it’s obese. You see that. But it’s a sweet looking cat. His face is very sweet. It’s just incredibly fat,” shelter spokesman Ben Swan said Friday.

Meow has been placed with a foster family. He’ll be on a special diet so he can start shedding some pounds. The goal is for him to lose at least 10 pounds so he can be put up for adoption.

The shelter plans to post updates on Meow’s weight loss on its Facebook page.

It’s not clear how the feline was able to gain so much weight in just two years. Adult cats typically weigh between seven and 12 pounds.

“If you go online, you’ll see a lot of fat cats and these are people who have fed them just one thing, like meat or something that’s not nutritionally balanced,” Swan said. “Then the cat refuses to eat anything else and then they just get fatter and fatter and fatter.”

Meow has one thing going for him. He’s not the fattest cat out there.

That record belongs to Himmy, a tabby from Australia that weighed almost 47 pounds. The shelter said Guinness World Records has since stopped accepting applications for the record over concerns it would encourage people to overfeed their animals.

In Meow’s case, the shelter is awaiting blood test results to make sure he doesn’t have any additional health problems.

Shelter veterinarian Jennifer Steketee said the idea is for Meow to gradually lose weight by eating a special diet. He has already lost a couple of pounds since being turned in.

Steketee said the dangers of feline obesity are not much different than they are for humans — extra pressure on the heart and joints.

Swan said all the extra weight makes it tough for Meow to play. He had little interest in the super-sized toy mouse the shelter gave him when he first arrived and he couldn’t squeeze much more than his head into the carpeted ring attached to the shelter’s scratching post.

“He’s very sweet. He’s doing everything a normal cat would do except he loses his breath and tires easily,” Swan said. “We’re seeing what we can to do help him.”


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Springfield, Bethel schools gobble fruits, veg for $1000 prize – The Register

It’s “turnabout is fair play” time at the Bethel and Springfield school districts.

Usually, it’s teachers and staff who are keeping students in line. But when it comes to healthy eating for the next few weeks, it will be up to the younger set to keep tabs on their elders.

They’ll be watching to see how many times the grown-ups choose apples or carrots for an afternoon snack instead of cookies or potato chips. And the pressure will be on for the adults to perform, because whichever elementary, middle and high school in the two districts gobbles up the most fruits and vegetables by May 11 will win $1,000 to support wellness programs in their schools.

The idea for the Healthy Life Schools Challenge came from PacificSource Health Plans, the health insurance company that covers employees in both school districts.

“We launched this wellness program because we’re very committed to public awareness of the health benefits of eating well,” PacificSource spokeswoman Alexa Shook said. “A program like this one benefits not only people who are covered by our insurance plans but the larger community, and that’s very important to us. So we’re asking teachers and staff in these schools to model good eating behavior by replacing at least one high-calorie snack each day with a healthy one.”

PacificSource and the school districts kicked off the contest last week with an assembly at Yolanda Elementary School in Springfield. Laura Pavlat, wellness coordinator for the Springfield School District, said everyone seemed gung ho.

“The kids will be asking their teachers to eat fruit and vegetables, and we also want the teachers to encourage the kids to do it at the same time,” Pavlat said. “PacificSource will be delivering boxes of fruits and vegetables to the schools every week, and that will be another reminder to students and staff to keep it up.”

For four weeks, teachers and staff members will use online charts to enter their individual food choices, and there will be another chart on the website at so everyone can see how the contest is progressing, she said. If everyone takes the challenge, as many as 1,600 people in the two school districts could participate.

PacificSource offered free biometric screenings — blood pressure, blood glucose and body mass index — to participants at the beginning of the challenge and will repeat them at the end.

“In just four weeks, most people’s numbers may not change all that much, but if they really stick to it, they might be able to show the students that eating healthy foods really can help,” Shook said.

Several fourth-grade classes — seven in Springfield and two in Bethel — also are taking part in another PacificSource nutrition wellness program called “Veggie U,” she said. “We give the schools kits with seeds, grow lights, worms and soil, and they start their own gardens at the same time that they study about healthy eating and the benefits of fruits and vegetables in the diet.”

It’s been a very popular program — it teaches health education and agriculture in one class. Doing that along with the fruit-and-vegetable challenge is another good way to encourage children to try new, healthy foods, as well as teach them that they can grow some of these foods for themselves and their families.”

As for how the three winning schools might spend their $1,000 prizes, Pavlat said it depends on their individual needs, but health-and-fitness equipment is a good guess.

“I could see them maybe using the money to purchase new gym equipment, because in this economic situation many schools don’t have good equipment,” she said.

“But they have to have a plan. It can only be used to benefit wellness of students or staff.”

‘Healthy’ Foods that Really Aren’t: Nutritionists Weigh In

The video is brutal: a young man, pinned face down in four-point restraints, receiving 31 electric shocks over the course of several hours that convulse his body with pain. But this is not Guantánamo or Syria.

‘Diet-glasses’ helps you lose weight: study

They say one’s eyes are bigger than one’s stomach.

Maybe that’s the reason why some Japanese researchers are experimenting with a pair of “diet-glasses.”

The spectacles make you feel fuller simply by making your food look bigger according to Michitaka Hirose, one of the professors behind the small study.

A camera and viewing system are built into the glasses. As you bring your hand towards your mouth, the camera captures an image and after processing it on an attached computer, replays it back through the glasses but with a different size, Rocket24 reported via the Japanese news site Yomiuri Shinbun.

The size of the forkful you are about to eat is altered but your hand is kept at its normal size, therefore  tricking your brain into thinking you’re eating more than you really are.

During the study of 12 men and women in their twenties to thirties were asked to eat as many cookies as they could, stopping only when they felt full.  The participants who wore the glasses reportedly ate 9.3 % less  than those who didn’t wear them. T

The glasses may also work in the opposite way by making the food look smaller.

Why fad diets don’t work


Have you ever followed a fad diet?

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Ask any nutritionist, dietitian or health professional whether fad diets work, and I’m picking you’ll get the same answer.

Our obsession with our weight and appearance – which, in the interest of honesty and transparency, I’d have to admit is fuelled, on some level, by me and my fitness colleagues – is seemingly without end.

Far from abating, this obsession is gathering even more momentum, if our constant ambushing by the-latest-weight-loss-trend-taking-Hollywood-by-storm is anything to go by.

So where oh where did the disconnect take place between the abundant agreement in the community that fad diets don’t work and our voracious appetite for their latest incarnation?

And I don’t use the word “ambush” glibly, either. Recently my Twitter account was hacked by an American company desperately trying to flog a slimming product that had, predictably, taken Hollywood by storm (yawn).

It boasted “the most powerful fat-fighting formula in the entire world”. Not in my world, I’m afraid – but, unfortunately, quite clearly in the world of a lot of other people.

Otherwise the fad-diet manufacturers wouldn’t be spending money advertising their products – and hacking into Twitter accounts.

But there is a catch: fad diets do work. Sort of. Most of them stick to a basic formula that goes like this: the diet severely restricts your daily kilojoule intake but provides enough glucose to keep your most vital organ functioning: your brain.

Your body responds by tucking into stored energy reserves (enter FAT) to keep itself going.

But, in a masterstroke of evolutionary genius, because our muscles largely determine how much energy we need, our body also chews into our muscles to supplement the shortfall.

This way, it reduces the future demand for energy because, by putting yourself on a diet, you’ve just told it there is no more food coming, and that it needs to set itself up to survive in the future on the new, reduced number of kilojoules available.

But that was a big fib, you see, because you always knew you were only going to diet for 10 days, and you had scurrilously misinformed your body by launching into the Diet To End All Diets.

So when you go back to normal eating, your body breathes a sigh of relief and replaces the fat and fluids – but not the muscle.

So your reduced muscle content makes your body a less efficient kilojoule-burning machine, and you end up weighing more than when you started dieting. Sound familiar?

Michelle’s Tip

Don’t let yourself get sucked in by diets that promise the world. If it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

-Daily Life

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I’ve never done a fad diet of any kind for the simple reason there isn’t a vegetarian one. Im a very strict vegetarian. All meat substitutes I’ve seen mentioned (if they mention any at all) is usually omelets or cheese. Nz doesn’t know that ‘normal’ cheese here is not vegetarian.

I also did WW in 2009 and lost 24 kgs in 10 months and have kept 20 of it off. Would def recommend.

Agree with thumbs up – WW is no way a ‘fad diet’. It promotes healthy eating, with healthy exercise (as opposed to hard out workouts – not always the best way to go!) I lost 22 kgs on WW, in 3 mths, and gained muscle, just by sticking to the plan and with the ‘walk around the block’ exercise method – and kept weight off and muscle tone on for 15 years – unfortunately a change in lifestyle meant I lost focus, and age doesn’t help just fyi…. so am back on ww now to see if I can lose something similar again. (Although I’ve added gym this time, as like I said, age is a handicap!)
So I reckon go WW every time!

@ Mandy – WW promotes exercise as part of their ProPoints programme. It might have been an older programme that you were on; certainly the latest one encourages high intensity exercise, not just as part of maintenance when you reach goal, but as a means of reaching goal along with healthy food choices. Absolutely recommend the WW programme.

Far from being a ‘fad diet’ but I did (successfully) do Weight Watchers. 26kgs down, but with major muscle lost it made me curb my active lifestyle. Knowing what I know now I’d plant it firmly in the ‘fad’ diet catagory – without that exercise component you pile the weight back on. Exercise is the only thing that helps me maintain a healthy weight. Not a stroll around the block as per WW, but a full on workout.