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

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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 drlauraberman.com.

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Diet Doc Weight Loss Solutions Fights Fatigue by Adding Vitamin B12 to their …

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DietDoc – HCG Diet Doctors

Diet Doc Weight Loss are experts at making dieters feel fantastic while losing rapid weight safely

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) April 24, 2012

Diet Doc’s hCG formula is enhanced with vitamin B12, also known as the “energy vitamin.” Their program combines a well-balanced diet that emphasizes vegetable, protein and essential supplements in their diet plan.

Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG), known to aid in quick weight loss, is a hormone found in pregnant women in their first trimester. It was originally used and approved by the FDA to treat infertility by inducing ovulation in women and stimulate production of testosterone in men. In the 1950’s, Dr. Simeons found in his weight loss trial that the use of daily injections of the hormone suppressed his patients’ appetite enough for them to take in only 500 calories a day. Thus, a new diet was born appropriately named the Simeons protocol.

Diet Doc has since updated this highly controversial diet with more “realistic” elements like a well-balanced diet with double the calorie intake of the original Simeons Protocol. They’ve even enhanced their formula with vitamin B12, an essential vitamin known for many benefits such as encouraging the healthy production of red blood cells to converting carbohydrates into energy. Statistics suggest that as much as 40% of people in the USA are B12 deficient.1

Recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 as suggested by the Food and Nutrition Board2

Diet Doc’s version of the hCG Diet has proven to be successful with real-life testimonials written on their current website hcgtreatments.com. Men and women of various ages who have lost anywhere from 15 to over 100 pounds submitted their hCG

1. Gubb, Andrew. “B12 Deficiency.” andrewgubb.com. 10 November 2010. http://


2. Diet experience to encourage others who want a quick and seemingly effective weight loss solution.

With the success of their program, Diet Doc is now offering a line of products from weight loss shakes and bars to pre-made hCG meals. Their growing company is in the running to become one of the top contenders in the ever-growing weight-loss market and they seem to have found their needed niche.

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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.”


Follow Susan Montoya Bryan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/susanmbryanNM

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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 healthylifechallenge.org 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.”

Massachusetts-funded program caregiver program benefits area families

Arlene Daniels said that she and her mother Catherine would have ended up in a nursing home, if it wasn’t for a state-funded caregiver program that has allowed them to stay in their house.

“It’s great because I really wouldn’t want to go into a nursing home,” said Arlene Daniels, 71, who has numerous health problems. “I have my family here and everything. They wouldn’t have to go out and see me in a nursing home. It’s a lot more comfortable setting. It’s better.”

Through the company Caregiver Homes, Sandra Daniels provides 24-hour care of her sister Arlene and their mother, who is 94. Sandra Daniels said that when her mother initially became ill it forced her into an early retirement, but since becoming their caregiver through the Caregiver Homes adult foster care program funded by MassHealth, a financial burden was taken off her back.

Shannon Bettencourt, a Caregiver Homes social worker for the Daniels family, said that 50 percent of the money her company gets for each client goes to the caregiver, typically a family member, for a daily stipend. The company says that on an annual basis, payments to caregivers can range between approximately $15,000 and $18,000, with rates varying across the state, dependent upon the difficulty of the client’s needs.

“I just told myself I never wanted my mother in a nursing home,” she said. “This is a godsend. I took an early retirement when I was 62 to take care of her because I didn’t want her to go into a nursing home. So financially it’s been a big help. Our daily stipend allows us a bit of income for them.”

The company has 48 clients in its Attleboro area, which includes Taunton, and 1,400 throughout the state. Along with seniors, it serves children as young as 16, and eligible clients have a range of conditions, including autism, cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s and dementia, just to name a few.

Every month, Bettencourt and a nurse, in this case a man named Allen Castro, visit the Daniels to see how they are doing, and to monitor diet and medications. But the Caregiver Homes program emphasizes a daily report that the caregiver is required to file with the company, which is reviewed by nurses and other staff.

Castro said that if he spots anything concerning or different in the daily notes, the company immediately follows up and works with medical professionals to make sure the patients get the treatment that they need.

“We’re kind of like another set of eyes and ears,” Castro said. “Unfortunately, when they have to go to the hospital we are able to communicate with other medical professionals about what is going on with them.”

Castro said that he and case managers like Bettencourt also help with other non-medical problems that may come up. Bettencourt recalled one instance in which patients didn’t have a needed handicap ramp, resulting in Caregiver Homes coordinating for one to be installed, along with another set of patients who had problems with clutter in the home that needed to be cleaned up.

“There are so many different things we are able to help with,” she said.

Carol Carnell, who is a roommate with the Daniels family and serves as an alternate caregiver when Sandra is not available, said that it’s a great system.

“This has helped them keep their family together,” Carnell said. “They get to live in a family atmosphere and they are well cared for and looked after. The Caregiver Homes give us a lot of emotional support. They are not just our social workers, they are our friends.”

Bettencourt said that working with families like the Daniels is “very rewarding.” Bettencourt said that she and others who work with Daniels group of ladies have given them the nickname, “The Golden Girls,” after the sitcom featuring four sharp, humorous older women who lived together in Miami.

“It’s a funny look joke we have,” she said. “We love our Golden Girls.”

Email Marc Larocque at [email protected]

‘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.

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