Odds and Ends

      116 Comments on Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends from the news and reader emails:

The tube diet

Here’s a novel idea for losing weight rapidly:  drip some protein and fat into your stomach through a tube in your nose.  Apparently this is now popular among brides-to-be who want to walk down the aisle wearing a dress they’ll never fit into again.

The K-E diet, which boasts promises of shedding 20 pounds in 10 days, is an increasingly popular alternative to ordinary calorie-counting programs. The program has dieters inserting a feeding tube into their nose that runs to the stomach. They’re fed a constant slow drip of protein and fat, mixed with water, which contains zero carbohydrates and totals 800 calories a day. Body fat is burned off through a process called ketosis, which leaves muscle intact, Dr. Oliver Di Pietro of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., said.

“It is a hunger-free, effective way of dieting,” Di Pietro said. “Within a few hours your hunger and appetite go away completely, so patients are actually not hungry at all for the whole 10 days. That’s what is so amazing about this diet.”

I have to admit, I’m curious as to why they’re not hungry on 800 calories per day.  Sure, a ketogenic diet can suppress appetite to an extent, but those are semi-starvation rations.  Is it because they don’t smell or taste the food?  Would they be hungrier if they consumed 800 calories of fried eggs instead?

Di Pietro says patients are under a doctor’s supervision, although they’re not hospitalized during the dieting process. Instead, they carry the food solution with them, in a bag, like a purse, keeping the tube in their nose for 10 days straight. Di Pietro says there are few side effects.

Maybe having a tube up your nose for 10 days is an appetite suppressant.  I’d try some self-experimentation with that, but people at work already think I’m odd because I eat sandwiches with no bread.

“The main side effects are bad breath; there is some constipation because there is no fiber in the food,” he said.

“William, do you take this malodorous, constipated woman to be your bride, to have and to hold her, to love and respect her, forsaking all others, until death do you part?”

“Uhhh …”

“William?  WILLIAM!”

Scientists are freakin’ liars

I occasionally receive emails from people who were offended by the “scientists are freakin’ liars” line in my Science For Smart People speech.  Those emails usually include some variation on Who are you to say scientists are liars?  Huh?  Huh?

I’m a guy who can read, that’s who.  Check out this article from the New York Times:

In the fall of 2010, Dr. Ferric C. Fang made an unsettling discovery. Dr. Fang, who is editor in chief of the journal Infection and Immunity, found that one of his authors had doctored several papers. It was a new experience for him. “Prior to that time,” he said in an interview, “Infection and Immunity had only retracted nine articles over a 40-year period.”

The journal wound up retracting six of the papers from the author, Naoki Mori of the University of the Ryukyus in Japan. And it soon became clear that Infection and Immunity was hardly the only victim of Dr. Mori’s misconduct. Since then, other scientific journals have retracted two dozen of his papers, according to the watchdog blog Retraction Watch.

Oh, well.  Probably just one bad apple.

Dr. Fang became curious how far the rot extended. To find out, he teamed up with a fellow editor at the journal, Dr. Arturo Casadevall of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. And before long they reached a troubling conclusion: not only that retractions were rising at an alarming rate, but that retractions were just a manifestation of a much more profound problem — “a symptom of a dysfunctional scientific climate,” as Dr. Fang put it.

Dr. Casadevall, now editor in chief of the journal mBio, said he feared that science had turned into a winner-take-all game with perverse incentives that lead scientists to cut corners and, in some cases, commit acts of misconduct.

In other words …

No one claims that science was ever free of misconduct or bad research … But critics like Dr. Fang and Dr. Casadevall argue that science has changed in some worrying ways in recent decades — especially biomedical research, which consumes a larger and larger share of government science spending.

In October 2011, for example, the journal Nature reported that published retractions had increased tenfold over the past decade, while the number of published papers had increased by just 44 percent. In 2010 The Journal of Medical Ethics published a study finding the new raft of recent retractions was a mix of misconduct and honest scientific mistakes.

Do we have more  bad scientists now than before?  I don’t think so.  The article gives a possible explanation for the 10-fold rise in retractions that I believe has rather a lot to do with it:

Several factors are at play here, scientists say. One may be that because journals are now online, bad papers are simply reaching a wider audience, making it more likely that errors will be spotted.

Indeed, it’s not just other scientists busting bad science anymore.  The so-called “pajamas media” has gotten involved as well.

But other forces are more pernicious. To survive professionally, scientists feel the need to publish as many papers as possible, and to get them into high-profile journals. And sometimes they cut corners or even commit misconduct to get there.

To measure this claim, Dr. Fang and Dr. Casadevall looked at the rate of retractions in 17 journals from 2001 to 2010 and compared it with the journals’ “impact factor,” a score based on how often their papers are cited by scientists. The higher a journal’s impact factor, the two editors found, the higher its retraction rate.

So it’s the journals most cited by other scientists that are most likely to publish bad science.  Or it could be that those journals, because they are more prestigious, feel the most pressure to issue a retraction.

Either way, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

They’re not fat because they don’t have access to vegetables

One of recommendations listed in the 2010 USDA’s Dietary Goals report was to make fresh fruits and vegetables more available in poor neighborhoods – in other words, they want politicians to take your money and use it to subsidize fresh produce and the people who sell it.  Because ya know, if only we could get more broccoli and carrots into poor neighborhoods, poor people wouldn’t have such high rates of obesity.

Recent studies disagree:

It has become an article of faith among some policy makers and advocates, including Michelle Obama, that poor urban neighborhoods are food deserts, bereft of fresh fruits and vegetables.

But two new studies have found something unexpected. Such neighborhoods not only have more fast food restaurants and convenience stores than more affluent ones, but more grocery stores, supermarkets and full-service restaurants, too. And there is no relationship between the type of food being sold in a neighborhood and obesity among its children and adolescents.

Even if we’re talking about neighborhoods where there truly aren’t as many vegetables being sold, people get the causality backwards.  The local residents aren’t fat because they don’t have access to vegetables.  The vegetables aren’t available because people don’t buy them.

Some experts say these new findings raise questions about the effectiveness of efforts to combat the obesity epidemic simply by improving access to healthy foods. Despite campaigns to get Americans to exercise more and eat healthier foods, obesity rates have not budged over the past decade, according to recently released federal data.

Duh.  That’s largely because the government’s definition of “healthy foods” is all screwed up.  Nothing wrong with fruits and vegetables, of course, but as long as they keep pushing low-fat diets based on breads, cereals and pasta, they can open a subsidized vegetable stand next to every poor person’s residence in the country and it won’t make any difference.

Advocates have long called for more supermarkets in poor neighborhoods and questioned the quality of the food that is available. And Mrs. Obama has made elimination of food deserts an element of her broader campaign against childhood obesity, Let’s Move, winning praise from Democrats and even some Republicans, and denunciations from conservative commentators and bloggers who have cited it as yet another example of the nanny state.

Speaking in October on the South Side of Chicago, she said that in too many neighborhoods “if people want to buy a head of lettuce or salad or some fruit for their kid’s lunch, they have to take two or three buses, maybe pay for a taxicab, in order to do it.”

Here’s what people like Mrs. Obama can’t seem to grasp:  if enough people in those neighborhoods wanted lettuce and fruit in their kids’ lunches, plenty of greedy capitalists would happily move in to sell them.  In a previous post, I wrote about a chain of stores that tried selling 15-cent bags of apple slices in a poor neighborhood.  The apple slices had to be thrown away because they didn’t sell.

Mrs. Obama has also advocated getting schools to serve healthier lunches and communities to build more playgrounds.

Her office referred questions about the food deserts issue to the Department of Agriculture. A spokesman there, Justin DeJong, said by e-mail that fighting obesity requires “a comprehensive response.”

No problem then.  The government’s on the job and planning a comprehensive response.  That of course means a really expensive and ultimately futile response.

Farm News:  Guineas Gone

Well, we knew we’d make a few mistakes when we took up farming.  The result of our first mistake is that our guinea fowl are all gone.

Once they’d grown considerably and seemed determined to fly around the basement, we decided to move them out to chicken coop.  The theory was they’d bond with the chickens for awhile and get to considering the area their home, then we’d let them free-range.

They free-ranged, all right.  On Sunday we took the girls to see a Sondheim musical at a theater in downtown Franklin.  When we returned home, seven of the guineas were already out and about.  The girls tried to chase them down, which of course merely inspired them to flee.  For a couple of days, they hung around our property, usually waddling around in a pack.  They seemed fond of the creek, so we hoped they’d stick around.

Nope.  We haven’t seen them in two days now.  The other three wandered off as well.  The coop has a fence around it and a big net covering the fence so hawks don’t swoop down and fly away with our chickens, but there are gaps large enough for a determined bird to get out.

We’ll try again after making the area more escape-proof.

The Ace

This has nothing to do with diets, health, fitness or farming, but I feel the need to report it anyway:  I finally got a hole-in-one on my frisbee golf course.  The disc sailed towards the basket about 200 feet away, looked as if it would miss high and to the right, then faded left, hit the chains, and dropped into the basket.  I let out a self-congratulatory war whoop.

Unfortunately, I was out there playing by myself.  You get a hole-in-one, you want a witness.  Since I didn’t have one, I’m telling all of you.


If you enjoy my posts, please consider a small donation to the Fat Head Kids GoFundMe campaign.
Share

116 thoughts on “Odds and Ends

  1. shums

    I know someone who has the same constipation issue on low carb. It isn’t that they have nothing to poop. It is just that it is dry and hard. Sorry to have to explain that but I wanted to just say that constipation isn’t lack of. It is lack of being able to move it. I know the response will be that there must be something else going on there and I/they would agree. The question is what is it? Do some people get this and how do they solve it?

    I’ve heard various suggestions:

    Eat more green vegetables.
    Eat almonds (high in fiber).
    Eat raspberries, blackberries or strawberries (ditto).
    Eat some coconut oil or MTC oil.
    Take a magnesium supplement before bed.

  2. johnny

    Are the tube brides feeding constantly; through rehearsals, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, bridal gown fittings? Would it not be awkward to taste the wedding menu while feeding with the tube?

    I agree poor people should eat more vegetables and should be nudged towards them. I propose substituting food stamps with cans of vegetables.

    I think that will turn into a case of you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

  3. Jenny

    Dysfunctional scientific climate — do they make a pill for that yet?

    They will soon enough.

  4. Peter

    Will NYTimes trumpet K-E feeding tube as standard cure for obesity instead of bariatric surgery (stomach stapling)? K-E has no mortality risk, cheaper( $1.5K vs $15-$25K for surgery), and is reversible.

    Sure, I’d take it over surgery anytime.

  5. Marilyn

    You have to admit — the tube diet is a lot less damaging than bariatric surgery, though the whole idea is incredibly gross.

  6. Janknitz

    I think it is hard for people of low income to access fresh fruits and vegetables. When you can get an entire meal at McDonalds for what a head of lettuce costs, guess what happens?

    That said, I have to agree that subsidizing fruits and vegetables to make them more available won’t necessarily work. We live in a bubble. We make a meal from scratch and sit down with our children EVERY NIGHT for dinner. My eldest, in one of her teenaged rants, even had the gall to complain about how horrible we were making her life by making her sit down and eat dinner with us every night when all her friends got to eat fast food or takeout pizza instead.

    I think that this generation of people (we’re considerably older than the parents of most of our kids’ friends) doesn’t really cook. They get take out. Maybe they cook on holidays, but judging from the sales of “pre-fab” meals at grocery stores, I doubt that, too. It’s so cheap and easy to take out. Nothing to clean up (if you don’t count the mountain of waste that puts in our landfills).

    So the veggies and fruit could be dirt cheap in the stores, and I doubt people would buy it anyway.

    We used to eat out once or twice a month–at a sit down restuarant (like Applebees). But our dining budget was slashed with the economy, and I’m glad of it–that wasn’t healthy food. I feel proud when we put a meal on the table that we’ve made ourselves–at one point I even baked all of our family’s bread (another rant my daughter had!). It feels good to put healthy and frugal food on the table, and despite my daughter’s rants, I think we have a pretty strong family because of it.

    We’re down to eating out once per week. That usually becomes my high-calorie, higher-carb meal for the week as well.

  7. Jenny

    Hey, Tom…. raise your baby guineas WITH your baby chicks in the chicken coop. Otherwise, the guineas will never bond with chickens. I love my guineas…they eat ticks!

    Too late, unfortunately. The chickens are already getting pretty big.

  8. Galina L.

    Tom, to tell you the truth, most of what I saw didn’t look pretty, so don’t plan a gender-change surgery for the carrier in lingerie department. It was not a boring job for sure, I never knew in advance who would come, and people are fun to watch. I still remember some strange cases like a hippy women way in her 50-s who came to buy her first bra in life because she was obviously uncomfortable, but also concerned that wearing bra was associated with some “loss of freedom”. I grew-up without a hippy exposure, and such encounters were really educational. Speaking about wrong areas to gain or lose fat, one of the customers, a middle-aged women with absolutely perfect body, complained that after a massive liposuction if some fat gain occurred, most of it went to her face which made her a very motivated maintainer. Prices we pay while seeking perfection!

    So if she isn’t careful, she becomes a fat head?

  9. Galina L.

    When I just came to live in the USA, I worked for a while in a department store in order to became more fluent in English. My working place was in an underwear department as a bra-fitter. I saw many ladies with hard to solve problems, some unusual cases. One of saddest ones was the bride who came to buy a lingerie for her honeymoon. She had just lost 20 lb on a crash diet and her breasts became completely flat and floppy like deflated balloons. It looked like there were very little tissue inside the skin, it hang till her waist and no available tricks to deal with body imperfections could hide such condition. Not a happy bride!

    Sounds as if she lost weight in the wrong areas.

    If I pretend to be an immigrant, can I get one of those bra-fitter jobs?

  10. Galina L.

    I was listening on the radio today some local discussion on NPR about improving assess to fresh produce for people who are poor and about fighting hunger in general. I was in my car driving to the local natural food store to buy some grass-fed liver, pastured eggs and also to pick-up some free grass-fed fat which over-wise would be thrown into a garbage bin. I render it, add to meat when I grind it, cut it in cubes, add salt and garlic and use when prepare scrambled eggs. The amount of food being thrown away is unbelievable here. Organ meats are ridiculously cheap, but no one seems to notice. People were calling to the show complaining about the cost of food, expensive cereals and their hard life which prevented them from cooking. It felt surreal, like they lived in a different universe. Or may be I am a spoiled bitch.

    If you read newspaper articles from 100 years ago all the way up until today, you’d find complaining about the high cost of food (and everything else) has been going on forever. Human nature, I guess.

  11. Sean

    “But other forces are more pernicious. To survive professionally, scientists feel the need to publish as many papers as possible, and to get them into high-profile journals. And sometimes they cut corners or even commit misconduct to get there”

    I believe an economist once said, ‘Incentives matter.’

    I believe at least two economists have pointed that out.

  12. Galina L.

    Tom, to tell you the truth, most of what I saw didn’t look pretty, so don’t plan a gender-change surgery for the carrier in lingerie department. It was not a boring job for sure, I never knew in advance who would come, and people are fun to watch. I still remember some strange cases like a hippy women way in her 50-s who came to buy her first bra in life because she was obviously uncomfortable, but also concerned that wearing bra was associated with some “loss of freedom”. I grew-up without a hippy exposure, and such encounters were really educational. Speaking about wrong areas to gain or lose fat, one of the customers, a middle-aged women with absolutely perfect body, complained that after a massive liposuction if some fat gain occurred, most of it went to her face which made her a very motivated maintainer. Prices we pay while seeking perfection!

    So if she isn’t careful, she becomes a fat head?

  13. Galina L.

    I was listening on the radio today some local discussion on NPR about improving assess to fresh produce for people who are poor and about fighting hunger in general. I was in my car driving to the local natural food store to buy some grass-fed liver, pastured eggs and also to pick-up some free grass-fed fat which over-wise would be thrown into a garbage bin. I render it, add to meat when I grind it, cut it in cubes, add salt and garlic and use when prepare scrambled eggs. The amount of food being thrown away is unbelievable here. Organ meats are ridiculously cheap, but no one seems to notice. People were calling to the show complaining about the cost of food, expensive cereals and their hard life which prevented them from cooking. It felt surreal, like they lived in a different universe. Or may be I am a spoiled bitch.

    If you read newspaper articles from 100 years ago all the way up until today, you’d find complaining about the high cost of food (and everything else) has been going on forever. Human nature, I guess.

  14. Sean

    “But other forces are more pernicious. To survive professionally, scientists feel the need to publish as many papers as possible, and to get them into high-profile journals. And sometimes they cut corners or even commit misconduct to get there”

    I believe an economist once said, ‘Incentives matter.’

    I believe at least two economists have pointed that out.

  15. Firebird7478

    I recall the pilot for TV’s “Wonder Woman”, which was set in the 1940s (they updated it to the present at that time — early 1970s). There was a scene where someone was complaining that a good steak dinner at that time (1940s) cost $2.50.

    Until everything is free, someone will always complain that prices are too high.

  16. Firebird7478

    I recall the pilot for TV’s “Wonder Woman”, which was set in the 1940s (they updated it to the present at that time — early 1970s). There was a scene where someone was complaining that a good steak dinner at that time (1940s) cost $2.50.

    Until everything is free, someone will always complain that prices are too high.

  17. Jennifer Snow

    @Janknitz WHERE are you buying your LETTUCE?

    Last time I ate at McDonalds (back when I was still eating fries and buns and drinking soda), it’d cost ~$6-10 for a meal that’d fill me up (for an hour or two). At my grocery store, live heads of artisan lettuce packed in special plastic boxes cost around $2.99. You can get an entire box of organic “herb mix” salad (not just lettuce, but all kinds of colorful and flavorful plants) for $3.99

    And lettuce has pretty low nutritional value, anyway. Most vegetables are low in macronutrients (fat, protein, carboydrates). You can get all your vitamins and trace nutrients eating bone marrow and liver.

    Poor people don’t need vegetables. They need fewer carbs and more OFFAL.

  18. Jennifer Snow

    @Janknitz WHERE are you buying your LETTUCE?

    Last time I ate at McDonalds (back when I was still eating fries and buns and drinking soda), it’d cost ~$6-10 for a meal that’d fill me up (for an hour or two). At my grocery store, live heads of artisan lettuce packed in special plastic boxes cost around $2.99. You can get an entire box of organic “herb mix” salad (not just lettuce, but all kinds of colorful and flavorful plants) for $3.99

    And lettuce has pretty low nutritional value, anyway. Most vegetables are low in macronutrients (fat, protein, carboydrates). You can get all your vitamins and trace nutrients eating bone marrow and liver.

    Poor people don’t need vegetables. They need fewer carbs and more OFFAL.

  19. Erik

    News is storytelling, and a good story requires conflict. Here’s how financial reporting works: if the price of a product is high, you poke a microphone in the face of a consumer of that product, and they tell you how they can’t make ends meet, etc. I the price of a product is too low, then you poke a microphone in the face of a producer and they tell you how they can’t make ends meet, etc.

    You never turn on the news and see someone say “I paid 79 cents for a box of paper clips the other day, and that seems just about right.”

    Exactly what one of my professors told us when I was studying journalism in college. Conflict, triumphs, unusual circumstances, man bites dog — those are the “newsworthy” stories. I believe he said something like “nobody cares about the cats who weren’t stuck in a tree.”

  20. Erik

    News is storytelling, and a good story requires conflict. Here’s how financial reporting works: if the price of a product is high, you poke a microphone in the face of a consumer of that product, and they tell you how they can’t make ends meet, etc. I the price of a product is too low, then you poke a microphone in the face of a producer and they tell you how they can’t make ends meet, etc.

    You never turn on the news and see someone say “I paid 79 cents for a box of paper clips the other day, and that seems just about right.”

    Exactly what one of my professors told us when I was studying journalism in college. Conflict, triumphs, unusual circumstances, man bites dog — those are the “newsworthy” stories. I believe he said something like “nobody cares about the cats who weren’t stuck in a tree.”

  21. Galina L.

    Jennifer is right “Poor people don’t need vegetables. They need fewer carbs and more OFFAL.” Poor people eat junk and complain it is expensive, according to what I see. There are a lot of immigrants coming here mostly because life in USA is much easier than in other places. If some people are unable to survive in America, their children are hungry and phone line gets disconnected, they are not a survival material. I wish to be able to see how they would fire somewhere else.

  22. TheFatNurseRN

    “Dr. Di Pietro charges $1,500 for the 10-day plan, and says the before-and-after pictures sell themselves.”

    Geez $1500 dollars!? Once this starts trending more I wonder if we’ll start seeing more NG tubes missing from hospital inventories. Why not just eat a paleo or atkins type diet instead of having it fed like that? That wedding cake must taste so good after tho!

    I hope she doesn’t go into sugar-shock.

  23. Galina L.

    Jennifer is right “Poor people don’t need vegetables. They need fewer carbs and more OFFAL.” Poor people eat junk and complain it is expensive, according to what I see. There are a lot of immigrants coming here mostly because life in USA is much easier than in other places. If some people are unable to survive in America, their children are hungry and phone line gets disconnected, they are not a survival material. I wish to be able to see how they would fire somewhere else.

  24. TheFatNurseRN

    “Dr. Di Pietro charges $1,500 for the 10-day plan, and says the before-and-after pictures sell themselves.”

    Geez $1500 dollars!? Once this starts trending more I wonder if we’ll start seeing more NG tubes missing from hospital inventories. Why not just eat a paleo or atkins type diet instead of having it fed like that? That wedding cake must taste so good after tho!

    I hope she doesn’t go into sugar-shock.

  25. bigmyc

    Nowhereman, leave it to FOX, the “Fairly Challenged News Network.” But seriously, this type of CW is, unfortunately, bound to hang around for a while on any news agenda.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see a spin attempt from FOX to re-vilify saturated fat in the effort to promote, “good old, patriotic hydrogenated oils”..you know, since American industry basically invented the hydrogenation process..at least when it comes to cooking and baking goods.

    I’m still surprised when fairly learned people show their understanding of heart disease to be how “saturated fat precipitates out of the blood and onto the artery walls.”

    I’ve seen the same old anti-fat nonsense on all the networks.

  26. bigmyc

    Nowhereman, leave it to FOX, the “Fairly Challenged News Network.” But seriously, this type of CW is, unfortunately, bound to hang around for a while on any news agenda.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see a spin attempt from FOX to re-vilify saturated fat in the effort to promote, “good old, patriotic hydrogenated oils”..you know, since American industry basically invented the hydrogenation process..at least when it comes to cooking and baking goods.

    I’m still surprised when fairly learned people show their understanding of heart disease to be how “saturated fat precipitates out of the blood and onto the artery walls.”

    I’ve seen the same old anti-fat nonsense on all the networks.

  27. Sabine

    Congratulations on your hole-in-one, Tom!

    I believe that the woman doing this K-E diet are not hungry. When I did the Atkins Fat Fast (1000 calories, 90% fat, 10% protein) my appetite was completely suppressed. Bored out of my mind, but any desire to eat came from wanting flavor or something to chew, not hunger.

    With that much fat, I can see where you wouldn’t be hungry.

  28. Dan

    Got a big smile from your post. Especially the hole-in-one part at the end. I’m still looking for my first, but having no-one there to see it is my biggest fear. Not because I need someone to think I’m great. Just because every time it comes up I’m going to hear “PPffffft” and “Yeah, right” and “The way you play?” and “I’ll believe it when I see it” and “Tell us another one” from everyone in the general vicinity. Good grief. At least you didn’t get struck by lightning, like in Caddyshack. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8A3M-d_eIqo

    Loved that scene.

  29. Megan

    Regarding the tube diet – I agree that I can’t think of much worse and it seems very extreme. But…I have have just finished a 4 month ketogenic diet which allowed me around 600 cals per day. I was not hungry beyond the first 2 days. It was high in protein, medium in fats and very low in carbs (about 50grams a day). The food was pre-prepared and contained all required nutrients and I was able to break my associations with certain foods (sugar in particular). Of course, I lost a huge amount (around 45 pounds) and I am now at a healthy weight.
    While cutting carbs only might have been enough to achieve the same weight loss, the low calorie part of the diet has to have helped. it was short term and not unhealthy. Now I am adding “normal foods” back into my diet. My carb level is up to about 80 grams and I think it will stay at that level. I now eat plenty of protein and fat and have no fear of those foods. In addition my sugar addiction is cured and I am happy to eat no sugars at all.
    While low calorie diets are a means to an end – they do work and should not be dismissed out of hand. The right approach is to treat it as a holiday from food while you get to grips with your demons. For me it has worked. Time will tell, but I feel very confident.
    BTW I have not ended up with an eating disorder, brittle bones, a heart defect or any of the other problems people associate with low calorie intake. All I have is a renewed appreciation for great food and a healthy lifestyle

    My concern with long-term semi-starvation diets is that they can suppress the metabolism. As a temporary treatment, a low-calorie diet can be useful.

  30. Sabine

    Congratulations on your hole-in-one, Tom!

    I believe that the woman doing this K-E diet are not hungry. When I did the Atkins Fat Fast (1000 calories, 90% fat, 10% protein) my appetite was completely suppressed. Bored out of my mind, but any desire to eat came from wanting flavor or something to chew, not hunger.

    With that much fat, I can see where you wouldn’t be hungry.

  31. Janknitz

    Maybe I just haven’t been to McDonalds in a long time! ;o) Last time I was in one you could get a lot of “food” for under $2 with a big soda, too.

    I don’t argue with the offal point, but getting people who are so used to packaged and processed “food” products to eat nutrient dense liver or marrow probably is not going to happen while a bunless burger and real veggies might.

  32. Dan

    Got a big smile from your post. Especially the hole-in-one part at the end. I’m still looking for my first, but having no-one there to see it is my biggest fear. Not because I need someone to think I’m great. Just because every time it comes up I’m going to hear “PPffffft” and “Yeah, right” and “The way you play?” and “I’ll believe it when I see it” and “Tell us another one” from everyone in the general vicinity. Good grief. At least you didn’t get struck by lightning, like in Caddyshack. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8A3M-d_eIqo

    Loved that scene.

  33. Megan

    Regarding the tube diet – I agree that I can’t think of much worse and it seems very extreme. But…I have have just finished a 4 month ketogenic diet which allowed me around 600 cals per day. I was not hungry beyond the first 2 days. It was high in protein, medium in fats and very low in carbs (about 50grams a day). The food was pre-prepared and contained all required nutrients and I was able to break my associations with certain foods (sugar in particular). Of course, I lost a huge amount (around 45 pounds) and I am now at a healthy weight.
    While cutting carbs only might have been enough to achieve the same weight loss, the low calorie part of the diet has to have helped. it was short term and not unhealthy. Now I am adding “normal foods” back into my diet. My carb level is up to about 80 grams and I think it will stay at that level. I now eat plenty of protein and fat and have no fear of those foods. In addition my sugar addiction is cured and I am happy to eat no sugars at all.
    While low calorie diets are a means to an end – they do work and should not be dismissed out of hand. The right approach is to treat it as a holiday from food while you get to grips with your demons. For me it has worked. Time will tell, but I feel very confident.
    BTW I have not ended up with an eating disorder, brittle bones, a heart defect or any of the other problems people associate with low calorie intake. All I have is a renewed appreciation for great food and a healthy lifestyle

    My concern with long-term semi-starvation diets is that they can suppress the metabolism. As a temporary treatment, a low-calorie diet can be useful.

  34. Greg H

    What cost $2.50 in 1940 would cost $38.44 in 2010 (inflation).

    That would be an expensive steak.

  35. Janknitz

    Maybe I just haven’t been to McDonalds in a long time! ;o) Last time I was in one you could get a lot of “food” for under $2 with a big soda, too.

    I don’t argue with the offal point, but getting people who are so used to packaged and processed “food” products to eat nutrient dense liver or marrow probably is not going to happen while a bunless burger and real veggies might.

  36. Greg H

    What cost $2.50 in 1940 would cost $38.44 in 2010 (inflation).

    That would be an expensive steak.

  37. Michele

    Did you see this article? Hungary is withhold certain, more expensive, treatment to diabetics who fail their blood tests, assuming they are not sticking to their diets. I wonder what diet diabetics in Hungary are told to stick to?

    Yeesh, I’ll bet an awful lot of those people are exactly what they’re told: grains, bread, fruit, etc.

  38. Gilana

    I live in the inner city and you are right. What is sold here is what people want to buy. And besides the fast food places, there is a smaller supermarket a couple blocks from me and a large supermarket if I want to hike just a bit more. The little convenience store sells bananas and oranges, because the owner has found that people will buy them. In either supermarket I can get both fresh and frozen produce. I can’t get the world’s greatest variety, but I can get the basics and there are some ethnic items. When I asked the smaller supermarket manager what happened to the bags of frozen cauliflower, he told me, “I promise we’ll have it for you on Monday.” He didn’t. It took him until Wednesday, I think. But the store managers know what sells. What is always on sale? Breakfast cereal, wrapped snack cakes, canned spaghetti, rice, vegetable/corn oil, soda, usually a boxed pasta, and every week there is a major ice cream sale. Up here, anyway, it is not lack of access.

    Indeed, if there were more of a demand for produce, there would be more of a supply. Store owners survive by selling what people want.

  39. Michele

    Did you see this article? Hungary is withhold certain, more expensive, treatment to diabetics who fail their blood tests, assuming they are not sticking to their diets. I wonder what diet diabetics in Hungary are told to stick to?

    Yeesh, I’ll bet an awful lot of those people are exactly what they’re told: grains, bread, fruit, etc.

  40. Gilana

    I live in the inner city and you are right. What is sold here is what people want to buy. And besides the fast food places, there is a smaller supermarket a couple blocks from me and a large supermarket if I want to hike just a bit more. The little convenience store sells bananas and oranges, because the owner has found that people will buy them. In either supermarket I can get both fresh and frozen produce. I can’t get the world’s greatest variety, but I can get the basics and there are some ethnic items. When I asked the smaller supermarket manager what happened to the bags of frozen cauliflower, he told me, “I promise we’ll have it for you on Monday.” He didn’t. It took him until Wednesday, I think. But the store managers know what sells. What is always on sale? Breakfast cereal, wrapped snack cakes, canned spaghetti, rice, vegetable/corn oil, soda, usually a boxed pasta, and every week there is a major ice cream sale. Up here, anyway, it is not lack of access.

    Indeed, if there were more of a demand for produce, there would be more of a supply. Store owners survive by selling what people want.

  41. James A. Donald

    If Seth is correct, total non exposure to flavor, total non exposure to the smell and taste of food, combined with a moderate amount of actual food so that you are only semi starving, rather than really starving, is likely to suppress appetite.

    Add some metamucil to the liquid to avoid constipation, and teensy bit of carbohydrate so as to reduce, but not eliminate, the ketosis, and I think it would work pretty well. Titrate the carbohydrate against ketosis, to go for low ketosis.

  42. Marla

    My brother is a professor in the sciences and believe me the money is flowing into research. Imagine someone handing you a quarter to a million dollars every couple of years, for you to spend at your own discretion. All you have to do is publish a couple pages at the end. These people live like high income earners, flying around the world to conferences and meetings, buying all the latest high tech equipment and gadgets – all on the taxpayers. I’ve been hearing talk lately of the “university bubble” and this is just part of that. It’s much bigger than bad scientific results, it’s the same old lack of responsibility when spending other peoples money.

  43. James A. Donald

    If Seth is correct, total non exposure to flavor, total non exposure to the smell and taste of food, combined with a moderate amount of actual food so that you are only semi starving, rather than really starving, is likely to suppress appetite.

    Add some metamucil to the liquid to avoid constipation, and teensy bit of carbohydrate so as to reduce, but not eliminate, the ketosis, and I think it would work pretty well. Titrate the carbohydrate against ketosis, to go for low ketosis.

Comments are closed.