Feeding tube diet: does it work and is it safe?
The latest diet scheme causing a major stir in the media this week is the K-E Diet (short for Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition), which promises to help you drop weight quickly by being fed through a feeding tube. But is it safe?
American actress Ashley Judd, recently in the news for having "puffy face", tweeted on April 14: "Insane, abusive, sad: There is a company now offering brides pre-wedding crash diet feeding tubes to appear more culturally acceptable."
The extreme diet was created by Florida-based Dr Oliver Di Pietro, who claims the procedure is perfectly safe - with a few side effects such as bad breath and dizziness - and has been available in Europe for years. According to the procedure's pitch, dieters have a small nasogastric tube inserted into the nose to their stomachs. Through the tube, dieters are fed a carb-free mixture of protein, fat, and water, adding up to only 800 calories a day.
Does it work? Simply put, yes. "It doesn't matter if it's through a tube, a straw, a meal plan," Dr. Scott Shikora, the director of the Centre for Metabolic Health and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, told the New York Times. "They all work, if someone goes from 3000 calories a day to 800."
But the K-E diet is even more harmful and less long-lasting than even other popular "starvation diets" of fewer than 1000 calories a day — far below standard recommended weight-loss diets, said Suzy Weems, Ph.D., at Baylor University in the US in a statement.
"It seems very extreme because of its potential for infections and irritation," Weems said. "It seems to be illogical to do this for one fairy-tale day when most brides have plenty of time before their weddings to lose weight in a healthy way. The long-term solution to maintain a good weight is eat right and exercise."
What's more, healthier diets provide "more energy for intimacy", she added.
Below is a video of Dr Oliver Di Pietro taking us through the K-E diet:
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