neo-neocon » Blog Archive » What we don't know about obesity …

The New England Journal of Medicine has published an article that sounds both interesting and brave, about obesity’s myths vs. what we actually know.

I write “sounds” because the article itself is behind a firewall, and I’ve only read this NY Times piece describing it. But it’s a rare thing for a medical article to try to explode the common “wisdoms” about obesity that are not based on much of anything except some correlations.

Here’s the gist of the article:

MYTHS

Small things make a big difference. Walking a mile a day can lead to a loss of more than 50 pounds in five years.

Set a realistic goal to lose a modest amount.

People who are too ambitious will get frustrated and give up.

You have to be mentally ready to diet or you will never succeed.

Slow and steady is the way to lose. If you lose weight too fast you will lose less in the long run.

Ideas not yet proven TRUE OR FALSE

Diet and exercise habits in childhood set the stage for the rest of life.

Add lots of fruits and vegetables to your diet to lose weight or not gain as much.

Yo-yo diets lead to increased death rates.

People who snack gain weight and get fat.

If you add bike paths, jogging trails, sidewalks and parks, people will not be as fat.

FACTS — GOOD EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT

Heredity is important but is not destiny.

Exercise helps with weight maintenance.

Weight loss is greater with programs that provide meals.

Some prescription drugs help with weight loss and maintenance.

Weight-loss surgery in appropriate patients can lead to long-term weight loss, less diabetes and a lower death rate.

Personally, I’ve long been impressed by how much garbage is out there about weight loss. My own observations?

(1) There’s a difference between overweight and obesity, and it’s not even clear that the first has negative health consequences.

(2) The path to overweight and/or obesity is different for different people, and there is no universal remedy.

(3) In fact, remedies are very difficult to come by, and it’s not because of some moral weakness or lack of willpower in overweight people. Losing weight and keeping it off is very, very hard for most overweight or obese people.

(4) Nevertheless, it’s easier for men than for women, and for young people than for the middle-aged. This is for physiological, not psychological, reasons.

(5) Many people who are overweight do not eat more than many thin people, or exercise less.

Bioethics Forum blog

Since the 1960s, obesity has become one of the most significant health problems in industrialized nations. In the U.S., the percentage of obese adults increased from 13 percent in the 1960s to 32 percent in 2004. According to some estimates, 41 percent of U.S. adults will be obese by 2015 and 75 percent will be overweight or obese. The U.S. spends on an estimated $150 billion annually in health care costs attributable to obesity – more than it spends on smoking-related illnesses. Obesity is primarily a lifestyle disease resulting from excessive caloric intake and inadequate physical activity, though genetics plays a role in food metabolism, fat storage, and the tendency to overeat.

Responding to the obesity epidemic presents a conundrum for policymakers because many of the strategies designed to address obesity conflict with deeply held moral values and legal protections, as Daniel Callahan argued in his article in the Hastings Center Report. For example, banning certain types of foods, such as artificial trans-fatty acids, restricts the freedom to decide what one eats and can undermine cultural traditions associated with food. Many people object to paternalistic government control over the human diet, such as New York City’s rule prohibiting restaurants, movie theaters, and other businesses from selling sugared drinks in portions larger than 16 ounces.

Taxes on foods tend to be regressive because economically disadvantaged people spend a higher percentage of their income on food than economically well-to-do people. Food taxes can be regarded as unfair because they have a disproportionate impact on individuals who are already economically disadvantaged.  Regulating food advertisements that are not inherently deceptive may conflict with legal protections for freedom of speech. 

Many of the government strategies for dealing with the obesity epidemic that focus on controlling diet are not well-supported by the evidence. Although studies have shown that restrictions on portion sizes can impact caloric intake, it is not known how consumers and businesses will respond to New York City’s rules concerning the size of sugared soft drinks.  Consumers might take in the same amount of sugared drinks or total calories, and businesses might circumvent the ban by offering free refills or other discounts. The impact of taxes on soft drinks is also uncertain. Economic models indicate that taxes on soft drinks may have only a marginal impact on obesity, because soft drinks represent a small percentage of caloric intake (7% or less) and taxes that are not so high as to be regressive will have only a minimal impact on consumer behavior.

The specter of a slippery slope toward increased government control over the human diet looms large in any attempt to ban, regulate, or tax specific foods or portion sizes. If the government can ban trans-fatty acids, for example, the door is open for banning other types of foods, such as processed meats, sugared drinks, potato chips, and donuts.  Strategies that deal with role of the built environment in the obesity epidemic are well-supported by the evidence and do not raise troubling concerns about paternalistic interference with the human diet or regressive taxation. The built environment includes structures humans have created for housing, business, industry, recreation, education, and transportation, such as roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, open areas, single-family homes, apartments, office buildings, schools, and shopping malls. Governments can impact the built environment through zoning ordinances, urban planning, annexation rules, housing codes, and construction of roads and parks.

 A systematic review, published last year in the American Journal of Public Health, of 169 studies examining the relationship between the built environment and physical activity or obesity found that 89.2% of those studies demonstrated statistical associations between the built environment and physical activity or obesity. Aspects of the built environment associated with increased physical activity or reduced obesity included parks, sidewalks, trails, recreational facilities, school playgrounds, and traffic safety.  All of the studies included in these reviews were observational and did not involve controlled experiments to determine the effectiveness of interventions in the built environment. To enhance our understanding of the role of the built environment in physical activity and obesity, it is important to conduct experimental studies, such as controlled clinical trials of environmental interventions. 

Some may object to government efforts to shape the built environment that restrict property rights of landowners, builders and developers, but these restrictions can be justified as necessary to promote important government aims, such as the promotion of public health and safety. Building codes can be justified to protect people from harms resulting from poorly constructed or designed buildings. Requiring that a home have a sidewalk in front of it is no different, in principle, from requiring that it have railing on entrance steps higher than 30 inches, since both measures are designed to protect or promote human health. A zoning law that promotes the development of schools and businesses within walking distance of homes is no different, in principle, from a law that prohibits factories from being built near schools. 

While it is still important for policymakers to consider strategies for addressing the obesity epidemic that focus on caloric intake, strategies that focus on making the built environment more conducive to physical activity should be given a high priority because they do not restrict freedom in objectionable ways or constitute regressive taxation. Instead of limiting or controlling choices, they enhance one’s ability to make healthier choices: a person can choose to walk to work, enjoy a park, or take the stairs instead of the elevator, even when they are not required to do so.    

David B. Resnik, JD, PhD, is a bioethicist at the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences. This article is the work product of an employee or group of employees of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH).  However, the statements, opinions or conclusions contained therein do not necessarily represent the statements, opinions or conclusions of NIEHS, NIH, or the United States government. 

What does Cinderella have in common with carbs?

Ask nutritionist Dr Ramesh Bijlani. 25 years of research makes him the man to go to for answers on how to eat right

While researchers across the world bring you grim new data about how modern-day eaters are doomed to suffer ill How To Exercise Horse In The Heat .com/topic/health”>health, a gentleman in Delhi, who has spent a quarter of a century researching nutrition, says it’s lucky if you are Indian. Eating a healthy diet is simple for us, claims Dr Ramesh Bijlani, because a traditional desi meal meets most nutritional requirements, if current research findings are anything to go by. Moderation, not monasticsm, is key. “Intolerable dos and don’ts about foods are impressive, but not desirable,” says the expert, who is out with his latest book, Eating Wisely and Well
(Rupa Publications).

Bijlani takes on four questions most of us are itching to get answered:

Why do you compare carbohydrates with Cinderella?
About 70 per cent of the energy content of an Indian diet comes from carbohydrates. Yet, they are often looked down on, as if they are a necessary evil. Affluent Indians often declare with an air of superiority, ‘I eat no carbs’, little realising that if that’s the case, they are following a poor diet. The science of nutrition can safely assert that if 70 per cent of one’s energy comes from carbohydrates, it is an indicator of a healthy diet. Dietary carbohydrates can either contain starches (complex carbohydrates) or sugars (simple carbohydrates). The principal sources of starch are cereals, pulses, potatoes and bananas.

Cereals and pulses are a package deal. They provide not only carbohydrates but protein, too, a small quantity (but an important type) of fat, some vitamins, minerals and so on. So, eating cereals and pulses automatically ensures a supply of several other nutrients, which the body needs. In contrast, sugar is 100 per cent carbohydrate. For once, such purity is not desirable; it is better to consume carbohydrates ‘contaminated’ with protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.

New studies throw up contradicting data each day. How does one figure how much water to drink?
We need just enough water to balance loss through urine and sweat. The water requirement of an adult may vary from one to five litres a day. There are two indicators to how much water to drink — thirst, and the colour of urine. If we depend only on thirst, we might drink just enough water, but just enough is not good enough; a little more is always better. The colour of urine can guide us towards that. If we drink enough water to ensure that the urine is colourless, not yellow, the water intake is just right.

Dilute urine prevents kidney stones and infection. Stones are born as tiny crystals, and this crystallisation is less likely to occur if the urine is diluted. Germs also need food material to grow on, and therefore, grow more easily in concentrated urine.

Why is re-using heated oil a bad idea?
Heating changes the oil physically and chemically. Physically, the viscosity of the oil is altered. Chemically, it may acquire carcinogenic substances. This is more likely if the oil also contains suspended food particles, which may get burnt during cooking to produce carcinogens. That’s why oil left over after frying should not be used repeatedly. Oil left over after one cycle of frying should be used by adding to a vegetable or dal. Among the commonly used vegetable oils, the one that stands heat best is coconut oil.

What’s the hype over antioxidants?
Drawing energy from food involves a process similar to burning wood. Wood burns with the help of oxygen. The process involved in the release of energy is called oxidation. Oxidation has an unpleasant by-product — highly reactive chemical entities (called free radicals, or reactive oxygen species) that can cause damage to the cells in the body. To prevent this damage, we have two antioxidant mechanisms. One is in-built, and the other is sourced from diet. A few examples of non-traditional nutrients with antioxidant activity are resveratrol and flavonoids in grapes and tea; lycopene in tomatoes and watermelons; lutein in carrots, corn, and yellow fruits; and allyl sulphides in onion and garlic.

Best time to have water
1. Water dilutes the digestive juices. So, drinking water during meals weakens digestion. If you must, make sure it’s no more than one glass. But it also helps rinse the mouth between morsels, letting you enjoy the unmixed taste of each dish.
2. Drinking water before a meal fills up the tummy, making sure you eat less. This might help you lose weight.
3. Consuming water after a meal serves as a partial mouthwash, helping keep the teeth healthy.

mirrorfeedback@indiatimes.com

How To Exercise Horse In The Heat

“Eat millet and steer clear of disease”

Overdependence on rice and wheat accelerates spread of urban ailments into the hinterland

To hundreds of women gathered at the Tamukkam Auditorium, it was a message that brought cheer. When the chairperson of Kalanjiam, a confederation of women’s self-help groups, Chinnapillai, recommended the consumption of millet on a daily basis, they cheered. Millet is the staple diet in many households.

The message was ‘boycott junk food; go back to small millets.’ The women and children had assembled at the Tamukkam Ground at the culmination of ‘Walkathon 2013,’ organised by Dhan Foundation with the theme — ‘Food security through agricultural biodiversity: relevance of small millets.’

Outside the venue were posters carrying information on the nutritious value of each variety of small millets such as ‘kezhvaragu’ (ragi) and ‘panivaragu’ (common millet).

Their samples were kept on display. Several speakers, including Lakshmikanthan of Vayalaga Iyakkam, explained how consumption of small millets controlled the spread of diabetes, high and low blood pressure, and anaemia. Exclusion of ‘God’s grain,’ the small millets, and overdependence on rice and wheat had accelerated the spread of urban ailments into the hinterland.

Palanichamy, the convenor of Walkathon 2013, showcased the potential of small millets to prevent malnutrition among women and children.

Pandiammal from Peraiyur recalled how food made from small millets provided them with the strength and stamina to labour in agricultural fields from dawn to dusk. The absence of millet in the daily diet was sending people to hospital, she noted.

M. P. Vasimalai, Executive Director, Dhan Foundation, speaking on the sidelines of the meet, said that the objective of organising the walkathon in 26 district headquarters in five States was to promote agricultural biodiversity through small millets. T

he Dhan Foundation had come out with a 10-point strategy to encourage cultivation of rain-fed millet. The strategy includes creation of farm ponds, preservation of oorunis (used for drinking water) and kanmais (used for irrigation) and development of orchards and seed farms.

Food processing centres to come out with value-added products such as cookies using small millets would be started in Peraiyur in Madurai district, and Anjatti and Javvadu Hills in Krishnagiri district. Research conducted by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University showed that millets facilitated slow release of sucrose and glucose and helped in controlling diabetes.

They also had high nutritional value, he said.

The walkathon of women self-help groups and students began at the Mariamman Teppakulam. A group of differently abled persons participated in it from Gandhi Memorial Museum to the Tamukkam Ground. Prizes were given away to winners of drawing and essay competitions on agricultural biodiversity conducted for school students.

Allergies, asthma in kids linked to junk food: extensive study

An extensive study that included data from some 500,000 children, in 51 countries, resulted in a strong statistical link between eating more fast food and a 39 percent higher prevalence of asthma in teenagers. Children of the ages 6 and 7 who were in the highest fast food intake category of three or more servings per week were found to have a 27 percent increased risk by the vast study published in the medical journal Thorax on January 14.

Researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand found that those who ate more than three servings of foods such as burgers, fries and pizza a week had more severe allergic disease symptoms like wheezing (Asthma), runny nose and watery eyes (Rhino-conjunctivitis) and itchy skin (Eczema).

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On the positive side, eating three or more portions of fruit a week, below the advised three servings per day, was found to have a protective effect and reduced the risk of severe eczema and rhino-conjunctivitis by 11 percent to 14 percent.

Fast Food

The teenagers and parents of the six and seven year olds were questioned on the symptoms of asthma, rhino-conjunctivitis and eczema in the preceding 12 months. The researchers also asked participants about their diet and consumption of certain types of foods and the frequency of consumption was put in three categories, measured as never or occasionally, once or twice a week and three or more times a week.

The study included data from 319,000 teens of 13 and 14 years old in 51 countries and 181,000 children between the age of six and seven in 31 countries. This enabled the study to show the results were consistent in rich and poor countries, among boys and girls, and in many different societies across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia, and also control for other factors potentially influencing the results.

Researchers cautioned that this kind of study cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship, but if the latest link is indeed causal then the latest findings would have a “major public health significance owing to the rising consumption of fast foods globally,” the study authors Professor Innes Asher from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and Professor Hywel Williams, from the University of Nottingham in the UK wrote in the study.

“The positive association observed here between fast food intake and the symptom prevalence of asthma, conjunctivitis and eczema in adolescents and children deserved further exploration, particularly in view of the fact that fast food is increasing in popularity around the world,” the authors wrote.

Malayka Rahman, research analysis and communications officer at Asthma UK, confirms that diet may contribute to a person’s risk of developing asthma and that following a healthy diet may have a beneficial effect, as other research results show.

“This research adds to previous studies that suggest a person’s diet can contribute to their risk of developing asthma, and indicates the benefit of further research to determine the effects that particular food groups can have on the chances of developing asthma or the impact it may have on severity,” Rahman said in a statement.

“Evidence suggests that the vitamins and antioxidants found in fresh fruit and vegetables have a beneficial effect on asthma,” Rahman added. “Therefore, Asthma UK advises people with asthma to eat a healthy, balanced diet including five portions of fruit or vegetables every day, fish more than twice a week, and pulses more than once a week.”

 

Kirstie Alley doesn't just want sex anymore

At the (wise) age of 60, Kirstie Alley has finally realised that there is not too much to be said for casual sex.

“The easiest thing on this planet is to [find sex], but I don’t see the merit in that,” she says. “What I’m looking for is someone who loves me deeply and is madly in love with me, for me.”

Alley, who has been married twice and rediscovered the goddess in herself after having dropped 100 lbs, tells us that it is important to acknowledge your own mistakes when relationships don’t work out. “I think when you get into the mind-set of, ‘Oh, this guy did this to me’, you aren’t taking responsibility. In the final hour, it’s actually what you did to you.”

Kirstie Alley used to be a porker

But she hasn’t given up hope! Will true love come her way?

“Certainly. For me, it’s all about love,” she says. “I wasn’t looking for the right thing before. … I want someone who has my back. And if I’m being attacked, they fricking attack back. Now, that’s bravery.”

And with the new weight loss, the sky’s the limit. If you think 60 is an age to start reconsidering the length of your skirt and how low your top goes, think again. When Alley hit the 100 lb mark, it was time to paaaarrrtaaayyyy like she was 40.

“When I hit that mark, I went, ‘That’s it!’ ” Alley tells PEOPLE during her stay in a villa outside Florence, Italy. “I have more energy than I’ve ever had in my whole life.”

Wistfully, she recalls her fat years: “My body had gotten really weak,” says Alley, whose weight at that time hovered around 230 lbs. “There was nothing positive about being fat.”

It was when Alley was invited to appear on Dancing With The Stars (for those of you who don’t know, this is a programme where z-list celebrities try to boost their profile by attempting to learn how to dance with the help of professionals and be judged by a bunch of equally unimpressive celebrities and the be voted off by a drooling audience). As the calorie-busting moves had started to help shift some pounds off Alley’s hips, she decided to boost what had been set into motion by making her diet exclusively organic and following a diet plan of her own creation, Organic Liason – a magical combination between organic food and Scientology.

Now, all is dandy. “I feel back to normal,” says Alley, now a proud size 6. “I have my game again. What I’m looking for is to be madly, deeply in love. “For the first time in my life, I know exactly what I want in a man,” she says. “I want someone who has my back, who is courageous and brave.”

Yes, we already heard that. But good luck to you.

Click here to read more about the Organic Liason diet and more fascinating information on Kirstie Alley’s battle with the bulge.

Sugar Causes Obesity

Fat has been blamed for making us fat for as long as this serial dieter can remember and long before that. Low-fat diets took over from low calorie diets in the ‘popularity’ stakes when dieters everywhere ran open armed towards diets that consisted of skimmed milk, skimmed of everything including its flavor but at least it made their coffee look less black and low-fat yogurts which again resembled full-fat yogurts in everything except taste, in the hope that they would be able to reach their goal of slimness. No one ever seems to question why if dairy and meat products are beneficial and natural for human beings to consume, is it necessary to rape them of their fat content, rendering them tasteless and unsatisfying. But that’s another story. [adsense]So we all commenced our low-fat or no-fat diets consisting aforementioned insipid dairy products raped of flavor by extreme and unnecessary processing and miniscule portions of lean meat and fish. Seeing cheese on a diary counter was akin to spotting a sharkfin whilst skinny dipping alone at night and finding avocado in our green salad was like discovering we’ve been sharing the marital bed with Satan’s role model. And what happened was we all lost a bit of weight. But that was generally down to the fact that we were consuming less calories. People who don’t eat adequate quantities of fat become bad tempered amongst other things. Food tastes bland without it. Cutting out the fact was not the magic bullet that the diet experts promised us. Low fat diets are not particularly effective. Not in the long run. Because human beings – like other animals – need fat to live. Wooden spoon-fuls of lard licked from the spoon or double deep fried chicken – no, but we do need certain quantities of what is now referred to as good fat.

Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson and the standard American diet

So once the ‘experts’ realised that the low fat diet wasn’t entirely successful, even though they had been touting it as being the quick fix end to overweightness – obesitydidn’t really exist back then. (It was invented in America in the late 80s and then once one person became obese, lots of other people seemed to jump on board. Well not jump exactly.) Anyway after some umming and aahing about what the course of all this disgusting over fatness was all about it eventually turned out that it wasn’t fat that was making fat people fat but sugar. Many diet foods eg low fat meals were augmenting their boring fatless products with sugar to give the dieter something to taste to compensate for the lack of filling fatness. Sugar is very high in calories but unfortunately is also very high in not being good for you. One tablespoon of sugar contains 55 calories and has no nutritional value at all. It is also so addictive that it might as well be labelled smack. The average soft drink per can contains three tablespoons of sugar and again, nothing in the way of nutrients. The World Health Organization recommends that we restrict our sugar consumption to a maximum of 10 percent of our daily calories. Those already suffering with obesity or with type II diabetes should limit their intake even further.

Sugar is one of the main causes of obesity.

Unfortunately, simply reducing your intake of sugar – unless you are eating a very healthy diet that consists mainly of fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds – is more difficult than it seems. Manufacturers of processed foods eg non-wholefoods, like nothing more than to add sugar to their products. It makes their bland overprocessed crud taste better and makes them more addictive. And sugar is cheap. Hidden sugars can be found in sauces, breakfast cereals, bread, baked beans baby food , potato chips, oven fries and countless other products where you wouldn’t expect to find sweeteners. Sugar is also the master of disguise, appearing under pseudonyms such as dextrose, sucrose, corn syrup and fructose. When you first ‘come off’ sugar you might feel miserable at first and like you are missing out on the white stuff. Much like an alcoholic when they quit booze or a smoker quitting nicotine. However, the more healthy nutritious foods you eat, the easier the transition will be and once you quit you will lose the ‘taste’ for oversweet food. The best way to lose weight is to re-educate your tastes buds and change the way you look and think about food. Think of the health benefits of what you are eating rather than the quick sugar fix you are getting. A chocolate donut may taste great for the 30 seconds it takes to ram it down your throat but a fruit salad will assist with digestion, help flush cellulite, give you energy, hydrate you, improve your skin and your mood. Think of sugar like it is sweet heroin and avoid both at all costs. If you would like to comment on this article, please use the comments box below. You can ‘like’ or share using the social network icons below. Images: fanpop.com, bigoo.ws

HGC Diet Breakthrough – Starvation leads to weight loss!

Those beneficent souls at HGC are giving away free samples of their product: HGC Diet Drops, in a forthcoming campaign to promote their very effective sounding product. Such largesse, I personally find very touching.

HGC Diet Drops claim you can drop more kilos than you actually weigh in the first place by simply taking these magic drops… oh and adhering to the kind of dietary plan that would make a broken-hearted earthworm’s tummy rumble. Can anyone else smell a scam? Everyone check their shoes – did someone tread in scam? Diet companies wouldn’t scam us would they? Would they really pray on the insecurities of the overweight and unhappy to line their pockets and make their customers miserable whilst selling them an ineffectual product that’s more than likely dangerous?

Try a little restraint and do some homework before jumping into faddy weight loss methods like HGC diet drops.

The scientists (also known as the marketing department) at HCG (which stands for human chorionic gonadotropin [not sure what that stands for but it contains the word ‘gonad’, that’s all I’m saying.]), say that the HCG diet provides a simpler and more convenient way of addressing obesity and weight problems. When combined with a diet that’s low in calorie (oh here we go, it’s the 1970s again. Dig out your bell bottoms Starsky) sufferers of the diet can lose so much weight, so quickly, that they couldn’t pick themselves out in an identity parade. And apparently you don’t even have to exercise. Admittedly, on 500 calories a day, fluttering your eyelashes would be the equivalent of doing a 90-minute Bikram yoga class whilst wearing armour.

So all this time, all you needed to do to lose bucket loads of weight was to imbibe the piss of pregnant women (I looked it up, I couldn’t help myself), and eat a miserable quantity of calories per day and apparently the weight would fall off. As an ex-anorexic I used to consume less than 500 calories a day and I was absolutely miserable. I was so obsessed with food that it was all I ever thought about. I woke up thinking about food; I could hear a packet of potato chips being opened at 40 meters (I held the record amongst anorexics between 1998-2001); if someone ordered a salad, I left the room; if someone opened a box of candy, I left the country; if someone ordered a pizza, I chewed my own wrists off without swallowing my calorie dense flesh of course.

Get this body on only 500 calories a day…and some piss - HGC diet drops.

Admittedly I wasn’t drinking from the pregnant hairy fountain, but unless these magic drops contain large quantities of amphetamines it is unlikely that they will curb the appetite sufficiently long-term. So, what happens when you stop taking the drops that apparently curb your appetite? What happens when your exponentially voracious appetite returns and you find yourself buttering the dog and imagining your husband naked between sheets of lasagne? Are you sure that’s béchamel sauce?

HCG is not a new diet scam. It was kindly developed by a white man fifty years ago and was a very popular diet for a while, favored by corrupt doctors who were guaranteed a stable income from fat patients requiring weekly injections of child-bearing woman’s piddle. When I was a little cynic, I thought doctors were altruists, dedicating their lives to heal the sick and pat small children on their heads. Dr Simeons, the charlatan responsible for these miraculous drops claimed that the diet would mobilize fat and somehow, quite magically I thought, redistribute fat from the waist, hips and thighs, to… somewhere else presumably. Preferably someone else.

The HGC cycle lasts 40 days, after which time, you can, should you be sectionable, repeat the cycle ad infinitum. I’m looking forward to that second cycle already.

[adsense]This diet and other quackery may work short-term and in a rare few it may even work long-term (that’s a disclaimer.). Any diet that promotes such severe weight loss should be steered well clear of. Any diet that advocates a daily calorific intake of less than 500 calories (unless it’s a controlled fast for a very short period of time eg one week or less) should be avoided like the plague. The Black Death – now there was a simple weight loss solution, albeit short-term so long as you don’t mind accessorizing with painful buboes.

Clinical trials have, again surprisingly, shown the magic beans to be sadly ineffectual, but despite this and lots of negative publicity in the last few years, they are still trying to get their filthy hooks into an easily exploitable demographic with this give away scam.

This diet will work. If you starve your body on 500 calories a day, you will lose weight. Quickly. And lots of it. Then you will regain that weight, plus some extra because your body will have gone into starvation mode and will be holding onto every scrap of fat it can, in case it suddenly runs out of food again; and you will be back to being fat and unhappy. But fatter and unhappier than you were before you attempted the stupid diet. And more food obsessed than you thought possible.

Don’t be fooled. Look in the mirror, try to like yourself and say three times ‘there is no quick fix.’ Once you accept that, you will either learn to live with yourself at the weight you are; or you will go about weight loss in a more sensible way and reclaim your life back from weight obsessions.

Tell HGC to stick their splendiferous free gift up their fat arses. Selling these products to the fat and unhappy is akin to selling ineffectual anti-carcinogenic miracle pills to oncology patients. It’s sick and it’s wrong.

Please share your thoughts on faddy diets and snake oil weight loss pills by leaving a comment.

Read about other weight loss scams like the Dukan diet, Sensa weight loss products, more on the HGC diet, the 17 day diet, Qnexa and Orexigen’s Contrave diet pills.

images: healthwyze.org, dietplateskincarebydesign.com, control.jpgxxxpureperfectionxxx.blogspot.com, anorexiz.jpgnutricion.

The HGC Diet – 500 calories and a tasty injection per day; YUMMY!

A new controversial and really quite ridiculous diet solution has been launched that could have us fatties dropping one or even two pounds of lard per day, it is claimed. Sounds like a dream for anyone who still thinks that somewhere out there they can find a quick fix; who still hasn’t cottoned onto the fact that there is no really effective and safe system of losing weight other than healthy eating combined with regular exercise. Bad news, I know.

The HGC (Human Gonadotrophin Hormone) is the latest, probably not entirely effective but more than likely dangerous anyway weight loss system that consists of injections or oral doses of HGC every day, and apparently, coupled with a diet of 500 calories a day – or less (!) you’ll be dropping more weight than a jogging leper. Who knew?!

The lucky HGC dieters are allowed to gorge themselves frenziedly on a few ounces of food each day, and an entire serving of bread and the magic little hormone will do the rest: keeping that voracious hunger at bay, and resisting your bodies natural reaction to being starved to death by going into starvation mode, which is where most calorie restrictive diets fail. You starve yourself, your silly old body gets itself into a right panic because it’s cleverly programmed to try and stay alive and then as soon as you finally decide to commence living again, your body says ‘fuck this’ and starts eating houses, hoarding as much fat as it can in your ass and thighs or beneath your chin, so it has a good back up supply of lard for the next time famine hits, in the form of the next great breakthrough diet, created by some charlatan doctor, who is preying on your weakness for wanting to be slim like all the celebrities and models you see on TV and in magazines.

The HGC ‘drug’ itself consists of a hormone produced by pregnant women – which is just a bit fucking creepy.

Medical professionals, other than those paid to endorse it, are not convinced of either its effectiveness or more importantly, its safety. And it doesn’t really take seven years at Harvard to share that opinion.

HCG diet: before, during and after shots. Strange how her face hasn’t changed shape in the slimmer images. Don’t trust anyone that can’t even use Photoshop properly.

Of course, anyone eating less than 500 calories a day will lose vast quantities of weight, but what else will they risk whilst consuming so few nutrients? Whether or not their lives will be worth living whilst on the diet, or afterwards, remains to be seen.

I used to be anorexic and weeks and months would go by when I consumed 350-500 calories a day – about a fifth of what I should have been consuming for my height, and yes, I was damn thin. I looked in the mirror and I liked my outline. I had a concave stomach. But internally I was in a state of abject misery. An absolute prisoner of weightloss. If I ate – even a very small amount, I would put on weight and get fat. If I didn’t eat, I would die. It has taken ten years so far, to quell the obsession with weight, and the fight is not yet won. But I have stopped looking for the ‘magic pill’ – the HGC diet certainly isn’t it. We are living creatures. We have to eat. Like any other creature on the planet. What’s the point of having a 25” waist when you have sallow skin, depression and brain damage?

The best way to lose weight is to start by re-educating your taste buds. If you’re a burger and chips and ½ litre of soda kid, then you need to wake up and start taking responsibility for that pink fleshy vehicle that carries you around. It’s not just a fat, you-shaped cushion to rest your head on – you need it to live. Look after it.

The HGC diet won't give you the body beautiful.

Lizzie Miller – is (bizarrely) considered a plus-size model. Shouldn’t that be ‘normal-sized’?

Forget these fads like the HGC diet and the leeches whose pockets they line with our hard earned cash. If you want to carry on eating too much pizza and apple pie, washed down with milkshake, then that is entirely up to you. But don’t sit waiting for a magic diet to come along and fix your waistline and the debilitating illnesses that being overweight attract.

I know it’s hard. And I don’t want to sound like I’m oversimplifying something that can be so difficult. I’ve been there. I’ve felt the pain. I know what it feels like to look in the mirror and despise the bloated sack of self-hating shit that returned my gaze.

If when you passed your driving test you were given a car and told, look after that as that’s the only one you will ever get. You cannot upgrade it, you cannot part-ex it, you cannot buy a new one – That’s it – then you’d damn well look after it. Think of your body in the same way. Start looking after it and don’t be inveigled into the dark world of diet pills. The only thing you are guaranteed to lose is your money.

Forget the HGC diet, the pills, the calories counting, the low-fat, low carb, the weighing scales and the spinning classes. Just eat healthily and incorporate an exercise that you enjoy into your life.

500 calories a day and a tasty injection? – Fuck that!

Share a thought or two on the HGC diet by leaving a comment.

Read about SENSA weight loss nonsense; how cereals are NOT good for you; a healthier alternative for sustained weight loss; throw in some yoga and follow Jake Gyllenhaal’s fine example by growing your own vegetables to keep trim.

images: mydietsolutions.com; hcgdietxp.com; strategerie.wordpress.com