Here comes the bride — with a feeding tube up her nose
An increasing number of today’s brides-to-be are taking advantage of an innovative new diet fad that promises a 20-pound weight loss in only 10 days. That’s right! For only $1,500, you can starve yourself thin in a week and a half! And here’s the bonus: You get to walk around with a feeding tube that’s inserted up your nose, down your throat and into your stomach.
As insane as this sounds (and is), women are doing it. The New York Times reported that the K-E (ketogenic enteral) diet has existed in Italy and Spain for years, was introduced in England last year and has now started to catch on in the United States with brides-to-be looking to quickly slim down before their weddings.
How it works
For 10 days or less, depending on how much weight loss is desired, women go about their daily lives with a nasogastric tube inserted through their nose — the kind that’s used for patients who either refuse to eat or are suffering from seizure disorders or epilepsy. I mean, why let them hog all the fun? Instead of consuming food and drink by mouth, these desperate dieters carry around a portable pump in their purse that delivers 800 calories worth of protein, fats and nutrients mixed with water — no carbs — to the body each day.
Since the average woman requires about 2,000 calories a day, this extremely low-calorie, no-carb diet sends the body into a starvation mode known as ketosis. The body has no carbohydrates from which to generate energy, so it instead starts burning fat for fuel. Sound familiar? This is Atkins all over again — only more fun, since it now comes with a feeding tube.
Why it’s crazy (in case you actually need reasons not to put a feeding tube in your nose)
NYT stated that Dr. Oliver Di Pietro has been offering this “diet” for the low price of $1,500, which includes a screening and the equipment, at his Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., office since July. And, in case you haven’t guessed, he’s a real paragon of medical ethics. Check out this lovely Di Pietro quote from NYT: “At first I decided not to do it for people who just want to lose a few pounds,” Di Pietro said. “But then I thought, why should I say 5 or 10 pounds are not enough? People want to be perfect.” Oh, how nice!
Di Pietro claimed that patients are placed under doctor’s supervision for the full 10 days, even though they’re not hospitalized. He stated that the only possible side effects are constipation (since the protein pack doesn’t contain any fiber), dizziness and bad breath. However, Emory bariatric surgeon Dr. Edward Lin told CNN that short-term risks also include insertion trauma, septum damage, perforated throat, lung damage, gastrointestinal bleeding, tight narrowing of the esophagus from scarring and pneumonia. Dr. David Heber, director of the UCLA Risk Factor Obesity Program, added aspiration, infection of the lung, kidney failure and erosion of tissues in the nose and throat to that list in Time Healthland’s coverage of the new trend.
“This ‘diet’ is little short of lunacy on the part of any such bride-to-be, colossally misplaced priorities on the part of any groom-to-be watching it happen, and as profound an abrogation of professional ethics on the part of doctors peddling it (for $1,500) as I have ever seen,” wrote Dr. David Katz, director of Yale Prevention Research Center, on the Huffington Post. We couldn’t have said it better, Doc!
In sickness and in health
While we can’t wrap our heads around why someone would do this to themselves, Katz brings up another good point: What kind of groom turns a blind eye to his wife-to-be while she takes such drastic, unhealthy measures to lose weight? Surely he would want to set her priorities straight, right?
Speaking of the bride-to-be’s priorities: Even if she ignorantly sets aside the health risks, how exactly does she respond to the inevitable inquiries that would follow her and her feeding tube around? It has to be humiliating to admit that you’d rather insert a feeding tube into your body for 10 days than make healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle months prior to the wedding. Do these women lie and tell everyone they’re sick (which, it can be argued, they are in a way)?
The wedding weight-loss vow: From extreme to healthy
Extreme pre-wedding weight loss is nothing new. Last year, hCG diet fanatics were claiming to lose 30 pounds in a month by consuming only 500 calories a day and injecting themselves with hCG, a pregnancy hormone. The hCG diet, like the K-E diet, was another form of starvation marketed as a weight-loss plan and offered the same appeal to brides-to-be: lose weight fast. Other women attempt strict juice cleanses to shed pounds in a matter of weeks, though this isn’t a healthy weight-loss strategy either. (Find out why it’s a bad idea here.)
According to the “2009 Health and Fitness Study” conducted by TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com, about 1.7 million American brides each year take a vow before the wedding day: to lose weight, usually about 10 to 20 pounds, before they say “I do.” A 2008 Australian report published in Body Image studied 347 brides and 122 bridesmaids and found that more than 50% planned to lose weight before the wedding, 40% intended to go on a diet and about 67% indicated they planned to exercise more. More than 10% of participants had been told by others that they should lose weight for the wedding.
If you’re an unhealthy weight and a wedding presents extra motivation for you to change your dress size and lifestyle, more power to you. But let’s at least have some common sense about it. Sure, the healthy way is going to take more time. But it’s also going to improve your health, rather than hurt it, AND you’ll be able to keep the pounds off after the wedding. Also, to whomever is telling 10% of brides that they’re too fat for their own wedding: Not cool.
[UPDATE: On Wednesday night (April 25), Stephen Colbert covered the K-E diet trend on his show "Colbert Nation," joking: "Remember, fellas, it's bad luck to see the bride with a feeding tube in before the wedding day. Also, it's horrifying." You can watch the clip below.]
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|Cheating Death – Crash Diet Feeding Tubes & Scrotum Gel Injections|