Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Australian Obesity "Expert" recommends Obesity Surgery for everyone obese.

Proclaimed obesity "expert" Professor Proietto of Australia recently said in some garbage opinion article in the The Medical Journal of Australia that spending money on weight loss efforts by the government is a waste and that people will regain any weight that is lost.  His solution?  Government funding should be used to fund obesity surgery for the public which in his opinion gives long term weight loss results to those who are suffering from obesity.  Apparently public health messages are only good for preventing diseases and smoking so he says. 

What?  His belief is that once your obese, your body will want to keep you there.  You can lose weight in the short term, but according to him it will come back within 1-2 years.   Well, how much is that going to cost?  52% of women and 67% of men in Australia are overweight or obese, both numbers are increasing.  You though the United States had debt issues...  what is interesting to note is that in the long run this might actually save least according to a study published a few years ago in the American Journal of Managed Care....which claimed that the average cost of bariatric surgery at the time of the study ($26,000) was recovered in 49 months.  Other studies show similar results.  This however assumed that all patients keep the weight off after about 4 years, which we know is not the case, as many people end up putting the weight back on after surgery.  But overall, if having obesity surgery ends up saving people and the country a lot of money, is it worth doing?

Could we actually save money and lives at the same time by having the government start paying for obesity surgery?  Do you think people would abuse this process and gain weight just to have the surgery for free through the government? 

I'm still a proponent of at least trying WITH FULL EFFORT to lose the weight naturally, but if all else fails, looking at other options.

What say you? 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dukan Diet Scam

Surprise!  Another day another diet.  This time it's the Dukan Diet Scam.  This French born diet has been fairly popular over there and has slowly been making its way into the United States for the last many months.  As I start to read about this diet.....lets see it focuses on eating a lot of lean far so good....oh wait, what's that?  You can eat as much of it as you want?  What?  This is phase one.  A very unbalanced protein only diet with the exception of a lot of water and 1.5TBS of oat bran.  What?  Seriously? 

Phase 2 is just as good.  You get to add no-starch veggies.  As many of these as you want along with all the protein you can pig out on.  And a bonus of another .5TBS of bran on top of phase one. 

Phase 3?  Another .5TBS bonus of bran, we're up to 2.5TBS!  Wow!  Still all the protein and veggies, but now you can have a serving of cheese, a low sugar fruit, and 2 bread slices.  And 1-2 party meals a day, basically eating whatever you want.  Sweets?  Ice wine?  You name it.  So you've hopefully gotten close to your weight loss goals, and now you're given the leeway to really overeat and ruin it all.  Great idea!

Phase 4 the maintenance phase....Oh, and eat whatever you want.  Chicken and Waffles?  Sure.  Fried ice cream?  Why not.   But be sure to follow these so important rules.  Another .5TBS of oat bran, now we can party! 3TBS of oat bran!    Walking for a measly 20 minutes a day.  That's going to burn a ton of calories.  Not.  Oh, and once a week go back to phase one for a protein starvation diet. 

This Dukan Diet Scam is not meant for anyone who is only looking to lose say 20lbs or so and is just overweight.  The ability to pretty much eat as much as you want in the first few phases, adding whatever you want in the last phase on this Dukan Diet Scam would be a disaster for this type of person.  For someone morbidly obese I could see this "diet" allowing for weight loss temporarily, as it's going to be pretty difficult to eat more than one's calorie maintenance levels with just protein and/or veggies, but later on as you can reintroduce just about whatever you want and as much of it, there's your recipe for disaster.  Walking for 20 minutes?  What's that going to do?  Burn a few dozen calories?  Big deal.  Good luck keeping the weight off long term with this joke of a plan. 

At the end of the day, diets don't work long term, period.  The day people figure this out, the world will be a better place.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why doesn't society accomodate those who are overweight or obese?

Growing up in an era where smokers were accommodated in many ways, it got me wondering, why don't we as a society accommodate those who are overweight or obese?

Think about it.  Restaurants had smoking sections.  As did airports, you name it.  Ash trays were everywhere.  In airplane arm rests, cars, tables, etc.  Automobiles had cigarette lighters before they were used for anything else other than cigarettes.  Some companies and casinos have filtered air conditioning systems.  Many employees are allowed smoke breaks. 

The closest parallel I can think of is smoking machines vs. vending machines. 

So when it comes to accommodating those who are overweight or obese, where are the over sized chairs in businesses and in public in general?  Larger driver seat option for cars?  How about airplane seats?  Buses?  Bathroom stalls?  Toilet seats? 

The list goes on and on, but with more than half of the people in the United States being overweight or obese, I have to ask, should we accommodate the majority?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Obesity and Cancer Rates

It's been 2 years since I lost my mother to cancer, which unfortunately was fueled by her obesity.  My mother had always been overweight or obese, but unfortunately as she got older she became morbidly obese.   Her cancer started off as uterine/cervical cancer, and spread to her lungs, liver and other parts of her body.  She went through a multitude of treatments but nothing could stop it, because unfortunately, she had the most aggressive type of cancer cells in her body, known as clear cell.   What people don't realize is that fat produces more estrogen which increases your chances of getting cancer.  The overall consensus is that being obese increases your chances of having some sort of cancer by 50%.  The fat cells not only increase your chances of getting cancer, but speed up it spreading.   The other issue is that any required surgery becomes more complicated with a lot of extra fat to cut through. 

While most people associate obesity with increased heart disease, what they don't realize is the massive impact obesity has on cancer rates. 

Take care of yourself!  Don't let obesity take care of you.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Childhood Obesity and bad parenting

I'm at a "storytime" event with my infant at the public library, and lo and behold there's a kid acting out, screaming, defying his mom, etc.  He was older than the age group for the class, but that's a moot point.  The mom looking for some way to pacify her child, could have left the room, but no, she shoves about 24 ounces of apple juice down his throat to shut him up.  That's right, 360 calories and 72 grams of sugar.   I'm thinking to myself, good idea, reward the kid with a sweet sugary drink every time he acts out.  Heck, I'd throw a tantrum for that.   As much as I wanted to say something, it wasn't the time or place.  But it got me many parents out there are either so lazy or have so little control over their kids that they're resorting to shoving sweets down their kids' throughts to keep them quiet.  An occasional miniscule sucker after a traumatic day at the doctor's office?  Fine.  But just because your kid is acting out as a result of you being a bad parent?  NO.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The future of obesity

Obesity isn't going away anytime soon.  The future of obesity unfortunately looks bleak.  The front runners including the United States and Australia keep getting worse, with no end in site.  Only one state in the United States (Colorado) had less than a 20% obesity rate, and barely.  Some states will be in the 40% range in the next year or so, many are well above 30% obesity rates now.  While obesity awareness is spreading, changes to food and education aren't coming fast enough, and government interference having to do with what foods people can and can't eat is being met with stiff resistance from people who feel their rights to eat whatever they want are being infringed upon. Without more government intervention and funding, I don't see how we're going to conquer the obesity problem.   What is out there right now is very decentralized and disorganized.  The government needs to form an organization that will ensure the right information on health is getting to those who need it most, starting with the kids.  Schools cutting back their recess time in exchange for more class time for higher test scores is a joke.  Budget cuts for programs that let kids get more exercise has to stop.  We're so fricking worried about test scores that we're robbing our kids of their health.  And while we're at it, let's stop feeding these kids garbage in the cafeteria.  I know what was available when I was a kid.  Soda, chocolate milk, and sweets galore.  Sure they might get it elsewhere, but why give them even more avenues.  Parents, you need to get your kids off their butts from playing video games and surfing facebook all day long.  Don't feed them garbage in the home.  Much of this is on you too.

The future of obesity in other countries is even more dire.  Up and coming countries like China that are finding new found wealth, and have westernized influenced like McDonalds popping up all over are very susceptible to an explosion in obesity rates.  We shouldn't be passing these bad habits to other countries, we need to figure out how prevent obesity in our own country, share our successes with others, so the future of obesity across the world isn't nearly as bad as what we're dealing with now. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

African Mango Scam

Every year there is a new "magic" diet pill that comes onto the market.  Two years ago it was Zylene, last year it was Acai Berry , and this year it's the African Mango Scam.  I call it the African Mango scam because the FDA and independent peer reviewed studies never get a chance to test these new pills before the hit the market and are portrayed as a great weight loss supplement.   All of these diet pills have their own studies that "assure us" people will lose weight on these pills, and these biased tests can be misleading.  Most diet pills in general are a scam

People buy them with the hopes all they do is pop the pills and the weight just flies off.  Any diet pill period needs to be consumed with a combination of healthy eating and exercise for maximum results, yet most people don't do this.  See a problem here? 

All it takes is a few doctors/health experts to make a diet pill like this famous.  This year it was Doctor Oz who helped get the African Mango Scam rolling by promoting it on his show and website, however there are a few other "health professionals" who backup his claims, and a number of people do validate some solid weight loss results from this product.

Even if these pills don't actually work, but give someone a mental edge and they try harder to eat healthy and exercise then it may not be such a bad thing.   I'm not saying people shouldn't try diet pills as a supplement to healthy eating and weight loss, I'm saying people should be just a little cautious taking things that aren't independently studied, and need to understand you're not just going to lose 10lbs a week by popping a pill while sitting on a couch eating 5000 calories a day.