Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The "Real" Skinny on the Long Term Results of Obesity Surgery!

Imagine finding yourself 150# OVER weight.  Your desired weight is 150# and you weigh 300#.  You’ve tried everything throughout the years to lose weight, and to no avail.  Diet after diet fails and you ultimately gain even more weight after the diet du jour ends.
You run into an acquaintance you haven’t seen after a year and are stunned to see that she has lost close to 100#.  What?  You find out that she has had gastric bypass surgery.  She looks and feels great.  You are mesmerized.  If she can “do it”…you can “do it, too.” 
You find that there are two main types of obesity surgery: Gastric banding and Gastric bypass.  You want to have one of the procedures done, but you want to know which will be most effective.  This is what researchers from Bristol University are seeking to pinpoint and are beginning a research study involving 700 participants. 
Read on to discover some very interesting “insider” information on obesity surgery…and then vote with your conclusions!
Which type of obesity surgery is best?  If the study organizers are really interested in assessing the results of the surgeries, I truly believe they have the time line set one year too soon. 
 I have worked with gastric bypass/banding patients on a one-on-one basis for over 15 years.  I counsel them before and after the procedure.  I have kept data on thousands of patients.  I can conclude that the outcome line should be set at the end of year 4 post surgery.  Why?  By the end of the 4th year, more than 50% of patients will experience weight regain...and some have regained all their lost weight, are back on all their previous medications, and return to the exact health picture the surgery was supposed to eliminate.

Lap band surgery
An inflatable silicone band is placed around the top portion of the stomach minimizing stomach capacity to 1/2 cup. ( A normal stomach can hold 6-8 cups.  Banding does not rewire the GI tract.  Stomach acid is still present in the bottom portion of the stomach.  The band is supposed to minimize over-eating.  If the patient eats one bite over the "cap", he will vomit up the contents of the pouch...and in this motion, acid will also pass through the pouch and into the esophagus.  The band causes a feeling of extreme fullness after eating just 1/2 cup of food (think of the feeling after Thanksgiving dinner).  One more bite and....out it comes.  The surgeons I worked with called this procedure "extreme behavioral modification." 

As with many things, sometimes behavioral modification causes new behaviors to surface.  Patients quickly realize that liquid and semi solid/soft foods pass right through the band and can be consumed comfortably without vomiting.  You get the picture.  Also...many small meals through the day and night (ultra grazing) can add up to LOTS of calories/day. 

In the end: success depends on following a diet and exercising WITH the band.  Success is not all that great by the end of year 4 and most patients return to their previous weight or have had the band removed.  (If you have GERD, no banding for you as the problem will worsen.)


GASTRIC BYPASS is a much different  story,  although if the researchers wait until after the 4th year post op, they will note that MANY patients who took this very significant leap have regained or are on their way to regaining their weight, medications have returned, and health issues are coming back into play.
With bypass we have the surgical trifecta:
 Part one: The stomach is stapled in 2 parts.  The top pouch is left at about 2 ounces in capacity (after 1 year will expand to about 1 cup) and the stomach acid remains in the bottom part.  This might sound like a benefit as it can no longer reach the espophagus and cause inflammation/irritation, but it also can't help digest foods.
Part two:  the small intestine's duodenum and first part of the jejunum are bypassed.  These are vital areas of digestion and absorption for many essential vitamins/minerals and ....calories.  So, in bypassing this part of the intestine, the person will never absorb nutrition to its fullest.  If vitamins/minerals are not religiously taken, serious vitamin/mineral deficiencies will occur.
Part three:  the intestine that is left is reattached to the bottom of the 2 ounce pouch.  Food passes from the stomach pouch (without the pre-digestion from acid) into a lower portion of the intestine (without begin broken down by many enzymes and with nutrition still intact...never to be absorbed). 
I'm sure you can see how MAJOR this "permanent" surgery is.

Carnie Wilson before gastric bypass, after gastric bypass, and now
Check on these patients AFTER the 4th years and you will find that more than half who initially lost weight are steadily regaining or have already regained their weight, are back on meds, are becoming the person they were prior to the rewire.
I'm sure it's obvious that in terms of weight loss, the gastric bypass is going to come out "on top" in comparing gastric banding vs gastric bypass. The band is just a band around the stomach making it difficult to eat over 1/2 cup without vomiting. The bypass involves a total rewiring of the GI tract PLUS minimizes the amount of food that can be ingested.

What I was shocked to find was that even after the gastric bypass, after the 4th years, more than half the patients were well on their way to regaining weight or had already regained their lost weight. Remember, they are "rewired". How and why does this happen?

My belief is that after the stomach pouch stretches to its new maximum (at about the one year mark post surgery), it can accommodate enough carbohydrate to stimulate the pancreas to return to over-releasing the fat gain hormone insulin. MANY patients who become morbidly obese have underlying insulin imbalance. When their pouch is at the 2 ounce mark, and they are encouraged to eat mostly protein and veggies, they do not suffer from over insulin release. After about a year, there is enough room in the stomach to accommodate protein AND significant portions of carb foods and therein lies the problem. It becomes possible to eat bread, pasta, potatoes, cereals, snack crackers...and in fact...it's comfortable once again

I feel very sorry for patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery and all it entails, who watch themselves lose over 100 pounds, get off many medications, look and feel great...only to watch while the pounds creep back on....for what seems to be "no reason".

Ultimately, I have to tell these patients that they will need to once again "diet." The diet will be the core program from the Metabolism Miracle or Diabetes Miracle.  I now tell patients contemplating gastric bypass that they might consider opting for living the Metabolism Miracle lifestyle before having surgery.  Several patients lost significant weight and did not opt to have the surgery.  They are now at their desired weight.  In either case…whether they have the surgery or not…over 50% will need to live the core program from Metabolism Miracle to maintain weight loss.  Surgeons are NOT telling their patients this! 

I would love to get the word out to these patients that if they have metabolism B,  gastric bypass surgery will help them lose a large amount of weight in a short period of time and get off many medications. They will look and feel great. But one year after the surgery, they will need to begin following The Metabolism Miracle program and make this their lifestyle. In this way, they will get where they need to be...and stay there.
What I have seen happen is that because they were never fore-warned, they are blamed for regaining weight.  The surgeon states he/she “has no idea why they are regaining” as the surgery was done correctly.  The patient is back to feeling like a failure, when he was really not informed.
I hope this article INFORMS and helps those who have had the procedure and are now regaining to understand why and to realize that there is a way to stop the gain.

For more information on Metabolism B: www.themetabolismmiracle.com.

"Blow the Whistle"  Please answer the Whistle Question!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Flush pounds down the toilet, not off your body, and PAY the Kardashian Girls $45 MILLION

Take an Undetermined Dose of Caffeine and Laxatives,  Risk Hypertension, Heart Arrhythmias, Dehydration, Laxative dependence, Flush pounds down the toilet, not off your body, and PAY the Kardashian Girls 45 MILLION Cash. 

Kim and Khloe Kardashian face a possible class-action lawsuit over endorsing the diet product QuickTrim. Since 2009, the product has generated over $45 million in revenue. In January 2010, Kim told Ok! magazine that she used several QuickTrims products to quickly shed 15 pounds in just a few weeks. And in June, she tweeted that she was using QuickTrim to get in shape for her August wedding.

A class action lawsuit over QuickTrim?  What’s the scoop?

 What are QuickTrim’s active ingredients?  Caffeine and Laxatives.  Yep…that’s the golden ticket.  Unmarked levels of caffeine that can lead to dangerous hypertension, heart arrhythmias, stroke, heart attack, dehydration, kidney failure as well as a hefty dose of laxatives that can lead to dehydration, diarrhea,  electrolyte imbalance, and laxative dependence.  The FDA has determined that caffeine is not safe or effective for weight loss.

Interestingly, although caffeine is a drug, does affect heart rate and rhythm, and excesses can lead to serious health issues….companies do not always list the mg of caffeine in their products.  It is guesstimated that QuickTrim’s Program contains the caffeine equivalent to 4 strong cups of coffee.


How does QuickTrim claim to work its magic?  QuickTrim products consist of pills and powdered mixes that are promoted to eliminate water weight and bloating.  Let’s examine:
 Caffeine is a stimulant and is also a diuretic. Drink coffee and in very short order, you will feel a rise in heart rate, the “feeling” of a lift in energy level” and the need to pee.  Drink 4 cups of coffee in quick succession and  you will feel amplified effects with an almost scary rise in heart rate, the sensation of being “wired”, anxious, jittery, and the need to pee…a lot!
 It is estimated that Quick Trim’s daily plan contains the equivalent of 4 cups of coffee!  After caffeine’s effects wane, you will feel a crash/burn as heart rate goes back to normal.  Caffeine works quickly and its effects are very temporary….but very high doses of campaign can be dangerous to your health….and caffeine does not cause weight loss. 
A very popular catch term in dieting over the past few years has been “cleansing” and “colon cleansing” as a means to weight loss.  Clear away the ‘smoke and mirrors’ as well as their hefty price tag, and all “cleanses” contain laxatives. Laxatives induce bowel movements and/or loosen the stool. Laxatives are generally taken when a person has constipation that requires treatment.  Taking a laxative as a means of weight loss only causes the loss of excess water (more water weight loss) and quicker movement of the waste material in the large intestine (or colon).  It speeds the process along, leaving a “quick loss” of water and fecal matter.  As soon as you drink some water and something….it’s all back! 

A very scary side to laxative use is dependency over time.  I have worked with many people who can no longer go to the bathroom without taking large doses of laxative as a dependency occurs after long term laxative use. In the short term, you lose your bloating and weight by pooping.  Yep, pooping.

Here’s something to pass along regarding laxatives.  People believe that when they eat and take laxatives, they are eliminating food before its calories are absorbed and before body fat can form.  Laxatives work in the LARGE intestine, and by the time food reaches the colon,  all the calories are absorbed.  Laxatives are simply quickly ridding the body of waste and water.  You are “losing” the weight of the poop and water.”

One of QuickTrims main programs is the Burn & Cleanse 14 Day Diet System. Take your caffeine by day and laxatives by night!!!  Contains the equivalent of about 400mg of caffeine in its morning and afternoon supplements along with black pepper, tree bark, green tea extract (may contain more caffeine but QuickTrim does not report the number of caffeine mg in their program). It becomes obvious that if you take these supplements and drink a few cups of coffee, a diet cola, or an energy drink and you can be in danger. The evening supplement contains both stimulant and bulk laxatives to increase the movement of food and liquid through your intestines.

So, 45 million dollars of revenue to the Kardashian’s and QuickTrim’s manufacturer, and after  no real weight loss….Americans find that they flushed their “weight” and money down the toilet.    The danger is that they may have unknowingly taken a risk with their health.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Michelle Obama’s “Improved” School Lunch Program

QUESTION: Will the changes to the Federal School Lunch Program make a difference in childhood obesity?  

Michelle Obama’s campaign to end childhood obesity involves revamping the Federal School Lunch Program based on new USDA Guidelines.  Those guidelines – introduced as "historic improvements" by the federal government – are championed by First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her Let's Move! Campaign and signed into law by President Barack Obama.  The new “rules” for what constitutes a healthy lunch determine what is served in the schools and what students are allowed to bring from home.   

CHECK OUT the following 3 articles on the topic and Blow the Whistle at the end!


A four year old child in Hoke County, NC was forced to eat a school lunch because a government inspector determined her home-made lunch did not meet USDA requirements. 
The child’s mother sent her to school with a lunch consisting of a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole grain bread, a banana, potato chips, and apple juice.  You might assume that the lunch was berated because of the inclusion of potato chips.  This was not the case.

The state's Department of Health and Human Services requires that all lunches served to pre-kindergarten students -- whether from school or home -- meet USDA meal guidelines of one serving each of meat, milk and grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables. The regulations also state that if meals or snacks brought from home do not meet nutritional requirements outlined in the "Meal Patterns for Children in Child Care," the school "must provide additional food necessary to meet those requirements."

A state inspector assessing the pre-K program at the school said the girl also needed a vegetable, so the inspector ordered a full school lunch tray for her. While the four-year-old would still allowed to eat her home lunch, the girl was forced to take a helping of chicken nuggets, milk, a fruit and a vegetable to supplement her sack lunch.  The child’s mother was billed $1.25 for the “replacement” lunch containing the chicken nuggets. (yes, chicken nuggets).

The student’s mother told the Journal she received a note from the school about the incident and was charged $1.25 for the cafeteria tray, from which her daughter ate three chicken nuggets. The note explained how students who did not bring “healthy lunches” would be offered the missing portions and that parents could be charged for the cost of the cafeteria food, the Journal reports. 

The mother, who lives in Fayetteville, sent a statement to state Rep. G.L. Pridgen (R-Robeson) detailing her complaint. Pridgen says he was shocked to hear it. Pridgen has since learned this is a nationwide practice based on federal guidelines.

An assistant to Pridgen says the girl’s grandmother was also upset and asked, “This isn’t China, is it?”

The mother, who was not identified in the report, expressed concerns about school officials telling her daughter that she wasn’t “packing her lunch box properly.”

The mother says her daughter doesn't like vegetables and - like most four year olds - will only eat them at home under close supervision.

The mother says the girl was so intimidated by the inspection process that she was too scared to eat her homemade lunch. The girl ate only 3 chicken nuggets provided to her by the school, so she still didn't eat a vegetable. 

Tater Tots, French Fries, Pizza…..The USDA’s Answer to the Childhood Obesity

The Obama Administration announced long awaited changes to government subsidized school meals…and promised to increase fruits and green vegetables and reduce salt and fat. 
The initial proposal called for reducing starchy foods like tater tots, french fries, onion rings, pizza  (all very high in salt and fat) from school lunches.  The miniscule amount of tomato paste on a slice of pizza could not be counted as a vegetable.

The food industry retailiated!  They lobbied and won a vote in Congress to block the administration from carrying out an earlier proposal that would have reduced starchy foods like potatoes and prohibited schools from counting a small amount of tomato paste on a slice of pizza as a vegetable. Under the latest rules, potatoes are not restricted, and tomato paste can qualify as a vegetable serving.
The rules were announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Michelle Obama at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, Va.  School lunch would contain a serving of meat, whole grain, two fruit/veggies, and milk.  Home lunches would also have to contain these components.
Representatives of the food industry also approved.
“From our perspective, the new rules improve school nutrition, but at the same time give schools the flexibility to serve a variety of foods to meet the standards,” said Corey Henry, vice president for communications of the American Frozen Food Institute. “It’s a balanced approach that meets the goals of everyone involved.” 
The National Potato Council, which had opposed the attempts to limit the serving of potatoes, said that it was pleased with the new rules but that it still had some concerns.
“Despite the fact that Congress said the U.S.D.A. could not limit potatoes in school lunches or breakfast, we still feel like the potato is being downplayed in favor of other vegetables in the new guidelines,” said Mark Szymanski, a spokesman for the council. “It seems the department still considers the potato a second-class vegetable
Earlier versions of the proposal met with political opposition because they would have cut the amount of potatoes served, a move not popular with lawmakers from potato-growing states. It would also have required schools to put more than a quarter-cup of tomato paste on a slice of pizza for it to count as a vegetable serving, an idea food service companies opposed as unappetizing. And the rules would have halved the amount of sodium in school meals gradually over 10 years. (the food manufacturers warned that if sodium was reduced, the “food wouldn’t taste as good.”)
A group of farm state senators, led by Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, blocked those earlier rules. Ms. Collins, who once worked on a potato farm, said the proposal to limit potatoes was overly restrictive.
The American Frozen Food Institute was concerned about the previous guidelines’ restrictions on sodium levels and the amount of tomato paste required to qualify as a vegetable serving.
The institute backed the latest rules, which continue to allow about a quarter-cup of tomato paste on a slice of pizza to count as a vegetable serving.

LAUSD Students Roundly Reject Healthier School Lunch Menu

The Los Angeles Unified School District has received government awards and commendations for the revamping of their school lunch program to meet recommendations to end childhood obesity with new USDA guidelines for the Federal School Lunch Program.
This is the second largest school district in the nation.  They changed their program to include vegetarian curries, vegetarian tamales, quinoa salads, and pad Thai noodles.  Students are throwing their school lunches in the trash can by the thousands. 

Initially, the school banned chocolate and strawberry flavored milk.  Now, the LA  Times reports cartons of plain milk are being thrown away en masse, unopened, along with uneaten entrees.

Participation in the school lunch program has dropped by thousands of students, who are ditching lunch and are suffering from hunger-related ailments.

 The complaints have been heard and the “award winning” district is planning changes to the menu, the Times reports. Burgers and pizza are coming back, and dishes like quinoa salads and brown rice cutlets are out.

The Whistle…Diane Kress’ position:

Every first lady has at least one personal “cause” that she devotes much time and energy to, and can even influence government programs to support.  Michelle Obama chose a very relevant cause:  Championing healthier diet and lifestyle for America’s children to stop the obesity epidemic.

The Federal School Lunch Program has long been under scrutiny for providing funding for school lunches that included full fat chocolate milk, full fat cheeses, high fat ground beef, canned vegetables, fruit canned in syrup, etc.  For many American children, school lunch is the only meal the child eats on a daily basis.  It sounded like a great plan to “improve” school lunch to provide more nourishing food and teach about good nutrition through example.
The preceding three articles show what happened when the plan was implemented.  The first article describes the plight of a four year old whose mom packed a reasonably healthy lunch.  Because it was missing a vegetable (that the child would not eat anyway), her homemade lunch had to be supplemented with school lunch….chicken nuggets.  No where could I find the other foods that were on that tray, but it’s a good bet that French Fries accompanied those nuggets.

Is it the government’s place to determine what you must provide your children to eat , to force food choices that you, as the parent, did not provide….and bill you for this service? 

I can’t see how providing the Chicken nugget lunch is going to curb childhood obesity, can you?

The second article shows how the food industry got its hands into the mix…..lobbying and getting Congress to change the original plan that would have eliminated fries, tator tots, onion rings, and pizza as vegetable choices.  The food industry also reneged on cutting sodium in the foods saying they won’t taste as good with less salt.

Obviously, the original plan to increase fruits and veggies as well as decrease salt and fat is not part of the finalized program.

 I can’t see how counting deep fried, salted starchy potatoes, onions, and pizza sauce as veggies is going to curb childhood obesity, can you?

The third article goes right to the source, the second largest School Lunch Program in the country, a lunch program that received accolades for the great changes they made in school lunch, is going back to fries, pizza, burgers after the “new and improved” health school lunch failed miserably.  Remember, this program was considered the best of the best.

I can’t see how reverting to the past school lunch choices is going to curb childhood obesity, can you?

My position:  Why is it that when Americans think about getting healthy, they immediately think “weird” food choices.  How many children, preteens, teens are going to enjoy their lunch time rice burger with a side of quinoa?  Why not take school lunch….a normal school lunch…and make it healthier. 

All the bread, rolls, breading made from whole wheat or whole grain
Pasta: whole grain
Rice: brown
Fruit: fresh or packed in water/fruit juice
Veggies: fresh or frozen, seasoned for flavor
Meats: lean chicken, beef, turkey, pork, fish….not deep fried
Natural peanut butter
Low fat yogurt, milk, cheese
Pizza with whole grain crust and low fat cheese
Salad or salad bar with light dressings
Oven “fried” replaces deep fried foods

Let’s keep it simple but make it work!  Changing recipes to make them healthier is not rocket science.  Improving school lunch is not about changing everything over to “foreign looking, sounding, tasting” foods.  Most kids are not interested in developing their palate…they want to eat the type of foods they like.  All the “healthy” food isn’t worth a thing if it ends up in the trash.  To say we are providing healthy food is totally different from the children actually consuming the healthy food.

We should focus on food choices kids are accustomed to seeing at lunch….but improve on their nutritional content and composition.  In the student’s eyes, their lunch can still look like typical lunch food favorites, but quietly these foods could be prepared to be lower in carb, salt, fat.  Simple changes would absolutely impact the health of our children, and get them on track for a future of healthier food choices.

Instead of forging ahead as if the revamped National School Lunch program is working...the administration should learn a lesson from the first attempt and make real, effective change a reality.  It’s not as hard as you might think..if the childrens’ health and well-being trumps  outside financial interests.  Lesson learned.