The Feeding Tube Diet

The new KE or feeding tube diet is the latest example of what some doctors are labeling, dangerous crash dieting.

While many people fight the urge to swan dive into the biscuit tin or indulge in a second, or fourth cupcake, some people are taking dieting to the extreme. The new KE or feeding tube diet is the latest example of what some doctors are labeling, dangerous crash dieting.

After it was reported on in the New York Times, the feeding tube diet instantly attracted global attention. The diet consists of plumbing a small hose through your nose, into your stomach, and then spending 10 days having a high protein mixture drip fed through this tube.


Having a hose in your nose may not sound very appealing but the list of side effects makes this minor inconvenience sound almost pleasant. As KE dieters are only given 800 calories per day, the first side effect will be hunger. The NHS recommends a healthy woman should consume 2000 calories per day. This ultra-low calorie diet also puts people into Ketosis which is the bodies’ way of coping when it does not get enough glucose. Ketosis can cause bad breath, dizziness, and constipation. Dr. Michael Aziz, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and author of "The Perfect 10 Diet” said the feeding tube itself can also pose real health risks. The tube is designed for unconscious patients who can not feed themselves. In the average person, it could perforate the dieter internally and cause infection.


"It's just a very crazy way to lose weight," Aziz said.


More importantly, Aziz points out that it is a very ineffective way to shed pounds. He said most of the weight lost is simply water weight. That means it will all come back as soon as the diet has finished.


People who have committed to a long term ultra-low calorie diet can do even more damage. This includes nutritional deficiencies, thyroid problems, physical damage to the heart and a drastic slowing of the dieters’ metabolism. That means it will be harder and harder to lose weight and much easier to gain it all back. These side effects are very similar to those found in someone with a severe eating disorder.


In fact, taking on this type of crash diet may be a sign that someone has a very bad relationship with food. A healthy diet should not impose such heavy calorie restrictions or remove entire food groups from the menu. Aziz said any healthy diet will include a well balanced eating plan and exercise. It is also important to remember that on a good diet, the average person should only be losing about 2 pounds per week. This will insure that the dieter stays healthy and has a better chance of keeping the weight off. Anyone thinking of going on a diet should also consult their doctor to make sure their chosen diet plan is right for them.

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