March 9, 2011

"Then there are the nutritional concerns about a diet that some say mimics anorexia."

Says the NYT in a prominently featured article that gives some credence to the science behind an inane weight loss scheme in which some doctors charge over $1000 to inject you with a hormone and — guess why it works — you also limit yourself to 500 calories a day.

As Paul Campos says:
"Limiting yourself to 500 calories a day 'mimics' anorexia in the same way that injecting heroin every day 'mimics' heroin addiction."

55 comments:

Class factotum said...

I especially liked the part where people were going to an orthodontist for diet and nutrition advice.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nonapod said...

A couple years ago I lost 60 pounds by eating around 800-1000 calories a day for 4 months. At one point I went as low as 550 calories in one day for a few days. Does that mean I was anorexic?

Henry said...

Book Recommendation: The Afterlife Diet by Daniel Pinkwater.

Here, the diet doctor observes that concentration camp survivors were really really skinny. Why not get fat people to pay to live in a concentration camp -- but one where the guards are nice?

It just gets crazier and more offensive from there.

Julius said...

Wait a sec...

Wasn't there a NYT story you linked yesterday about doctors on the fringe prescribing medical marijuana to teenagers for ADHD?

And the fringe doctors du jour are prescribing a pregnancy hormone and a 500-calorie-per-day diet to women who want to lose weight?

It's the same story! Same linkbait! Make your growls of dissatisfaction as you bring your personal judgements about private medical issues... just make sure you click, and sign up for the NYT paywall so you can keep on reading this shit!

lyssalovelyredhead said...

hCG, which is derived from the urine of pregnant women, has acquired an aura of respectability because the injections are available only by prescription.

So, um, are pregnant women lining up somewhere to sell their urine to allow the sellers to collect this hormone, or how does that work, exactly?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


A couple years ago I lost 60 pounds by eating around 800-1000 calories a day for 4 months. At one point I went as low as 550 calories in one day for a few days. Does that mean I was anorexic?

It would suggest that you put your health at risk. It would also suggest that, indeed, you really ought to have been a Zek at Kolyma or one musicians at Treblinka….

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


So, um, are pregnant women lining up somewhere to sell their urine to allow the sellers to collect this hormone, or how does that work, exactly?

It “works” because there’s one born every minute….is my take on it.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Also, recommending that a 30 year old woman who is 5 ft 3 and 130 lbs eat a diet like this cannot possibly be less than malpractice. Absolutely absurd. Cut back on the bread, stop drinking soda, and make sure you eat a veggie with each meal, jeeze.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

Wasn't there a NYT story you linked yesterday about doctors on the fringe prescribing medical marijuana to teenagers for ADHD?

You know, it's really weird but there is a student I work with that has a very bad stuttering problem. However, I started noticing that sometimes the stutter is completely gone and you'd never know he had that issue.

Finally, one day I was talking with him and I discovered that he was 'buzzed' a little bit.

I'm guessing the devil weed relaxes him enough to where the stutter goes away.

Of course, now I can tell when he is high just by that alone, but I figure his instructors don't have to know, and he did finally ace his public speaking requirements, so...

Who knows? Could be something to it.

Ann Althouse said...

Meade lost 10 pounds on the protest diet.

michaele said...

Even in this economy, there are always some people who have more money than brains.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

And in completely unrelated news:

Idaho Legislature Passes Wisconsin-Style Bill Limiting Teachers Union Collective Bargaining Powers…

Triangle Man said...

Meade was on a hunger strike you say?

Class factotum said...

So, um, are pregnant women lining up somewhere to sell their urine to allow the sellers to collect this hormone, or how does that work, exactly?

I have some friends (they live in California, which explains everything, bless their hearts) who did this diet. Their pregnant woman hormone came from India.

Shanna said...

Huckabee lost his weight on this program where you basically drink your meals and I think it's 800-1000 calories a day. Very low, at any rate. It's similar to medifast, which coworker is doing on and off.

The thing is, it seems like once you start actually eating all the weight comes back. I agree with Lissa, cut back on bread/sweets/soda.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wasn't there a NYT story you linked yesterday about doctors on the fringe prescribing medical marijuana to teenagers for ADHD?"

That story was actually a year old. I just ran across it.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Shanna, my dad (who's always been quite hefty) lost a lot of weight doing what I assume was about the same thing on SlimFast (years ago, back when Tommy LaSorda was shilling for them). But it all came back pretty quickly, too. I've noticed Huckabee's porked up quite a bit in the last year or so as well.

Ann Althouse said...

"Meade was on a hunger strike you say?"

It was more a combination of being too busy to eat, moving around more than usual, and picking up a virus.

edutcher said...

Paul Campos sounds like a sensible guy. Any chance he could primary Eric Cantor?

Ann Althouse said...

"Meade was on a hunger strike you say?"

It was more a combination of being too busy to eat, moving around more than usual, and picking up a virus.


Then it's the Commie virus diet.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


and picking up a virus.

Hanging out with all those Dirty, Smelly Hippies will do that…I’d imagine his clothes reeked of patchouli tofu for days.

Kensington said...

Some years back I lost a huge amount of weight by restricting myself to 1000 calories per day.

I went kind of crazy after a few months.

Triangle Man said...

It was more a combination of being too busy to eat, moving around more than usual, and picking up a virus.

The truth isn't as much fun. I'm sticking with hunger strike.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I must be one of the few who understand that the proper method of weight loss is a sensible diet and exercise plan.

Its really not that difficult to do once you achieve a level of self discipline.

D.D. Driver said...

There is TONS of scientific research about the health BENEFITS of extreme lo-cal diets. Longer life, less illness, etc. (There was a big study in Madison on rhesus monkeys.)

It's surprising to me that attitudes have not kept up with the science.

I'm pretty convinced that if I had the discipline to eat only 500-800 calories a day, I would greatly extend my life expectancy. Put that into practice, however, is a different story.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


There is TONS of scientific research about the health BENEFITS of extreme lo-cal diets. Longer life, less illness, etc. (There was a big study in Madison on rhesus monkeys.)

It's surprising to me that attitudes have not kept up with the science.

I'm pretty convinced that if I had the discipline to eat only 500-800 calories a day, I would greatly extend my life expectancy. Put that into practice, however, is a different story.


Really considering that you’d be taking in fewer calories than are necessary to maintain a body weight…Geeeeez, who knew that the Japanese/Soviet/German Concentration Camp Guards deserved thanks, not condemnation? If you were a 60 inch womon, leading a sedentary lifestyle, weighing 80 pounds you’d need 1300 calories a day just to maintain weight…

Ok, Ok, I fell for a joke didn’t I?

Kensington said...

Life wouldn't be worth living on only 500 calories per day, even if you got to do it longer by extending your life expectancy.

Life is to be lived, not merely elongated.

Joe said...

There have been several studies of low cal diets. One of the most interesting happened during WWII and probably wouldn't be allowed today. The bottom line is that humans are not mice or monkeys and if low cal diets don't kill you, they cause all sorts of short and long term problems.

Fred4Pres said...

I met an old guy who said the way to lose weight is to eat slightly less every day, at every meal, until you reach the weight you want to be at.

Henry said...

Have we already forgotten Jack Lalanne?

Scales lie! You lose thirty pounds of muscle and you gain thirty pounds of fat and you weigh the same, right? Take that tape measure out. That won't lie. Your waistline is your lifeline. It should be the same as it was when you were a young person.

traditionalguy said...

The Publix Shopping Center nearby our home haa 10 small businesses as well, and yet the parking lot was never more than 30% full, plus a few more right before Thanksgiving. Suddenly the place was packed every afternoon and evening. The girl at the dry cleaners said a Weight Watchers had recently rented a small space, and observing the foot traffic I should have figured that out. We apparently have some very hefty citizens in our neighborhood.

Meade said...

As Paul Campos says: "Limiting yourself to 500 calories a day 'mimics' anorexia in the same way that injecting heroin every day 'mimics' heroin addiction."

Look. One does not need a constitutional law professor to know which way the winds of irony fail to blow.

500 calories a day does not "equal" anorexia. Injecting heroin every day does not even "equal" heroin addiction. An ordinary everyday citizen-journalist gardener who never even finished his bachelor's degree gets that.

[Academe]-ordained professors' tongues
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that [mimicry]
Is just equality in school
“Equality,” I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now

D.D. Driver said...

"Really considering that you’d be taking in fewer calories than are necessary to maintain a body weight…"

Yes. Really.

Your metabolism will slow down.

It's definitely not a joke. Obviously, you must ensure that you are getting all of your necessary nutrients. Don't confuse calories with nutrition.

We are not not mice or monkeys. But we are mammals and mammal tend to share similar metabolic. I would be surprised if the effect would found in mice and other primates but not in people.

Kensington said...

I haven't forgotten Jack LaLanne. I'm still glad the sanctimonious SOB is finally gone.

D.D. Driver said...

... that should say "metabolic pathways."

I wish there was an edit feature.

Ann Althouse said...

Watch out for Meade. He's hungry.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


Don't confuse calories with nutrition.

No of course not, as long as I have all the vitamins my body needs, who needs FOOD, at all? Dood/Doodette you are talking about a “diet” that Ivan Denisovitch would find paltry.

Meade said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Watch out for Meade. He's hungry."

Yeah - hungry like a man in drag

Ann Althouse said...

Honey, why are you so hard?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


Meade: Yeah - hungry like a man in drag
3/9/11 12:03 PM


Althouse:
Honey, why are you so hard?


Really People, you can’t expect us to get lines like this and not spike them….I mean this could go some many different ways…

Meade said...

Hint: Has something to do with leaning against your velvet door.

D.D. Driver said...

Joe:

Maybe you should educate yourself on the scientific research. And there is A LOT of it.

Or not. People really don't like to learn new things, even in the face of facts. Most folks would prefer to keep believing the things they already believe.

But kudos for proving Godwin's Law in a discussion on what constitutes a healthy diet.

That's got to be a first.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Hmmm... Well, at the points in my life where I've had a lot of HCG, it has caused me to eat less and lose weight.

And then the OB gets all annoyed, but then the HCG goes down and other hormones kick in and I can stomach food again.

Seriously--- why doesn't this make the women extremely nauseous?

Ann Althouse said...

You should see Meade's scorpion crawl across my circus floor...

Hey, we should ghostwrite for Sheen!

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


But kudos for proving Godwin's Law in a discussion on what constitutes a healthy diet.

That's got to be a first.


Kudos for ignoring HISTORY and trying to create your own dietary Utopia where taking in fewer calories than will sustain maintenance of a body wirght of 80 pounds for an ADULT is somehow desirable…Your “inability” to master yourself is called the SELF PRESERVATION DRIVE! It’s not your weak-willed your body would prefer not to starve to death…bearing in mind that at the calorie level you posit your brain starts eating itself, producing IRREVERSIBLE brain damage, mayhap you won’t mind wasting away.

And really you don’t see the laughing faces of Pol Pot, Reinhard Heydrich, Lavrenti Beria laughing at you from H3ll as you propose, for yourself, a diet they inflicted upon others and were justly condemned as criminals?

Oligonicella said...

Meade --

Injecting heroin every day does not even "equal" heroin addiction.

Not sure what your tack is but, yes it does equal heroin addiction. You'll have to explain how it isn't.

Meade said...

Oli,

Share your definition for "addiction" and we'll go from there.

WV: "gralegel" : garage mahal goes to law school

D.D. Driver said...

"And really you don’t see the laughing faces of Pol Pot, Reinhard Heydrich, Lavrenti Beria laughing at you from H3ll as you propose, for yourself, a diet they inflicted upon others and were justly condemned as criminals?"

That's an excellent strawman. But that's not really what I am saying, is it?

You think Pol Pot ensured that his victims received all the necessary micro-nutrients in their diets? And enabled proper hygiene? You you think *maybe* there was just a little more in play than number of calories?

You are bizarrely defensive about what is pretty sound science, that has been replicated over. And over. And over. And over.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


You think Pol Pot ensured that his victims received all the necessary micro-nutrients in their diets? And enabled proper hygiene? You you think *maybe* there was just a little more in play than number of calories?

You are bizarrely defensive about what is pretty sound science, that has been replicated over. And over. And over. And over.


I have seen the Science, but I must say I have never heard that it involved 500-800 calories, the figure YOU bruited about….

Via Wiki: Starvation
Severe calorie restriction may result in starvation, unless metabolism is also slowed by some means. The concept of a reduced calorie diet should not be confused with anorexia nervosa or other eating disorders. If such a pattern is repeated for prolonged periods of severe caloric restriction, the body may burn lean tissue (including but not limited to muscle and collagen) along with its remaining fat reserves.[33] The combination of starvation and the associated lethargy and decreased physical activity can result in muscular atrophy which leads to lower quality of life.[34][35]
Beyond using lean tissue as energy source, the presence of catabolic hormones, such as cortisol, and lack of anabolic ones, such as insulin, disrupts protein synthesis, amino acid uptake and weakens the immune system. It is possible that even moderate calorie restriction may be harmful in specific patient populations, such as lean persons who have minimal amounts of body fat.[36]


But hey you drive on with your plan to take in 800 calories, live a long time, sitting listlessly, in a chair brain-damaged….

I still believe you are joking and pulling my leg. NO ONE could be this obtuse about REAL LIFE (Famines/Death Camps) as opposed to theoretical laboratory findings (Fruit Flies/rodents).

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm pretty convinced that if I had the discipline to eat only 500-800 calories a day, I would greatly extend my life expectancy.

My new diet plan: 4 Twinkies and a Coke a day.

Triangle Man said...

@D.D.Driver

Weindruch's study on calorie restriction in rhesus macaques has demonstrated that more of the monkeys on the calorie restricted diet appear to have aged less than monkeys on a standard diet. However, not all of them. Although aging-related disease and mortality are reduced in the CR monkeys, keep in mind the highly restrictive conditions in which they live. It is a stretch to say that humans living in society will have the same mortality experience as macaques in a lab, and that CR can be expected to have a similar effect. Indeed epidemiological studies in humans have pointed to loss of weight and low body mass indexes as being negative prognostic factors. You are more likely to die if you are underweight than normal weight or a little overweight.

Methadras said...

What was old is new again.

The Crack Emcee said...

Class factotum,

I especially liked the part where people were going to an orthodontist for diet and nutrition advice.

Welcome to the wonderful world of quackery.

I'd be willing to put good money down that the vast majority of his clients are women, and that no one in a position of authority - no one - and, especially, no woman, is willing to suggest those female clients suffer from mental problems.

Charlie Sheen? Me? Any man who stands up and says "This is all madness and wrong!" Oh, there they're more than willing,...

Chris said...

500 calories a day is extremely dangerous, life-threatening and can result in PERMANENT impairment of internal organ function. There is simply no way any rational medical person would license this.

Sweat Bee said...

To answer a couple of questions that have been asked. I'm not sure EXACTLY where they get the pregnant women to, uh, donate the hormone, but hcg shots are not some kind of newfangled product. My guess is they're using one of several products already on the market that are used in common fertility treatments where you need to use a "trigger shot" of hcg to do the job of luteinizing hormone signal the body to release an egg.

And as for why the women on the diet aren't nauseated, it's because it's not the hcg that makes you feel sick. It's the extra progesterone relative to blood volume.