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A new study is showing that more teens that are overweight are undergoing laparoscopic gastric band surgery which is a weight-loss procedure that isn’t approved for anyone under 18 years old.

The rates are going up “as diet and activity are proven again and again to be ineffective at getting morbidly obese patients to lose weight,” said study co-author Dr. Daniel A. DeUgart, a pediatric surgeon at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Researchers discovered by looking at a databank for bypass surgery that 590 people between 13 and 20 years old underwent gastric band or gastric bypass surgery in the period studied. Eighteen percent of the patients were under 18 showing that more teens are undergoing weight loss procedure
Many experts believe the weight loss surgeries are needed while others express concern that teens may be risking their health.

To make the situation worse, researchers found that 93% of the surgeries were performed in hospitals that are not affiliated with nationally recognized children’s hospitals. The authorsnoted that although “manufacturers have touted the banding procedure as less invasive, many [medical] centers have abandoned gastric banding because of poor long-term results,” concerns about chronic esophageal blockage, the need for frequent readjustments, and complications from the surgery.

Dr. Edward Livingston, a gastric surgeon at the University of Texas Southwestern School says, “If you follow the rules it works. But most people who get to be 400 pounds aren’t very good at following rules.”

Obesity is a very big problem for today’s youth, and DeUgart noting some over-sized students must be home-schooled because they don’t fit into the chairs in their local public schools.”Bariatric surgery is increasingly becoming a treatment option for adolescents, and in the right setting and with proper evaluation, it may be appropriate,” said DeUgart.

It is important to notte that bariatric surgery isn’t a cure-all for obesity. The study doesn’t say if the procedures kept weight off in the long term. In addition the researchrs noted that many teens aren’t emotionally ready for the change in how they look at food, Livingston added. “When you force that kind of change on them, you can run into trouble,” he said.

The study did conclude that more teens are undergoing a weight-loss procedure. “Long-term studies are needed to fully assess the efficacy, safety, and healthcare costs of these procedures in adolescents,” DeUgarte and his colleagues concluded.


Health Canada is advising consumers not to use Natural (Xin Yi Dai) and Lasmi due to concerns about possible side-effects.

Natural (Xin Yi Dai) and Lasmi are both promoted for weight loss.

Reason for Warning

The Hong Kong Department of Health warned against the use of Natural (Xin Yi Dai) and Lasmi because they were both found to contain undeclared pharmaceutical ingredients.

Natural (Xin Yi Dai) was found to contain sibutramine and phenolphthalein, and Lasmi was found to contain sibutramine and spironolactone.

Sibutramine is used in the treatment of obesity and spironolactone is used in the treatment of fluid retention. Both are prescription drugs that should only be used under the supervision of a health care professional.

Phenolphthalein was previously used in over-the-counter laxative preparations but is currently prohibited in Canada as it may cause cancer. Individuals who may have been exposed to phenolphthalein should consult with their health care professional.

Possible Side-Effects

Use of sibutramine may cause headaches, increased heart rate and blood pressure, chest pain and stroke.

Abuse of phenolphthalein-containing laxatives has been associated with stomach and intestinal bleeding, anemia, acute pancreatitis and, in cases of massive overdose, multiple organ damage (including liver failure).

Side-effects associated with spironolactone include electrolyte imbalance, breast enlargement in males, gastrointestinal irritation, fatigue, dizziness and reproductive disorders.

A widely reported Israeli study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, compared three popular weight loss diets – low fat, which was attributed to the American Heart Association, low carbohydrate/high protein based on the Atkins diet, and Mediterranean style. The researchers found that people on the low carbohydrate/high protein diet lost slightly more weight over a two year period. Does that mean that people who are trying to lose weight should adopt a low carbohydrate/high protein diet?

An important point to clarify is that the Israeli researchers began their study in 2005, before the association’s dietary recommendations were revised in 2006. Therefore, the diet identified as being low-fat and based on American Heart Association guidelines is no longer recommended by the association, which does not currently advocate restricting total fat intake to less than 30 percent for weight loss.

In the American Heart Association’s 2006 dietary recommendations, the association stresses the importance of limiting “bad fats,” and says that saturated fats should be less than seven percent of calories consumed daily, and trans-fats should be less than one percent. A range between 25 – 35 percent for total fat consumption is suggested for most people, not just those trying to lose weight. Saturated fats are typically found in meat products and in tropical oils, such as coconut and palm oil. Trans-fat is man-made, and is also known as partially-hydrogenated fat – it is found mainly in commercially baked goods.

Just as importantly, the 2006 recommendations focus on what people should eat more of — fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean-meats, poultry and fish twice a week. These recommendations were developed by internationally recognized experts, who based their recommendations on hundreds of published studies that looked at the relationship between what people eat and the development of heart disease and stroke.

The diet identified as Mediterranean in the study was high in fiber and vegetables and low in red meat (a major source of saturated fat), with no more than 35 percent of total calories coming from fat. This pattern reflects the current recommendations from the American Heart Association.

Multiple studies have shown that diets high in saturated and trans fats are strongly associated with the development of heart disease, and that diets rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains are strongly associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

Robert H. Eckel, M.D., a former president of the American Heart Association and a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine cautions the public about jumping to conclusions about the results of the Israeli study.

“Although the people who ate the low carbohydrate/high protein diet lost more weight, it is crucial to consider what diets high in saturated fats might do to your blood vessels and heart over time. The scientific evidence strongly indicates that this type of diet could put people at higher risk of developing heart disease.”

While the weight loss was moderately different between all three groups, the clinical difference was marginal. The American Heart Association stands behind its dietary guidelines as an effect way of losing weight and keeping it off.

The American Heart Association’s No Fad Diet book provides an individualized weight loss program that offers three different strategies for people to choose from, including a low-carb option.

What you need to know right now:

* Eighty-six percent of the participants in the Israeli study were men, and it is unknown how the study’s results apply to women

* The low fat diet used in the study was based on the American Heart Association’s dietary guidelines issued in 2000. Subsequently, the association issued revised recommendations in 2006, which are similar to the Mediterranean dietary pattern in the study, emphasizing high fiber foods, vegetables and limits for foods high in saturated fat, such as red meat

* The Israeli study demonstrates that there are several effective ways to lose weight – people on all three dietary patterns lost weight – but the health effects of eating a high-protein/low carbohydrate Atkins style diet over time are not known

* If you have heart disease, you should avoid any diet that emphasizes eating foods high in saturated or trans fats. A large body of scientific research strongly associates such diets with an increased risk of heart disease.

With the rise of obesity in USA BodyBugg helps to keep track of the number of calories one can burn day by day, minute by minute.

Many people lose weight by exercising and running. In other words, one may call this type of weight loss a traditional one or old way. However, a new device called BodyBugg helps to count calories in a new way. BodyBugg is tied to your arm and helps to measure skin temperature, air temperature, motion and perspiration.

The Bodybugg is 100% personalized, including your weight loss goals. The information is uploaded to your computer and with a push of a button on your BodyBugg you can see your progress any time a day. Your Bug is uploaded to your online profile and you can see minute by minute profile weight lossand calorie burning progress.

While I have not seen many people wearing BoddyBugg, it seems really interesting, but expensive.

However, the whole thing with the BodyBugg is a little confusing to me. The device is made by Sensewear http://www.sensewear.com, promoted as Apex http://www.apexfitness.com and pushed by 24HourFitness http://www.24hourfitness.com.

The price of the BodyBugg can be anywhere between $250 and $350 dollars. It depnds on the program one may choose to buy. What makes BodyBugg expensive is the fact that the device and the program are subscription based program. You need to have internet access and your subscription must be current.

Bodybugg Program with Armband & Digital Display is $399.90. Web-Only bodybugg Program, which comes without the armband is $149.95 dollars. It includes an online food logging with custom meal plans, an estimated energy expenditure data based on your lifestyle, a 3-month subscription to the web-based program and 1 phone session with a bodybugg coach.

The full BodyBugg program as you can see can cost up to $400 dollars and it only includes 3 months of subscription and the device.

Bodybugg Program with Armband & Digital Display is $399.90, which also comes with an online food logging with custom meal plans and a 3-month subscription to the web-based program. This BodyBugg program icludes 1 phone session with a bodybugg coach.

Bodybugg idea seems simple and cool, but it’s hard to understand what justifies the high cost in this day and age of a small device. I can see another company coming out with a similar idea of counting your calories and making it less expensive and not necessarily with subscription.

One must be able to download BodyBugg data to his or her desktop and see the number of calories burned on a desktop based program.

California bans Trans Fat in all restaurants and eateries. Other states have single cities banning trans fats such as New York City, but California becomes the first state to ban trans fats throughout the entire state. Dr. Westby G. Fisher, MD, FACC, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL comments on trans fats.

“A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet versus a Low-Fat Diet To Treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia” showed low-carbohydrate, ketogenic (high fat) diets were superior to a low-fat diets for weight loss and lipid management.

“A randomized controlled trial of a moderate-fat, low-energy diet compared with a low fat, low-energy diet for weight loss in overweight adults” demonstrated the moderate fat diet helped dieters lose weight faster than low-fat diets.

In a “Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets for Change in Weight and Related Risk Factors Among Overweight Premenopausal Women,” the Atkins diet, with its high fat, won hands down at weight loss and lipid improvement in women.

And now, in the DIRECT Trial testing “Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet,” we find that low carbohydrate (moderate fat) or Mediterranean diets are superior to low-fat diets at weight loss and lipid management.

So given all of this prospective, randomized data, why the heck is California so proud to be banning trans fats? Trans fats exist in many, many foods besides baking oils. Meats, butter, and milk all have trans fats. Given the available data above and the efficancy of LOW CARDBOHYDRATE diets to improve weight and lipid panels, might they be targeting the wrong thing?

No wonder patients are confused about trans fats.

Wannabe TV Chef comments on Dr. Wes’s article, which we found interesting and therefore, post below.

All diets are bad, none are healthy. That is if you use the incorrect definition of “diet” which is something you only intend to do for a while to lose weight. Live style changes to smaller portions, six times a day to boost metabolism, and exercise is the ONLY healthy way to eat. Even Dr. Atkins said that low carb was not healthy, but rather a reaction to counter a life style that has led one to the point of morbid obesity. After the patient was out of the danger zone he then recommended a life style change to a healthy moderate-carb, moderate-fat diet.

Yes, trace amounts of trans fats do occasionally occur in some animal products, the bulk of trans fats come from hydrogonated oils like shortening and margerine. These “man-made” trans fats cannot be metabolized by the body and are therefore stored as fat, every single gram of them. These fats are also thought to cause cancer. Man-made trans fats constitute 99.9% of trans fats in the American diet.

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