Sunday, July 6, 2008

New direction in weight loss: Trick brain and turn appetite off

This seems to be another dead end in the war against fat. It's another one of those "solutions" that is a temporary fix for weight loss, meaning as long as you have the implant, you will lose/maintain weight, but as soon as it's removed, you're more than likely to start gaining it all back. Why do I say this? Because it's mainly based on the stereotype that fat people constantly eat too much and don't know when to stop eating.
Scientists have long suspected that some people overeat because of a faulty connection in the brain. They don't get the message that they're full, so "they just don't know when to stop eating," said Knudson.

What percentage of fat people have this kind of problem? How many of those fat people have been on and off diets for so many years that they no longer trust their bodies to tell them when they're hungry and when they're full? How many of those fat people have a disease that prevents them from knowing when they're full?
But none of that seems to matter, because ending fat at all costs is what needs to be done, and re-educating your brain is the next new thing they've come up with. And guess what? It's another money-maker for the companies making the VBlock gastric pacemakers (about $35,000, the same as gastric bypass surgery, surprise surprise).
He estimates the overall cost will be comparable to bariatric surgery: about $35,000. But he admits there's no way of knowing how long the pounds will stay off.

Yep, looks like it's going to be just as successful as WLS in making fat people permanently thin. We all know how well that's working, but hey, even if you only get thin for a while, it's all good, right? Even though doctors will tell you that yo-yoing isn't good for your health. And people are lining up for this, in spite of it being experimental, in spite of not knowing what the risks/complications may be, simply because our society is so focused on thin=healthy, never mind that that has been shown to be so not true.
More than 80 potential recruits showed up this month to hear about the experiment at the University of Minnesota, one of 15 sites testing the device (the Mayo Clinic is another). "The room was full each time," said Ikramuddin, who hosted three information sessions. "Everybody wants to lose weight. The issue is, how?"

When are these people going to learn that fucking with a perfectly well-functioning digestive system is not going to make a naturally fat person permanently thin? Our bodies know what we need to survive, and messing with that system does nothing but create more problems, problems we would never have had if doctors and researchers would just leave well enough alone when it comes to being fat.
Now if they were touting this as a treatment for something like Prader-Willey syndrome, I would say "go for it", it might make life more bearable for those people and their families. But to say that this is a treatment for something that isn't even a disease - well, I'm sorry, but I'm not buying it (been there done that and it didn't work then, it won't work now). And I don't care how many people think being fat is a disease, it's not, it's a natural variation in body type, just as being thin is, just as being any other size is. There is a reason Mother Nature made people a wide variety of body sizes/types, and messing with that, well, to paraphrase a commercial from years back "It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature."


  1. According to the research presented by Gina Kolata in "Rethinking Thin", there is a tiny percentage of fat people, usually very fat, who have a genuine problem with their appetite/satiety hormones and regulation of such. It's genetic. It's not Binge Eating Disorder or Compulsive Overeating Disorder. It's not fat people who've been told eating anything besides a small salad with no dressing is "overeating" and having a regular second helping of something tasty is "binging".

    It's just a genetic malfunction like type 2 diabetes or polycystic kidney disease. BUT OMG TEH FATZ is blatantly involved so it must be some special kind of evil and nearly all fat people must have it, right? Right?

    In "Rethinking Thin" a few experimental treatments were tried. IIRC, the guy in charge of the research on this was frustrated that people were trying to "cure" all fat people with leptin injections and such.

    And this vagus nerve blocking doesn't really address this particular condition. It's like how they used to treat diabetics before injectable insulin: starvation. But with a gadget this time.

    My loathing for the anti-fat brigade is unholy deep.

  2. The article starts: "Dr. Sayeed Ikramuddin is no stranger to weight-loss surgery. He's done it at least 3,000 times."

    Yep. No need to read any further there, is it? I mean, that pretty much tears it for me. Dr. SI has pretty much lost any modicum of respect I could ever have had for him and replaced it with hate and fear.

    But I read it. You're right; this is based on the false notion that all fat people "overeat."

    Then there's the last paragraph - they shelved a device almost exactly like this a few years ago because it didn't work lol. A lot of the shit they're doing are just high-tech versions of these.

  3. Oh, and I find it disturbing that one of the commenters is *happy* he/she got a hiatal hernia that pretty much divided her stomach in two so now she feels full (lapband without the surgery?) So now she's losing weight. That just...can't be good.

  4. annie - That person that's so happy about having the hiatal hernia? Wait till it strangulates and see how happy she is then (that's if she's able to get to the ER to be told she needs emergency surgery to fix it before it kills her). Yeah, people are just dying to be thin (too bad that's literally true).

  5. your must read website contains many stereotypes and fat hate.
    I recommend looking into it

  6. Anonymous - Did you happen to read any of the other articles? I'll bet you didn't read any of the ones by people who were fat and healthy before they had WLS, and are now no longer healthy, and have regained their lost weight. Did you happen to check out the side effects listed, or the WLS release form? Or anything else on there other than "How to out-eat your WLS"? I'm guessing not.
    I happen to believe that anyone who reads my blog regularly is smart enough to know how to separate the wheat from the chaff, and there are more articles on that site with good information than there are articles that are fat-phobic. But of course, all you're interested in is being an asshat douchebag fuckwad troll. You don't have the ability (or don't want to take the time) to read it all and decide what is useful and what is dross. Too bad for you.

  7. This is another disgusting (and expensive and needlessly risky) way of expressing FEAR of fat as proxy for sexism, racism,etc. . (The CAPS are deliberate, BTW.) A fear that these device maker$ and $urgeon$ are counting on to increa$e their profit$. I guess until they have all our money and have killed us in the process, these idiots will never leave us alone.

    That is, until and unless we learn to tell these B-tards-with-an-M.D., their para-professional sidekicks, and their medical device and pharmaceutical cronies what they need to know: They should take and put their "interventions" for NON-illness and NOT-preventable effects of getting old up where they would insert that enema bottle nozzle. :D

    LaDiDa? In answer to part of your comment: Diabetics are still treated using starvation as one of the treatment modalities. The "recommended" daily calorie intake for diabetics is still very low. In fact, the daily diabetic patient calorie intake recommendations are low enough in some cases to qualify as starvation-level by the WHO (World Health Organization)

    So if diabetics (who are sick people) may end up making their condition even worse by prescribed permanent starvation, how in the heck can anyone tell someone who has just a bit too much adipose tissue for some peoples' tastes that induced permanent starvation can help them be healthier and happier?

  8. observer - What you said about treatment for diabetics is true. DH's doctor keeps telling him he needs to cut back on how many calories he eats (in spite of knowing that he's on his feet all day in a warehouse). This is in spite of the fact that he's gone from an A1c of 9.9 to one of 6.3 in 8 months, just by watching his carbs and using the insulin she prescribed judiciously. He's not gaining weight (not losing either, but that's not a concern of ours) in spite of eating about 2800 calories a day. His blood pressure is good for someone who's 52 (132/82) and his cholesterol is excellent. So in spite of being "overweight" and diabetic, I think he's pretty damned healthy. And DH is really good at telling his doctor what she can do with diets (he told her if eating was going to kill him, at least he'd die happy and well-fed, not malnourished and emaciated).

  9. I used to be handed those diabetic exchange diets for 1200 calories every time I went to the doctor's office from the age of 14 until after my second pregnancy (outside of the times that I was actually pregnant). I wasn't even diabetic. I wasn't even overweight, not by BMI standards of the day. I just happened to be female and weighed more than the doctor's ideal.

  10. I had an experience similar to Lillian's. I went in for a regular check up. I had to ask if they wanted any family med. history (this was a new doc.) they didn't even ask, they also didn't ask any lifestyle questions (smoking, diet, exercise, etc.). I got a call a few days later saying that my cholesterol levels were bad and I needed to change my diet (which they hadn't even asked me about!). Anyway...I get the paperwok back and all of my cholesterol related numbers are in the desirable range and one is in the optimal range. WTF! They also sent along a 1200 cal, low fat/low sod. diet. I'm sure that if I weighed 125 lbs. they never would have sent anything like that, or told me that my numbers were bad. You can't trust medical doctors any more than you can trust witch doctors. They're all full of shit.

  11. I get so angry everytime I see or hear about how important it is to "just do something... anything..." for weight loss/health! My partner of 14 years had the roux en y surgery 4 years ago and seems to be keeping the weight off- but thats about all. She has no energy, is unable to lift a basket of laundry, unable to chase our kids or go bike riding with them. Its me- Fat Me!- who ends up doing the heavier labor involved in our home because she's just too dang weak. How is that any good for her? And laughably, most people think I should "follow in her footsteps" and have the surgery too. Yeah- then who would earn the money for our family to live off- and take care of everyone?

    That's right- I have become a big fat bitch over it all.

  12. Diva Jean - The sad thing about WLS is that it basically forces a person into starvation. If you're starving, of course you aren't going to have any energy or strength to do any of the things you were able to do when you were fat (and not starving). But "society" says you aren't healthy if you aren't thin and with everyone buying into that fallacy (and people who should, and do, know better keep pushing it just so they can make a bazillion dollars), this is what happens. This is why, when I read shit like this article, I'm all "Yeah, right, and if y'all believe this shit, I have a bridge for sale." I think I've gone past cynical into outright non-belief of anything that says fat is always bad and anything you can do to not be fat is always good.
    My thought is that if it ain't broke, don't fix it (and being fat doesn't mean your body is "broken").

  13. Kind of throws a bucket of cold water on the STUPID commercials about how "I want to be able to do karate with my kid" and "I want to kiss him under the Eiffel Tower" - hard to do those things if you're too weak, eh?

  14. Yeah, Annie, but that's the thing they don't want you to know about WLS. You might end up thin, but all the things you wanted to do when you got thin, well, you probably won't have the energy or strength to do them. Which is why I'm not waiting to do the things I want, I'm doing them now because if I wait till I get thin, I'll never do them.

  15. I enjoyed your blog. I too an skeptical of this device and the constant quest for the 'holy grail' of weight loss. I'm going to add you to my blog list.


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