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Feeding Tube Diet: Unhealthy or Usual Business?

Posted May 13 2012 6:35pm

2 weeks after the New York Times broke this, it’s still here: covered on 20/20 Friday and Forbes  still has it front and center (my comments are highlighted): 10 days of fat and protein or just protein, 800 calories, 24/7 insertion, $1500 (not including the “trade secret” formula) and bam- 20# off. Or your money not back.

Only organized medicine seems uninterested, despite documented and numerous side effects  (sinusitis, aspiration, misplacement, puncture) of this medical device.

It’s easy to gasp at the expense, at the brazen short-cut, at the lack of interest in getting to the root cause, at the water weight loss, at the disassociation of bare nutrition from flavor (really!) and from legitimate medical uses. (I have taken care of many people with feeding tubes who wish they didn’t have to have them, and certainly did not seek one out).

But it’s also easy to appreciate the pressure people feel to lose weight, to see that they are burning fat and do lose their appetite, to empathize with people who often wish for another life and see this as a way to gain access, to invest in the marketplace of weight loss commerce, to try something new. The diet/exercise as it is often pitched often fails, so if this fails, all you have lost is money, time, a little dignity.

Is this worth standing up to and saying: why not just use a piece of duct tape?

Or is it not worth getting worked up about?

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