Stomach pump- new FDA approved weight loss device. #isthisforreal

No, this is NOT an onion article… the FDA has just approved a weight loss device called Aspire Assist which is essentially a stomach pump that can directly remove food from your stomach after it has been consumed. Glad we’re doing something to battle the obesity problem in this country, however, what happened to good old fashioned diet and exercise?

The Food and Drug Administration approved a weight loss device on Tuesday that pumps food out of a person’s stomach after they eat a meal.

While some have criticized the device as “assisted bulimia,” the FDA stressed in a statement, that the AspireAssist device is not meant for anyone with an eating disorder, and should only be used by adults 22-and-older who are obese and have failed to lose weight through non-surgical methods.

To place the device, a surgeon makes a tiny incision and endoscopically puts a tube in the patient’s stomach, which is attached to a “disk-shaped port that lies outside the body,” according to the statement.  To drain the contents of the stomach, a person should wait twenty or thirty minutes after they eat, and then attach an external connector to the port and open the valve.

According to the statement, 30 percent of the calories consumed during a meal can be removed by the device, which takes five-to-ten minutes to drain the food from the stomach into the toilet. Continue reading

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Healthy eating, not exercise, should be the main argument to fight obesity

From the BBC, doctors are saying that physical activity has little role in tackling obesity – and instead public health messages should squarely focus on unhealthy eating.

In an editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, three international experts said it was time to “bust the myth” about exercise.

They said while activity was a key part of staving off diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia, its impact on obesity was minimal.

Instead excess sugar and carbohydrates were key.

The experts, including London cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, blamed the food industry for encouraging the belief that exercise could counteract the impact of unhealthy eating.

Dr Malhotra said: “An obese person does not need to do one iota of exercise to lose weight, they just need to eat less. My biggest concern is that the messaging that is coming to the public suggests you can eat what you like as long as you exercise.

“That is unscientific and wrong. You cannot outrun a bad diet.”

Read the full article here.

Is sugar the new tobacco? Industry trying to silence #science

Sugar is in the news in a big obese way. Are tobacco and sugar similar? On the surface, perhaps not that much. However, science shows that both are extremely harmful to our health, shorten our lives, and both have been sold to us by industries claiming that they are not unhealthy.

We all know that smoking and tobacco are bad for us, and that a lot of scientific studies have shown how and why tobacco is harmful. However, not too recently, tobacco companies used many tactics to silence the science showing how deadly their products were in order to maintain profits. However, following the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), it became public knowledge that the companies were actually knowingly selling a harmful product. AND advertising it to children and teenagers.

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Fast forward about 15 years to today, and it seems that we are seeing a similar situation, but this time with industries that have an interest in selling sugar. The Union of Concerned Scientists has a summary of how sugar interests are undermining science that clearly shows the harmfulness of sugar (Also see the report, Added Sugar, Subtracted Science (2014)).

A major factor that has kept us in the dark about sugar’s detrimental impacts is the role that industry has played in keeping it that way. Sugar interests—food and beverage manufacturers along with industry-supported organizations such as trade associations, front groups, and public relations firms—have actively sought to ensure Americans’ consumption of high levels of sugar continues.

The summary gives a list and explanation of how sugar interests are undermining the science.

1. Attacking the science

2. Spreading misinformation

3. Deploying industry scientists

4. Influencing academia

5. Undermining policy

Sounds really similar to the methods that tobacco companies used to undermine science, right?

This is all driven home by a new study showing that obesity has a huge impact on our life expectancy (published in PLOS Medicine). So much so, that obesity is as bad, or worse, for us than smoking (see below). And don’t forget, a huge part of the obesity epidemic involves high intake of sugar, and that sugar is a major contributor to diabetes.

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Class III obesity is associated with substantially elevated rates of total mortality, with most of the excess deaths due to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and major reductions in life expectancy compared with normal weight.

We found that the reduction in life expectancy associated with class III obesity was similar to (and, for BMI values above 50 kg/m2, even greater than) that observed for current smoking.

Read the full summary by the Union of Concerned Scientists for more information on how we are slowly succeeding at beating out the sugar interests, just like we did for tobacco. Science will prevail!