Friday, February 29, 2008

Parity legislation in the 110th Congress

End Health Discrimination

URGENT ALERT

HISTORIC PARITY VOTE NEXT WEEK


The House of Representatives has scheduled a historic vote on a comprehensive mental health/substance use parity bill on March 5. Please urge your U.S. Representative to support passage of H.R. 1424, the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act.



Given the importance of this vote, please take a minute to also call your Representative using the toll-free Parity Hotline, 1-866-parity4 (1-866-727-4894). The Parity Hotline reaches the Capitol switchboard, which can connect callers to their members of Congress. If you do not know the name of your Representative, click here. Be sure to let us know you called!


Policy Position and Call to Action

All people in America should have a right to health-care benefits, including needed behavioral health services. The Mental Health America calls on federal and state government to ensure, as a matter of law, that public and private health plans afford people access to needed behavioral health care and treatment on the same basis. Such services should be subject to the same terms and conditions as care and treatment for any other illness, without regard to diagnosis, severity, or cause.

Background

Mental health is essential to leading a healthy life and to the development and realization of every person’s full potential. Yet mental illness and substance-use disorders are leading causes of disability and premature mortality in the United States. As the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health observed in its final report,[1] mental disorders are “shockingly common.” Most people are affected in some way by mental illness at some point in their lives.

With striking scientific advances over the last half century, behavioral health problems are now reliably diagnosed, and there is a range of treatments for virtually every such disorder. Those treatments have efficacy rates comparable to or exceeding those for many medical and surgical conditions. Yet all too often people with diagnosable mental disorders do not seek treatment. “Concerns about the cost of care – concerns made worse by the disparity in insurance coverage for mental disorders in contrast to other illnesses – are among the foremost reasons why people do not seek needed mental health care,” the Surgeon General observed in the landmark 1999 report on mental health.[2]

Health insurance plans, from private individual and group coverage to the Medicare program, have long imposed barriers that limit access to needed behavioral health care for both mental and substance-use disorders, with far-reaching and often tragic results. No comparable barriers limit access to needed care for other illnesses. That such blatant discrimination continues to flourish -- more than a decade after enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, some forty years after the adoption of the first modern civil rights’ laws, and nearly a century since this organization’s establishment as a movement based on principles of social justice -- attests to the deep-rootedness of the stigma surrounding behavioral health disorders. But that such ongoing arbitrary discrimination is countenanced by federal law is nothing short of shameful.

The widespread practice of providing unequal coverage for behavioral health and other medical care not only limits access to needed care, but subjects many Americans to the risk of major financial losses from out-of-pocket costs. At the most profound level, these practices reinforce the poisonous stigma underlying disparate treatment of “others”. That disparate coverage of behavioral health should be routine, and that discrimination against people with or at risk of behavioral health disorders should be lawful, is not only morally offensive in itself, but fosters a climate that tolerates and even encourages other forms of discrimination and weakens the fabric of equal-opportunity laws.

No rational basis supports these discriminatory health-insurance practices, which have drawn criticism from voices ranging from President George W. Bush to Fortune 500 chief executive officers.[3] A landmark report by the National Business Group on Health recommends employers equalize their medical and behavioral benefit structures given evidence that parity yields significant clinical benefit without increasing overall healthcare costs.[4]

Lack of understanding regarding mental health and deep-rooted stigma help explain why it is still so common for health plans to place greater restrictions on treating behavioral health disorders than on other illnesses. While enlightened business leaders in some industries and communities have voluntarily provided parity protection for their workforces, voluntary measures are not an answer to the widespread discrimination facing most insured Americans. Thus, Mental Health America supports insurance-parity legislation.

Congress took a first step toward ending such discriminatory insurance practices when it enacted the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996. The Act established the principle that there should be no disparity in health insurance between mental-health and general medical benefits. By its terms, however, the Act provided only that employer health plans that cover more than fifty employees and that offer mental health benefits may not impose disparate annual or lifetime dollar limits on mental health care.

The 1996 Act represented an important milestone, but has not produced fundamental changes. People with or at risk of behavioral-health disorders still face widespread, arbitrary discrimination in insurance plans. As the General Accounting Office (GAO) reported in reviewing the Act’s implementation, the vast majority of employers it surveyed complied with the 1996 law, but substituted new restrictions and limitations on mental health benefits, thereby evading the spirit of the law.[5] As GAO documented, employers routinely limited mental health benefits more severely than medical and surgical coverage, most often by restricting the number of covered outpatient visits and hospital days, and by imposing far higher cost-sharing requirements.[6]

Although subsequent efforts to enact a comprehensive federal parity law have been unsuccessful, the federal Government further advanced the principle of parity by requiring insurers to equalize behavioral-health and other health benefits under the Federal Employee Health Benefits program (FEHB), which covers federal employees (including Members of Congress), retirees and dependents.[7]

Most states have adopted laws requiring parity between mental health and general health benefits in group health insurance. But those state laws vary widely in scope, and, under federal law, do not govern the health plans of the many employers who elect to self-insure.[8]

Those opposing parity legislation often assert that it will add to the cost of health care. But as the National Business Group on Health observed in its employer’s guide to behavioral health services, a number of parity studies have found that equalizing specialty behavioral health and general medical benefits will either not increase total healthcare expenses at all or will increase them by only a very modest amount of total healthcare premium. [9] The real cost lies in not treating behavioral health disorders. As the National Business Group noted, the indirect costs associated with mental illness and substance-use disorders – excess turnover, lost productivity, absenteeism and disability – commonly meet or exceed the direct treatment costs, and have been estimated to be as high as $105 billion annually.[10]

The discrimination in health insurance against people with or at risk of behavioral health disorders; the lack of real protection in current law against such discrimination; and the loss of life, health, and productivity attributable to these insurance barriers make it critical that Congress ensure that public and private health plans equalize medical and behavioral health benefit structures. Some attack parity legislation targeting employer-provided insurance as inappropriate regulation of benefits provided at the employer’s discretion. But these discriminatory practices frustrate the compelling governmental interest of protecting all Americans equally, at whatever level of coverage the employer or the insured can afford. Indeed, federal law subsidizes employers through the federal tax code for providing health insurance to employees (allowing the cost of insurance as an ordinary business expense).[11] It is wholly appropriate for Congress to condition entitlement to such tax benefits on employers’ providing health benefits in a non-discriminatory manner.

Facing opposition to parity proposals, legislators have in some instances limited the scope of such measures and provided parity protection to only certain populations. Sound public policy aimed at achieving fairness is certainly not realized, however, when the law affords fair and equal treatment to some and not others. Mental Health America, therefore, does not support enactment of legislation that limits parity protection only to individuals who have specified diagnoses.[12]

Compelling principles dictate the adoption of comprehensive parity legislation. These include recognition that:

  1. All people in America should have a right to health-care benefits, including needed behavioral health services.

  2. Since comprehensive health-care is critical to people’s well-being and to realizing their full potential, barriers to behavioral health care and treatment cannot be justified or tolerated.

  3. Coverage of needed health care – whether through government, employment, or individual purchase – must be afforded equitably to all people, without regard to the nature, severity, or cause of the individual’s illness or disability.

  4. Insurance practices that set stricter limits on behavioral health coverage than on coverage for other illnesses cannot be justified and must not be permitted.

Effective Period

The Mental Health America Board of Directors approved this policy on September 8, 2006. It will remain in effect for five (5) years and is reviewed as required by the Mental Health America Prevention and Adults Mental Health Services Committee.

Expiration: September 8, 2011




[1] “Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America,” New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, p. 1, 2003.

[2] “Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General,” p. 23, 1999.

[3] Remarks by the President on Mental Health, April 29, 2002; Hackett, J.T., CEO of Ocean Energy Inc., testimony before the Subcommittee on Health of the Energy and Commerce Committee, House of Representatives, July 23, 2002.

[4]An Employer’s Guide to Behavioral Health Services,” National Business Group on Health, p. 68, November 2005.

[5] “Mental Health Parity Act: Despite New Federal Standards, Mental Health Benefits Remain Limited,” United States General Accounting Office, p. 21, May 2000.

[6] Id. at pp. 13-14.

[7] Federal Employee Health Benefits Program Carrier Letter, April 11, 2000.

[8] The Employer Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) allows employers to offer uniform national health benefits by preempting states from regulating employer-sponsored benefit plans. Thus, while states can regulate health insurers, they are unable to regulate employee benefit plans established by employers. Federal parity legislation explicitly amends ERISA to ensure that self-insured employer health plans are subject to federal parity requirements. (See H.R. 1402, 109th Congress.)

[9] Report, op. cit., p. 52.

[10] Report, op. cit., p. 30.

[11] See 26 U.S.C.A. sec. 162(a)(1).

[12] A law that requires health plans to provide parity only for those with a severe mental illness or those with a “biologically-based mental illness,” for example, implicitly conveys the message that it is acceptable to discriminate against those with other mental disorders, and suggests that such disorders do not merit the law’s protection. Such limited parity protection discourages early intervention and leaves children at particular risk, since the few illnesses covered under such laws seldom occur until late adolescence or early adulthood. Mental Health America does, nevertheless, recognize that enactment and implementation of such laws have enabled advocates in some states to build on an incremental gain and later win passage of comprehensive legislation.



Mental Health America
Mental Health America's Advocacy Network

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lap-Band Not as Safe as People Think

More and more people are opting for the lapband procedure for WLS. Most believe it will eliminate the nutritional complications associated with the malabsorption procedures like RNY. They are also under the mistaken assumption that there are fewer complications with this procedure.

Junkfood Science shows us the dark side of this popular procedure.

Junkfood Science: They didn’t want the surgery, but believed it was their only chance to live

It is widely perceived, and widely marketed, that lap bands are completely safe, reversible and result in few complications. The reality, which sadly most patients like this young mother only come to realize after their surgeries, is that the complications far exceed what most people believe. Even the clinical trials for FDA approval of the band, conducted under ideal situations, encountered high rates of complications. In just the first 3 years post-op, Lap Band reported 89% had one or more adverse events, ranging from mild, moderate, to severe. The most common were:

· vomiting (experienced by over half)

· gastroesophageal reflux (regurgitation)

· band slippage/pouch dilatation and stoma obstruction (stomach-band outlet blockage)

· esophageal dilatation or dysmotility (the long-term effects of dysfunctioning esophagus are currently unknown)

· constipation, diarrhea

· dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)

As Lap Band reported, in their study, 25% of the patients had their bands removed during their 3-year follow-up, most after adverse events. Another one in ten needed a second surgery to fix a problem.

Not all it's cracked up to be is it....but this just a sampling of the info in this post...head over there and check out the rest...you might just think twice about undergoing this procedure at all.

While you are there, read over more of the posts concerning WLS. It tells you the things the bariatric centers and the WLS support forums don't.

Monday, February 25, 2008

WLS and Kids

Even before all the difficulties I have been experiencing as of late, I have always disagreed with the idea of kids having WLS. I have even gone back to some of my earlier posts on the support forums to make sure my own words didn't come back to haunt me. Even when I was a staunch supporter of WLS, I was looking at the possible long term effects it may have if used on kids.

I stumbled on a blog the other day that really went into detail about this issue, She Dances On The Sand. In preparation for doing the posts she asked for comments from the readers.

She Dances On The Sand: THIS IS IMPORTANT!

There are very, very few, if any, situations where a child needs to undergo bariatric surgery to save his or her life--where it is such an emergency that they cannot wait until they are old enough to make a proper decision and give informed consent.

Is there anyone out there who cares about this issue? Or am I lone voice on this matter? I want comments, lots and lots of them, telling me how you feel about this!

Although most of the people I know in the WLS community are against this surgery for kids, I was astounded at how these many posters felt. It was a real awakening for me. Here are just a few of the comments, be sure and head over to the post for the rest:


Kristin said...

I think that performing such surgeries on children is horrifying, particularly as it is mostly for cosmetic reasons. It reinforces the idea to children that their worth is dictated by their physical attractiveness. Moreover, it prohibits them from ever having a normal relationship with food and eating.




Andee said...

YES, YES, YES. I completely agree with you. This is a barbaric thing to do to a kid. Even if s/he wants the surgery. Maybe especially if s/he wants the surgery.

*I* probably would have wanted the surgery from the time I was 12 or 13 or 14 -- it will get me to stop eating so much! I'll be skinny! I'll be pretty! I'll have a boyfriend! A BOYFRIEND WHO LOVES ME!!! Where do I sign up? And I wasn't even "obese" then, just chubbier than what was considered "pretty," and I wanted "love" SO BAD, and I was utterly convinced that it was my fat ass standing in the way (noooo, it had nothing to do with the fact that no boy I had ever met then was capable of loving me the way I dreamed of, fat or thin).

It's likely that my parents would have said no, though -- not because they were so fat-accepting but because they would have been squicked by the nutritional-deficiency thing. Which is why ALL parents should say no to this for their kids. Some things just ain't worth it, even if it will get your kid invited to prom.

Andee (Meowser)





Rebecca said...

You're not alone. The idea of depriving CHILDREN of the calories and nutrients they need to GROW and DEVELOP... it's beyond horrifying. My dad wouldn't even let us diet until we were adults, because having our bodies and brains develop healthily and properly was more important than conforming to the societal ideal. I wish more parents thought that way.

Although, I don't think you can blame the parents in all cases. I've read about parents who were told by their doctors: "Your child will not live to see their 18th birthday unless they lose weight". If you're told that as a parent, and nothing else you've done to get them to lose weight has worked... well. That's why it's so important to get the message out there that fat does not equal death.


I bolded that last sentence on purpose to make the point. Obese does not equal unhealthy any more than thin equals healthy. Here are a couple posts that will enlighten you on that aspect.

Don’t You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy? « Shapely Prose
Big Fat Facts: The Truth About Fat, Obesity, Gastric Bypass, and Weight Loss


Getting back to the whole issue of this post, Kids having WLS. I could go on and on about this. But these posts do it for me. Read and learn.

She Dances On The Sand: Kids and WLS, Part One: Introduction, and Physical health concerns

She Dances On The Sand: Kids & WLS, Part Two: Psychological considerations

She Dances On The Sand: Kids & WLS, Part Three: Informed Consent

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Under Construction


Please pardon the changes that my blog will be undergoing in the future. I'm trying out new templates and layouts. So pardon the mess.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Response to Anonymous

I moderate the comments on this blog to keep out spam. I'm not here to censor others comments. I recently had a comment that honestly I did not want to publish. It pissed me off and made me sad all at the same time. I've been trying to figure out how to respond. Here is the comment. My responses in red.

Why have your posts become so negative about WLS?

I will be the first to admit my present circumstances have been clouding some of my most recent posts. But if you have been a reader of my blog for very long, you will see I have always tried to post the negatives also. I am a firm believer that to be able to make an INFORMED decision about something you must have ALL the facts. WLS is a life changing surgery in many aspects. Before deciding to go that route, you MUST know what all it will entail. I have never professed to be a rah, rah , cheerleader for WLS. It has always been a matter of personal choice to me.

WLS saved my life and you have stated in earlier posts it saved yours too.

Yes, I do believe that at the time WLS was the only route for me. Given the knowledge I have now, would I do it again. In my analytical mind, that is a resounding HELL NO. In the mind of that insecure little fat girl who thinks life would be a bed of roses only if she was thin---yeah I probably would.

Is it what you are going through right now?

As I stated earlier, yes that probably colors my objectivity at this time. But only to a point.

You may be having some minor setbacks, but the over all picture is you have lost over 200 pounds. That is worth it in the long run. You no longer have a host of serious problems associated with morbid obesity. You should be thankful for that. Not trying hard to spread gloom and doom about obesity surgery.

Yes, I have lost over 200 pounds. How does that make everything I am facing and will face in the future worth it. You call them "minor setbacks". Others call them "side effects". I call them complications. These complications have seriously altered my life. Yes I no longer have diabetes or hypertension. But in having WLS I have just exchanged one set of medical complications for another. So no I am no thankful for that. The long term consequences associated with WLS are not clearly found anywhere. Who knows have bad my health will have suffer in 5, 10, 15 years down the road.

I do not feel like I'm spreading gloom and doom either. I am presenting facts as I know them so others may make their own decisions.

There are thousands of very satisfied people who have had WLS. Just look at the support forums on the web. Sure there are some things you just have to deal with, like taking your supplements and exercising. Following the rules. It is so worth the small sacrifices though.

Yes, you do find many people who feel WLS has drastically changed their lives. The support forums are full of them as you pointed out. But how many of them speak of things I deem complications on a regular basis. The threads are full of people who are speaking of ulcers, severe dumping, poor lab values, constant diarrhea, hair loss, etc. But they just chalk it up to what they have to live with after surgery. Excuse me if I don't think having to go several times a year for IV iron as being okay. I don't think having spend mega bucks each month on supplements just because my body won't absorb stuff anymore as a minor setback. Nor is having bones breaking at the drop of a hat and barely crawling out of the bed in the morning because of the osteoarthritis worth it all. All in the name for being thin. It boils down bottom line to everyone as basing their entire self-worth by the number on a scale. the would rather live through these complications than to go back to being fat.

I am 3 years post op and have had no complications whatsoever. I'm looking forward to a long and happy life. A whole lot longer than it would have been had I stayed obese.

I'm happy that you are not having any complications so far. I sincerely hope you never do. As for living longer after WLS than if you had stayed obese, don't think so. You won't, that has already been well established. WLS does not increase your life span. It actually shortens it.

I think some may have a few complications. But there are alot more of us who are doing just fine.

Here again, most of the "normal"things that people experience after WLS are really complications from the surgery. The hair loss, dumping, etc. so yes there are a ton more who are experiencing complications, but like you they don't view them that way.

Even if this research is true, I would rather die younger as a thin person, than live longer being fat.

Now this just makes me sad.....

I wonder how your family would feel if they knew this. I think they would rather have you here and fat. You are willing to give your life just to conform to societies ideal of what beauty is....sad....and wrong.

I had some more responses left---

Rachel said...

Even if this research is true, I would rather die younger as a thin person, than live longer being fat.

Hey anonymous: Given the long-term "success" rates around WLS, you just may very well get your wish.

I used to think the same way, too. Of course in my case, I didn't have WLS, I had anorexia. Yes, that is truly how fucked up your "logic" is.

vesta44 said...

anonymous #2 - not everyone is doing well post-WLS. I had a friend who died from it 10 years ago. She should never have been allowed to do it, she was a multiple personality and had more issues than I can list. She started regaining weight after her first VBG (she had gone from 400 lbs to 160 and had gone up to 175), so they went in and redid it (she had also had a massive ventral hernia repaired before her 1st VBG). When they did the 2nd VBG, they didn't remove the mesh that had repaired her hernia and her intestines got tangled in it and started to die. She had to go back in and have almost half of them removed. She ended up with short gut syndrome (you eat and you immediately shit it out), malnutrition, and myocarditis (which is what ultimately killed her). How she passed the psych test is beyond me, but maybe it was because she had been a nurse and had been dealing with the mental health system for so many years that she knew how to manipulate her answers to give them the results that would let her have the surgery.
I suffered from depression (I was on Prozac at the time) and they still let me have a VBG. Mine didn't work. I don't know if the staples came undone or my pouch stretched, but I lost weight for a while, then I started regaining. I'm currently 27 lbs heavier than I was when I had the VBG 10 years ago, and the mobility issues I had before the surgery are a lot worse now than they were then (and the 70 lbs I lost didn't improve those issues at all). I followed all the rules, did what I was told, and it still failed.
I've been fat all my life, just less fat at times than I am now (personally, I don't think 175 lbs at 5' 9" is fat, but that's what the BMI would have said back in 1975). And for me, I'll take being fat and happy and healthy (and I am healthy, other than arthritis and fibromyalgia, which aren't caused by being fat) over being thin and possibly plagued with more problems than I now have. I don't think I'm shortening my life any by staying fat since all of my grandparents were fat and lived into their late 80's/early 90's. My parents are fat and they're both still alive and kicking at 73 and 74. So being fat isn't an automatic death sentence, what the killer is is all the stress fat people have to deal with on a daily basis. Stress from being told our fat is going to kill us, from not being able to find decent, trendy clothes that fit properly, from being discriminated against in jobs/housing/schooling/etc/etc. Stress from being told we're worthless/ugly/stupid/smelly/gluttons just because we don't meet some asshat's idea of thin beauty.
If you'd rather be thin and die young than be fat and live a long life, that's your choice, no one is saying you can't do that. But WLS is not always a solution for the problems fat people face, and saying it is does a disservice to fat people who are pushed into this without being given all the information they need to make a decision on whether to have this surgery or not (I sure as hell wasn't told everything I needed to know 11 years ago, and I didn't have the internet back then to do any research, I had to rely on what the doctors told me).
WLS is not a magic bullet that will make you thin and cure all your ills, but that's how it's being marketed. It's a personal decision that each individual has to make, but I think it's important for those of us who have bad experiences with it to get the word out that things can go wrong, horribly wrong, and have for some people.



Wednesday, February 20, 2008

OOPSIE Onion Tarts

I gave up bread eons ago. Tried there for awhile to make do with lettuce wraps or low carb tortillas when I got a hankering for a sandwich. They were never quite the same so just gave it up completely.That is until I discovered the fab-tab-bu-lous Oopsie Rolls.

Check out that link to see how great they are. While you are there, look into some of the other recipes to be found utilizing the Oopsie Rolls. Like today's recipe for H2O Goddess' Pizza.

For the Super Bowl party my family had. I made Rachel Ray's French Onion Tartlets. I used the Oopsie Roll for the crust instead of the bread. It turned out perfect.


OOPSIE Onion Tarts

Olive oil cooking spray
6 Oopsie Rolls, cut in half
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, very thinly sliced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 teaspoons ground thyme or poultry seasoning
Salt and black pepper
1 pound Swiss cheese, shredded


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray both sides of Oopsie Roll and press into small 12 cup muffin tin, cut side up. If you do not own a muffin tin, disposable tins are available on the baking aisle of market. Place in oven and toast until golden, 7 or 8 minutes. Remove and reserve.

In a skillet, melt butter into oil. Add onions and bay leaf, season with thyme, salt and pepper. Cook onions until caramel colored, 15 to 18 minutes.

Turn broiler on.

Place spoonfuls of cooked onions in toasted bread cups. Discard bay leaf. Cover onions with cheese and set tarts under hot broiler to bubble and brown cheese. Serve hot.

I ended up making a double batch of these for the party and they were a big hit.

Try out all the recipes Cleo is finding for the Oopsie Rolls.

A Quickie Mish Mash Post

Just a quickie post here. some reading for you and a couple of interesting tidbits I've found on the web.



NASA - Total Lunar Eclipse: February 20, 2008

A total eclipse of the Moon occurs during the night of Wednesday, February 20/21, 2008. The entire event is visible from South America and most of North America (on Feb. 20) as well as Western Europe, Africa, and western Asia (on Feb. 21).



Gadgets: Talking Floor Helps Your Diet, Calls You Lazy Fatso

Diet Floor is a "smart" talking ceramic floor that will talk to you whenever you spend too much time on top of it at the wrong times. In other words: you go to the kitchen in between meals, stop in front of the the refrigerator to see what you can nib on and it will shout something like "Watch out for those extra pounds!" or "Beware of the cold pizza monster!" or something like that. And it gets even better when you install them in an office environment.

Then, the tile will turn from diet helper to employee abuser: if you spend too much time in front of the water cooler or the coffee machine, it will say phrases like "You should be working now," at which time you would probably grab a stapler and start hitting it.


Junkfood Science: I think, therefore I am: Part One

The wheels of change turn slowly. It would take more than three decades from when the health dangers of fat stigma and prejudices and their internalization were first recognized, for them to be addressed again by researchers. A study by researchers at Columbia University in the upcoming issue of the American Journal of Public Health examines negative body image and concerns about weight and their effects on physiological and psychological health. Feeling fat and unhealthy is far worse for our health than actually being fat, their research suggests.
Junkfood Science: I think, therefore I am: Part Two

Despite the popular assumption that body fat itself causes higher rates of hypertension, high cholesterol and the metabolic syndrome, “there is little evidence that this assumption is correct,” wrote Dr. Muennig and colleagues. This dearth of evidence is leading some scientists to challenge the adiposity (body fat) hypothesis. Instead of body weight, they said, “there is evidence that the BMI–health association is culturally produced.”

The very conditions associated with overweight and obesity, they said, are those also associated with the stress response: hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol levels. One reasoned explanation, they said, is that the stigma — fat prejudices — faced daily by fat people produces the stresses that risk their physical health. The heaviest people are most victimized.


Fat vs. fiction | Redeye | Home

They've been bullied, discriminated against and insulted. Fat people say they want that degrading behavior to stop, the emotional scars to heal and the self-loathing to end.

"There's no good reason to hate yourself or feel ashamed of yourself because you're fat," said Kate Harding, 33, who lives in Rogers Park. That's the message Harding, who has struggled with her body image, has written on her Shapely Prose blog (kateharding.net) since April, when she began solely focusing her posts on fat acceptance.

Welcome to the so-called fat-osphere, a growing online niche where bloggers and others tired of counting calories share stories and try to become comfortable in their own skin, instead of obsessing about their weight.

Note to Elle magazine: Anorexia is not “hot” » The-F-Word.org

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve heard anxious, insecure women say, “I wish I could catch a little anorexia!” as if the most fatal of all psychiatric diseases is something you can casually and socially contract, like the common cold, and just as easily recover from.

There is nothing admirable in abusing your body in order to fit into a smaller size. There is nothing pretty in starving oneself to death. There is nothing picturesque in thrusting your face in a toilet, sticking your fingers down your throat and ripping a hole in your esophagus. There is nothing delicate about watching your hair fall out in clumps, nothing dainty in the fine white fuzz of lanugo spotting your body. There is nothing enviable about calling Poison Control because the ipecac hasn’t come back up. There is nothing laudable about shriveled ovaries and an enlarged heart. There is nothing attractive about pushing your body to the point of death, nothing commendable about a vastly abbreviated lifespan. There is nothing serene about a disease that is actively and willfully trying to kill you.
Study finds those eating low-fat diets with high insulin levels are most prone to weight gain | Dr Briffa's Blog

In individuals eating a lower fat diet, higher levels of insulin were associated with an increased risk of weight gain and increase in waist circumference.

This association was not evident in individuals eating a higher-fat diet.

Overall, in the low-fat eating group, individuals with the highest insulin levels gained 4.5 kg (9.9 pounds) more than those with low insulin levels.

Low-Fat Diet Recommended By Federal Government May Have Unintended Consequences

It is common knowledge that obesity levels in America have been recorded at record levels, almost reaching the point of an epidemic. However, in the wake of numerous federal guidelines that promote a low fat diet, one must beg the question -- is it possible that the government direction of dietary guidelines has somehow caused these unintended consequences, or is it just a coincidence?

In the March 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, published by Elsevier, authors Paul R Marantz, MD, MPH, Elizabeth Bird, AB, and Michael H Alderman, MD, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine explore just this question. In it, they suggest that the recommendations made by the government were based on limited scientific data and the implied assumption that it could do no harm. However, as evidence now may suggest otherwise, they warn that these guidelines may actually be harmful pending further study.
Well, not so quick after all........

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What's Wrong with Staying Single?

For years I was one of those women who thought she had to have someone in her life to be complete. This belief led me into all sorts of bad relationships. What's up with that??

Why did my whole self worth seem to hinge on whether I was part of a couple or not?

I'm one of those who never does anything half way. When I get involved with someone it is full force from the get go.Yeah, I know not the best way to go. You tend to miss little signals along the way that spell disaster in the end.

That's not the point of this post though. I'm single for the first time in my life and 47 years old to boot. The old me would have been in a severe state of panic by now. Or ready to climb into a dark hole howling "nobody loves me, I am unworthy".

Now I say---YIPEE!!

I'm content for the first time in my life. Granted my life is no bed of roses right now. Some might think having a partner to share it with would make it better. Not necessarily. I have a pretty good support system.My family is literally within shouting distance right out my front door. Plus I have the added benefit of some pretty awesome online friends too.

I suppose you might be wondering what has prompted this post. It doesn't sound like a typical post for me. Let me enlighten you--I'm anything but typical....LOL.

Here's what prompted me to post today. Go have a read. I found it extremely fascinating. Once you get into it....you'll see it really is me.....

AlterNet: Sex and Relationships: What's Wrong with Staying Single?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Suicide, Eating Disorders and WLS

I have been following the news of the death of Polly Williams. Polly was one of the four women featured in Lauren Greenfield’s Emmy-nominated documentary Thin. The film documents the experiences of young women at the Renfrew Center, a residential facility for the treatment of eating disorders.

Here's an update on Polly's death:

There has been much speculation on how Polly died, with many people naturally attributing it as the result of her eating disorder. Now her family has spoken out in a news brief reprinted in the Indy Star.

Williams died from an overdose of sleeping pills, a suicide that was “a direct result of her internal battle with the eating disorder,” said her sister, Bebe W. Reed. “She said she could not fight the fight any longer.”

Doing just a quick search of the internet, shows there is a correlation between ED and suicide. Granted it is kind of a case of the chicken or the egg, but it is still linked:

A study reported in the Journal of Eating Disorders in March 2004 indicates that women with eating disorders (like anorexia, bulimia, or overeating) who attempted suicide usually were suffering from depression before the onset of their eating disorder.

67% of the patients with an eating disorder and a history of suicide attempts suffered from depression before the onset of the eating disorder, and only 3% of the patients with an eating disorder and no history of suicide attempts suffered from depression before the onset of the eating disorder.

The study thus indicates that the eating disorder may be secondary to depressive illness for those who have been or are suicidal.

Some past research, which did not include suicidal individuals, has indicated the opposite -- depression occurred as a consequence of the eating order. And this still is probably the case for non-suicidal patients.

Additionally, women in the suicidal group had a higher rate of anxiety disorders.

Women with eating disorders and a history of depression are at a high risk for suicide and need to be closely monitored.

You are probably asking yourself what that has to do with WLS.

One, I already believe strongly that most WLSers have a history of ED. Whether it is pre or post op is anyones guess.

Two, in an earlier post on mental health and WLS, I reported that mental illness is present in many of those seeking WLS:
Overall, 66.3% of subjects had a lifetime history of at least one axis I disorder and 37.8% were currently diagnosed with such a disorder. The most common lifetime axis I disorder was major depressive disorder, seen in 42% of subjects. Binge eating disorder was the most common current disorder and had a prevalence of 16.0%.

A lifetime history of an axis II disorder was noted in 28.5% of subjects, the most common being avoidant personality disorder, which was seen in 17.0%.
In a second post on mental health and WLS, I reported that a recent study shows 1 in 5 potential surgery candidates fail to meet psych eval pre-op guidelines:

The most common reasons people were not allowed to go through with the procedure included overeating to cope with stress or emotional distress, having an eating disorder, and uncontrolled mental problems, such as depression.

Most patients who were deferred from bariatric surgery after their initial psychological evaluation were referred for psychiatric treatment. The researchers write that they will conduct a future study to look at how many of these patients accepted psychiatric referral and went on to have the surgery.

"The goal of the psychiatric evaluation is not to keep patients from having the surgery. Rather, the goal is to determine if there are any problems that might interfere with the success of surgery, and have the patient get treatment for these problems," says researcher Mark Zimmerman, MD, of Rhode Island Hospital, in a news release. "In so doing, the patient is more likely to have a positive outcome from surgery that is delayed to allow time to address the problems."


The final reason I feel this is all related has to do with the latest research on actual deaths seen after WLS. Sandy Szwarc, BSN, RN, CCP gave a took an in depth look at the findings.

There was an especially disturbing and unexpected finding in this study. Dr. Kuller and associates found that among the bariatric surgical patients there had been “45 deaths from traumatic causes including 16 deaths (4%) due to suicide and 14 due to drug overdoses (3%) that were not classified as suicide.” To help readers realize how extraordinarily high these suicide death rates were, the authors wrote that according to the U.S. Vital Statistics, there are approximately 7 suicides for white women and 25 for men for every 100,000 people in the population of the same age as these bariatric surgical patients. Translating these figures, the researchers had anticipated an estimated two suicide deaths would have occurred among the women and one suicide among the men during this study.

Instead they saw more than five times the expected numbers of suicides, not even counting the drug overdoses. “There is a substantial excess of suicide deaths, even excluding those listed only as drug overdose,” they wrote. “The large number of deaths due to suicide and drug overdose, in excess of what we expected, is also a cause for concern. Most of them occurred at least one year after surgery.”

Dr Livingston’s review also noted that the frequency of suicide and drug overdoses “was unexpected.” The higher suicide rates were especially significant among those 25 to 34 years of age, with death rates of 13.8 and 5.0 per 1000 persons per year for men and women, respectively, nearly ten times the rates of 1.3 and 0.6 per 1000 persons per year in the general population.



How does it all go together? I really don't know. But it is something to think about.

If you find yourself feeling suicidal or are concerned for a friend, don't hesitate to reach out for help.

Call 1-800-SUICIDE / 1-800-784-2433
Call 1-800-273-TALK / 1-800-273-8255

  • Call to speak with someone who cares
  • Call if you feel you might be in danger of hurting yourself
  • Call to find referrals to mental health services in your area
  • Call to speak to a crisis worker about someone you're concerned about


If you feel you may have an eating disorder, seek help in some of these places.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Big Fat Lies---Gary Taubes

It is long but it is so worth watching.





Gary Taubes
Stevens Institute of Technology; February 6, 2008

Eating Disorders and WLS---Once Again

Here I go once again writing about eating disorders and WLS. I've been very open about my loooooong history with an ED, over 30 years now. I knew I wasn't alone in this. Shoot, I'm of the opinion if you don't have an ED before WLS, you sure end up with one afterwards.

Some of the WLS support boards are very much like the pro-ana, pro-mia boards. Well, diet support sites in general, really. Everyone cheering you on as you lose weight. Telling you to ignore your hunger signals. Totally obsessed with the numbers on the scale. Thinking it is "normal" to only be taking in 1000 cals/day. Many are obsessed with exercise to the point of being an addiction.

I have a pretty long list of WLS blogs in my blog roll---well it is real long it just rotates through a few at a time. One of those blogs has always been been HotFat4Sale. I'll be honest with you, haven't read it in quite awhile. An online friend emailed me about it recently. She knows my history with an ED and my recent posts about it. So here is my open letter to Just Jen.

I just want you to know I can empathize with the troubles you are having right now. I won't even try to say I know what you are going through. I'm not you. We each deal with our ED behaviors in a different way. I won't try to give you words of wisdom. I won't pretend to know how you are feeling. I just wanted you to know you are not alone in your struggles. Having an ED is debilitating enough to your health. Couple that with the nutritional imbalances after a RNY and your health can truly suffer.

I could be in your shoes with the purging aspects. But since my surgery, it is impossible for me to throw up at all. Believe me I've tried often enough. So that is one saving grace for me. My nutritional health is suffering enough right now without adding that into the mix.

I wish you the best in dealing with everything going on right now. There are many going through the same things. They just won't admit it.

Jen states in her blog, that she had an ED prior to her WLS. The WLS just made the symptoms worse.

I know there are others out there suffering with an ED and WLS. You may not admit to others, but I see it on the boards. I just wish you would recognize the behaviors for yourself. Check here and see if you may have an ED.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY







Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Malnutrition After WLS

I've done several posts in the past about the need for many supplements after WLS. In each one I have stated multiple times you need to be proactive in your own health care. Do not take it when the doctor tells you your "labs" are fine. Know what it is they are checking and the values. Ask for copies.

The OSSG Gone Wrong Yahoo Group I have recently joined has a complete list of ALL lab work that needs to be done on a routine basis. They have graciously allowed me to share this list with y'all.

My new PCP is pretty up to date on care of WLSers, but he didn't do half this lab work at my last visit, the one where he said I was severely malnourished. So I called the office and am going to have the remainder drawn first thing in the morning.

LAB TESTS
-This list includes labs suggested regularly for gastric bypass patients-

Regularly (every 3-6 months depending on your previous results).Keep track of any levels that are declining from one set of tests to the next, even if not yet in the low range. Make any corrections necessary in your diet and vitamin regimen before the levels get too low.

80053(10231) - COMPREHENSIVE METABOLIC PANEL (sodium, potassium, chloride, glucose, BUN, creatinine, calcium, total protein, albumin, total bilirubin,alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase)
(Nc,K,C1,CO2,Glu,BUN,Cr,Ca,TP,Alb,Tbili,AP,AST,ALT)

(482) - GGT

84134(4847) - PRE-ALBUMIN

80061(7600) - LIPID PROFILE (cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, chol/HDL ratio)
((Fasting specimen), Tchol,Trig,HDL,Calc,LDL)

80076(10256) - HEPATIC FUNCTION PANEL - ALT (SPGT) & GGT

(593) – LD (Serum)

84100(718) - PHOSPHORUS - Phosphate

84550(905) - URIC ACID

85025(6399) - CBC W/ DIFF & PLT

(7065) - B-12 & FOLATE

(7573)- IRON,TIBC,

84466(891) – TRANSFERRIN (% SAT)

82728(457) – FERRITIN

82131(31789) - HOMOCYSTEINE, CARDIO

84425(922) - VITAMIN B-1 (Thiamin)

84207(926) - VITAMIN B-6 (Pyradoxine)

(921) – VITAMIN A (Retinol)

(311) - CAROTENE

82306(17306) - VITAMIN D,25 HYDROXY, LC, MS, MS

(931) – Vitamin E (Tocopherol)

83735(622) - MAGNESIUM

(5507) - SELENIUM

(945) - ZINC

7444(7444) - THYROID PANEL (T3U, T4, FTI, TSH)

84481(34429) – Free T3

84597(36585) – Vitamin K1

83970(8837) - SERUM INTACT PTH - Parathyroid

82533(367) – CORTISOL, (Serum)

83921(34879)- MMA METHYLMELONIC ACID, (Serum)

83036(496) - HEMOGLOBIN A1C

82525(363) – COPPER, (Serum)

- DEXA SCAN suggested yearly for bone density -

How many of y'all out there get these labs done every 3 months....not me. I've been having them done yearly. Well not anymore. Time to take the bull by the horns. Since I have to deal with this surgery for the rest of my life, I intend to do all I can to make sure my health is the best it can be.


Some of my previous posts on supplements:

Vitamins, Medications, and Malabsorption After WLS
Fat Soluble Vitamins---Vitamin A and WLS
Fat Soluble Vitamins---Vitamin D---Part I
Fat Soluble Vitamins---Vitamin D---Part II
Fat Soluble Vitamins---Vitamin D---Part III
Fat Soluble Vitamins---Vitamin D---Part IV
Calcium Needs After WLS
Vitamin B---B1---Thiamine

Friday, February 8, 2008

Follow-Up WLS Life Sucks

First let me thank my online friends for their support and concern. I appreciate all of your support and encouragement.

With all this junk going on with me, I did what I normally do....research.

Do you know how really difficult it is to find long term research on WLS? It doesn't exist. Most I could find was for 5 years tops.

Surgery for Weight Loss: Comparison of Risk and Benefit- Ernsberger

Well, the gold standard in medicine is the controlled clinical trial. We don’t go subjecting 100,000 people to a surgical procedure without doing a controlled clinical trial or dozens of clinical trials, and then looking at the results. Do you know how many clinical trials have been published on weight-loss surgery or gastric bypass? Zero. None of them have compared it to clinical conservative treatment and found it to be superior for life expectancy or for anything else other than, you know, risk factors. A number of trials have been started, and the final results have never been reported. We have to ask, you know, why haven’t we seen the final results? I think it’s because it’s bad news. (Paul Ernsberger on Donahue, 2002)

Surgery for Obesity

Edward Mason (MD, PhD - inventor of the gastric bypass) wrote this in an article in 1999:

Bariatric surgery still does not have sufficient data from enough patients with any procedure to say which operation is best. I am concerned about the goals of surgeons and patients and their level of interest in what really goes on inside the body after alterations of the anatomy. I am concerned about the focus on the superficial and results from the first year with a lack of concern about how life will be affected when patients are 10 and 20 years older.

For the vast majority of patients today, there is no operation that will control weight to a "normal" level without introducing risks and side effects that over a lifetime may raise questions about its use for surgical treatment of obesity.


There is plenty out there to read now, but it is pages back when you start doing research on WLS. People don't want to know the bad stuff. Besides bariatric surgery is big business now.

Here's some things you to read through before contemplating WLS.


As for me and my problems, the most recent thing going on is I have a fistula and a 4cm ulceration in my pouch. Yipee, huh....

The treatment right now is a lovely med called Zegerid. Not covered by my insurance and costs over $300. Lucky for me the insurance company appears to be understanding about the complications following WLS and after the GI doc puts in the paperwork they will approve it. The GI doc gave me plenty of samples. This same lovely GI doc did everything but outright call me a liar when he handed me my discharge papers. They detailed a soft diet(useless because it was super high carb) and a medication list of NO NO's---NSAIDS. When I told him I had never taken any type of NSAID since my surgery, he politely said well you just may not know what all that entails....blah, blah, blah....In other words he didn't believe me.

Being who I am.... and the Versed probably had something to do with it too....I let him know in no uncertain terms that I know what the hell an NSAID is and have never used them. I've resigned myself to live in constant pain because I don't want to be dependent on narcotics and the Tylenol doesn't help, rather than take NSAIDS.

This is only the most recent of things wrong with me all because of having WLS. All the others, I have just looked over because they are deemed "normal" after WLS. I've since come to realize that ill health is not normal whatever the cause.

  • Severe anemia---requiring IV iron
  • Severe malnutrition---requiring multiple doses of mega supplements
  • Osteoporosis---really no acceptable treatment, the meds for this can not be taken
  • Multiple fractures in my spine---2 broken ribs---several broken toes
  • Severe tooth loss---I'll soon have all my teeth gone and be wearing dentures
  • Gall Bladder removed
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Reactive hypoglycemia
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Dry Skin
  • Hair loss--still going on despite supplements
  • Chronic pain

These are just the things off the top of my head. I still don't know what route I am going to go right now. I'm looking at all my options.

Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. Would I go through surgery again knowing what I know now? Who knows, the nearly 400 lb me probably would. The sick and tired 155lb me doesn't know.

I have joined a yahoo support group. I'm learning alot from others who are going through the same things I am. Tons of great info there from those who have been there done that.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

WLS Life Sucks

I'm in a pretty bad place mind wise about living this life after WLS.

By the bariatric surgeon's standards, I am a huge success. I lost over 200 pounds and have been able to maintain that weight loss. Is that number on the scale all there is to judge your success?

I eat on average 2000 cals a day. Take multiple supplements each and everyday like clockwork. Yet my most recent lab work has me classified as suffering from extreme malnutrition. My body is living off itself, instead of the food I am eating.

Can you imagine what my fellow WLSers who are living on LESS calories are doing to themselves???


Hey you!! Still anemic after months of different regimens?? Hello!!!!! Ya think you might just be starving yourself on that 900-1100 calories you are eating each day??? Afraid to raise your calories because you might gain a few pounds?? OK, well just starve to death then....

Let me repeat this for all my WLS friends......
If you are taking in less than 50% of your daily caloric needs----you are living off of your own body.

I just don't get it any more.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Mardi Gras




Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, takes place the day before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the seventh Wednesday before Easter and the first day of Lent. The Mardi Gras celebration is best known in New Orleans in the United States. They celebrate with a huge carnival that includes parades, shows, parties and dressing in costumes. It's origins go back much farther though.

Pagan Origins

Mardi Gras (from the French words, meaning "fat Tuesday"), or Carnival (from the Latin words carn-caro levare, meaning "removal of flesh"), is a Christian festival that embodies many traditions that originated with the ancient Greeks and Romans--relating to their gods and religious festivals honoring spring fertility rites.

In the early Middle Ages, the Catholic Church was unable to abolish all of these ancient traditions after converting pagan tribes to Christianity. The Church was forced to adapt many ancient feasts and festivals, originally celebrated in honor of pagan gods, to Christian beliefs. Today, revelers on parade floats still don the regalia of the Greek god of wine, Bacchus, during Mardi Gras celebrations.


Mobile, Alabama---Home of the Original Mardi Gras Celebration

Mobile is not only recognized as celebrating the first-known American Mardi Gras celebration in 1703 (yes, even before New Orleans), but also as home to the "America's Family Mardi Gras" delighting both young and old from around town and across the nation. This magnificent celebration lasts for nearly two weeks and culminates on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent.

For weeks, the streets of downtown Mobile are filled with the sights and sounds of live marching bands, brilliant-colored floats and of course teeming crowds of parade goers. The floats are glowing spectacles manned by masked riders festooned in satin and sequins, and armed with crowd-pleasing "throws" such as beads, moon pies, doubloons and candy. Mardi Gras must be experienced to be fully understood and Mobile is the perfect place.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Blog Posts Round Up

It's Monday morning and I really don't have time for an in depth post. Just wanted to share some interesting blog posts from around the web.


Weight of the Evidence: Bill Introduced to Mandate Restaurants Deny the Obese Service

MISSISSIPPI; HOUSE BILL NO. 282
An act to prohibit certain food establishments from serving food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the state department of health; to direct the department to prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese and to provide those materials to the food establishments; to direct the department to monitor the food establishments for compliance with the provisions of this act; and for related purposes.



Junkfood Science: Brain food for kids: Having enough to eat

Efforts to address childhood obesity by lowering fat and calories in school lunch programs are having unintended consequences. A nutrition audit of school children in Florida found that growing youngsters were being underfed and short on vital calories. Some officials whose lunch programs have been flagged for underfeeding children have suggested that since there are still fat children, they must be eating too much and the nutritional guidelines should instead be changed to even greater reductions in fat and calories.


Feeling fat may be worse for you than actually being fat | Dr Briffa's Blog

One factor that may be driving the somewhat distorted messages about obesity and the ‘need’ to lose weight is commercial in nature: pharmaceutical companies, food companies selling foodstuffs with a weight loss angle, and the fitness industry, for instance, will all do a bit better out of having individuals they have an exaggerated sense of what they might lose by not losing weight. However, if the results of a new study are to be believed, there is some suspicion that just feeling like there’s weight to be lost might be contributing to the our physical and mental disease burden.



MH The Fitness Insider

Think of it this way: As your proportion of home-cooked meals increases, your number of fast-food visits decreases. And USDA scientists found that men eat 500 calories more on days they consume fast foods compared with days they don’t. What’s more, University of Minnesota researchers determined that consuming more prepared meals (i.e. takeout/curbside service and stuff out of a box) and more meals away from home may have a negative impact on overall health.



Female Fitness and Nutrition Scientist: Protein enhances weight loss

This week, Australian researchers published a long-term weight loss study in healthy adult (49 + or - 9 years) overweight women (BMI initially ~32).

In this study, they followed 79 women for more than a year (64 weeks) to see how protein influences weight loss and compliance to a dietary program.



The Heart Scan Blog: Triglyceride traps

Triglycerides are a potent trigger for coronary plaque growth.

Triglycerides in and of themselves probably do not cause plaque growth. Instead, triglycerides contribute to the formation of abnormal lipoproteins in the blood that, in turn, trigger coronary plaque, like VLDL, intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL), and small LDL. Excess triglycerides also modify HDL structure and cause you to lose HDL in the urine.



About Calories | HoldTheToast Press

But here's why I posed the question in the first place: We've all been told and told and told that fat has more calories than anything else, right? And that's why we were supposed to eat a low fat diet to lose weight -- because by cutting out the fat we'd automatically reduce calories, tra-la. (For the moment let's ignore the fact that when Americans cut cut their fat intake their calorie intake increased.)

So here's the $60,000 question: If calories are fuel, or energy, and fat has more fuel -- more energy -- than anything else, why aren't obese people the most energetic people in the world?



MH The Fitness Insider

If you look at most weight-loss diets it's very difficult to simultaneously lose significant amounts of body fat and gain lean body mass at the same time. Why? Because you're breaking down one tissue and building another. That's a rather difficult physiological effect to achieve.

So, we thought, the way to prevent that is to combine low carb with weight training. To prove this, we performed a study combining a low-carbohydrate diet with weight training. The hypothesis was that restricting carbohydrates in combination with resistance training would promote the greatest fat loss while actually building muscle tissue. And that's exactly what we found. In fact, the results exceeded my expectations. We had multiple subjects lose 15-20 pounds of fat while gaining 5-10 pounds of lean body mass.



How the media disses low-carb diets I | Health & Nutrition by Michael R. Eades, M.D.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the media in general dislike low-carb diets. They use a number of tricks to denigrate carbohydrate-restricted diets at every opportunity. I’m going to start a series of posts showing the different methods used by our friends in the press to downplay the efficacy of the diets that millions of people have found so effective.



Is the Tide Turning on Low Carb? « Low Carb Confidential

Am I delusional to say that it seems that the tide is turning on low carb, and that more and more, mainstream science and the media are beginning to embrace some of the notions that labeled Atkins a dangerous quack only a few years ago?

In psychology there is something known as a ‘confirmation bias’ - the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions. See Wikipedia for a list of cognitive biases and check out which ones you see yourself in - enlightening.

Happy reading!!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

Keep up with all the happenings of the Super Bowl right here. Enjoy your day!!!