Concerns in UK over feeding tube diet
Concerns in UK over feeding tube diet

Dieticians have warned of the dangers of losing weight with a starvation diet available in Britain for the first time

The British Dietetic Association BDA says there are huge risks to the diet in which people are given just 130 calories a day through a feeding tube that goes up their nose and down to their stomach

The 10day regime forces the body to burn up so much fat that people lose up to 10 per cent of their weight

But Sasha Watkins dietician and spokesperson for the BDA said nasogastric feeding tubes should only be used in hospital under medical supervision

They could become dislodged while people are at home and food may go down into the lungs she warned

She added the severe calorie restriction and pure protein formula feed could damage the kidneys

The fears have been robustly dismissed by the doctor promoting the Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition KEN diet

Dr Ray Shidrawi is a widely respected consultant gastroenterologist at Homerton Hospital in east London and runs a private weightloss clinic

He told Sky News that soontobe published trials on more than 19000 patients in Italy show that the diet is safe

KEN is a properly studied technique We know it does not harm you in any way he said

This diet leads to sustained and selective weight loss It burns fat not muscle

He has treated 85 patients with the diet Between them they have lost more than 850kg or 134st And some have been able to reduce or even stop their medication for diabetes and high blood pressure

Dr Shidrawi threads a narrow tube through a KEN patients nose down their throat to their stomach A pump drip feeds a protein liquid through the tube day and night The regular feeding fools the stomach into feeling full

In America the extreme diet is being used by brides hoping to fit into a smaller dress and look slimmer in their wedding photos

But Dr Shidrawi said the diet was not about treating thin women to be even thinner

He was approached by a woman with a Body Mass Index BMI of 19 but refused to treat her

One of his patients who would only give her name as Maria used to weigh 94kg nearly 15st She lost 12kg 2st in her first treatment She has now started a second

I have lost 7in from stomach area and 5in from my hips To lose 5st in weight will take three months which is remarkable she said

Commercial diets are too slow just a pound a week and most people lose interestAn extreme diet like this is the next step

This is far better than surgery or drugs to speed up metabolism

But Ms Watkins said What is this saying about our relationship with food

Tube feeding for weight loss is hugely extreme There is no magic wand to weightloss

Date : 30 Apr, 2012
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