Recent nutrition headlines revolve around an extreme weight loss diet aimed at brides trying to lose weight for their big day.
The K-E Diet (Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition) involves the use of a nasogastric feeding tube for 10 days and guarantees weight loss of up to 20 pounds. The costly process has potential for many side effects, including bad breath, constipation, kidney stones and the burning of muscle, including heart muscle.
Because the solution is carbohydrate-free the body is forced to use fat as an energy source and weight loss results. Of course, reducing daily caloric intake to 800, as this program does, should result in weight loss regardless of the composition or delivery route.
Unfortunately, because of this misuse, tube feedings have been getting negative publicity; but they provide valuable assistance, when medically necessary.
Feeding tubes were designed to nourish people when necessary, not as a quick fix to look good for a special occasion. They can be necessary for short-term or long-term nutrition and can meet total needs or supplement oral intake.
Numerous conditions, such as dementia, stroke, gastroparesis, Parkinson’s disease and cancer, may benefit from tube feeding in all age groups, from premature infants to the elderly. In use since 1979, they benefit more than 200,000 people a year. They can improve quality of life significantly when used correctly. For some, deciding whether to have a feeding tube placed is a difficult decision enough without dealing with media misconceptions of the process.
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