Bariatric surgery as an option for teenagers

In today’s Daily Mail there is an article by an eminent medical practitioner.  In it Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) comes to the conclusion that NHS surgery for overweight teens could be the only way to ‘rescue’ them from the ‘vicious cycle’ of a poor diet and bad health.

One of the causes of obesity
One of the causes of obesity

This article is very thought-provoking but ultimately comes up with what I consider to be a most unhelpful solution. Whilst the ban on junk food he suggests would help in a small way I believe he is misguided in promoting bariatric surgery as the only solution. Bariatric surgery is major surgery and is also a very expensive option, costing between £4k and £15k, depending on the procedure undergone. I cannot believe that the risks of this surgery and its cost can possibly make it a first-line treatment for obesity when low risk alternatives such as eating a ketogenic or #LCHF diet have been shown to make such an amazing difference to people’s weight and fitness. Surely the medical profession has got to try non-invasive techniques before it goes for what might be considered the ‘nuclear’ option. As an example can I recommend this article by Dr Andreas Eenfeld MD? This article describes how Johanna Engström lost 112lbs on a keto diet rather than by undergoing bariatric surgery, which she was scheduled for. The advantages seem numerous – no surgical and post-operative risk, weight lost naturally and healthily, little if any cost to the healthcare system.

It seems very clear that the ketogenic diet is a highly effective means of weight loss that is safe and healthy, as proved beyond doubt by the many thousands of people who have their own success stories, including those whose own doctors have found that their blood tests demonstrate the healthiness of the approach.

I know which approach I would prefer.

A fabulous introductory guide to keto, T2DM and its benefits. Also, why the mainstream is wrong.

Mark’s Daily Apple is a source of awesome knowledge and a GoTo place for all matters nutritional and fitness.

In this article MDA looks at keto and its benefits for people with T2DM. I won’t go into much detail but if you are considering keto for weight loss and/or health this is a great place to start looking into the details of a ketogenic diet.

The article compares and contrasts the keto approach and the ‘traditional’ approach. Keto outperforms ‘traditional’ every time. If you’re worried about long term effects check out the Virta Health Blog post about their recently published One Year followup to a T2DM reversal programme.

Either way it is quite clear now that the science backs up the claims of the ‘keto heretics’ It works.

The importance of Magnesium is being more and more recognised

Low Mg is a major predictor of heart problems.

According to Dr James DiNicolantonio and others the evidence for this has been around a long time, since the 1980s! So why is Mg supplementation not more of a priority for healthcare practitioners?

There are plenty of foods that are good sources of Mg and those relevant to the keto diet are (taken from  the ketodietapp website)

  • Nuts and Seeds. Nuts and seeds are a great source of fats and can contribute a small amount of protein to a low carbohydrate diet. …
  • Dark Leafy Greens. …
  • Fatty Fish. …
  • Dark Chocolate (above 70% cocoa) …
  • Avocado. …
  • Bone Broth. …
  • Mineral Rich Water.

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes with Nutritional Ketosis

Is the keto diet restrictive?

The unbelievably clever people at Virta Health have posted in their blog about using nutritional ketosis to reverse T2DM. This is a point of view that is yet to be fully accepted by the mainstream medical establishment, a real shame too as it seems to have more than enough evidence to support it.

The nearest similar approach to this problem seems to be the work done in Newcastle that uses ultra low calorie diets to reverse T2DM. This would seem to be fantastic news but I am struck by how difficult it would be to ‘live’ on only 600 calories a day. Imagine being told this was it for the next 50 years, or five years or even year. Many people have found that going keto has the same effect but without hunger. Clearly the medical aspects would need to be addressed in people with T2DM who were able to reverse their condition. For example, as Virta point out, what happens to medications? It seems they can largely be reduced or stopped entirely (obviously you would need to consult your doctor about this). A suggested exception (by Virta) is metformin, which, as they point out, can prevent pre-diabetes going on to be full diabetes.