KE Diet for Rapid Weight Loss: Where Do We Draw the Line on Fad Diets?

Would you agree to have a nasogastric tube inserted just to lose weight?

With the summer approaching, many are resorting to fad diets to lose weight fast.

After doing a search on the popular fad diets of 2015, I was alarmed to see the increasing popularity of

ketogenic-enteral nutrition, also known as the KE diet

.

The KE diet is essentially the insertion of a nasogastric tube for 10 days. Would you agree to have a nasogastric tube inserted all for the purpose of losing weight? Well, many are.

In fact, this diet is being marketed to brides across the nation as a quick solution to help them fit into their dream dress. With the claim that you can lose up to 20 pounds in 10 days, it is no surprise why many people have jumped on the trend.

The KE diet consists of a low-calorie, high-protein, and fat-rich solution that is continuously delivered via a nasogastric tube throughout the day. The patient carries the solution around in a sack.

Of course, patients will lose weight. This diet restricts daily calorie intake to just 800 calories a day and eliminates an entire food group (carbohydrates), which is pretty much the definition of a fad diet.

Medical providers offering the KE diet have explained the reason behind the fast weight loss once it is initiated. They have said the body is forced into ketosis, and in turn, the body burns fat for energy, since there are no carbohydrates in the diet to be used for energy.

They have also promised to monitor patients on a daily basis, so the program is advertised as: medically supervised, no drugs, no surgery, and no hunger.

Although it can lead to fast weight loss, maintaining results with this method is unrealistic. Once the 10 days are up and patients return to their normal eating habits (>800 calories), they will more than likely put the weight back on.

In addition, inserting a nasogastric tube for “cosmetic reasons” is not free of risks.

If you think about it, nasogastric tubes are typically used for patients who do not have another route for receiving nutrition. Yet, these dieters are agreeing to have a nasogastric tube inserted for 10 days.

In addition, the KE diet does not come cheap, as the 10-day regimen costs about $1500.

There is also potential for the KE diet to be abused. For instance, there is the possibility for some doctors to start offering the KE diet with limited medical supervision, and not supervising these patients can result in unnecessary and preventable harm.

As health care professionals, we must continue to educate our patients on healthy ways to maintain a healthy weight. It is important to stress it is a lifestyle that cannot be obtained through crazy fad diets.