Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Anatomy 101: Dissecting the Dr. Oz Show - Wednesday February 8, 2011

So today's show started innocently enough. A hypnotist from England demonstrated his craft of hypnosis and made a claim that he had invented a new procedure called gastric-hypnotic-banding. This procedure involves giving a person a hypnotic suggestion that he or she has had gastric banding surgery. (The hypnotist claims that it works for 7 out of 10 people, although he admitted that for some people it takes more than one hypnotic suggestion.) 

Gastric banding is the placement through laparascopic surgery of an adjustable gastric silicon band  around the top portion of the stomach. It is typically used to treat morbid obesity (Body Mass Index greater than 35). As proof of the success of this new "procedure," the hypnotist presented an English lady who claimed to have lost 200 pounds and kept it off over several years. Several years doesn't sound much like a "new" procedure. As further proof, he offered up three American women who were 5 days post a similar hypnotic "procedure." They said that when they ate they felt nauseous and filled up quickly, complaints often made by patients following real gastric-banding. The women said they had cut their food consumption down by almost two-thirds and had lost between 2-7 pounds over the 5 days.

My experience with hypnosis includes reading a couple of books plus watching about a half-dozen shows over my lifetime. It's hard to believe that a hypnotic suggestion can duplicate the long-term effects of a physiologically/metabolically altering surgery but stranger things have happened. For example, I've seen people, including my wife's young cousin, do some pretty wacky things under hypnosis. So maybe it does work for some people. If its not harmful, (which by the way, some patients have serious complications with real gastric banding) then I guess no harm, no foul.  I think its better than popping all those pills suggested on other Dr. Oz shows.

Then the show presented a self-proclaimed lifestyle expert. As far as I can tell based on his own bio from his website, Jim Karras cites no formal scientific training or education. His claim to fame is a degree from Wharton, a business school (which happens to be the same school from which Dr. Oz has a degree. Perhaps they know each other from school?)  Yet, Mr. Karras showed no hesitation in espousing very specific recommendations about diet and weight loss, and Dr. Oz made no attempt to qualify if Mr. Karras was a reliable source of information.

Was the advice given accurate? I don't think so as he advocated consumption of a fair amount of red meat in a dish of Chinese beef and broccoli and Mexican food. Have you ever seen the amount of fat on the type of meat used in Chinese restaurant beef dishes. I have. I use to work in a catering hall. The beef is usually mostly fat. Forget about it.

Mr. Karras also advocated against avocado and olive oil, despite acknowledging they contained healthy fats.  Oops, there goes one of the the world's best diets--the Mediterranean diet. Mr. Karras also suggested consuming white rice over butter cooked brown rice. How about just avoiding both?

The difference between healthy and unhealthy weight loss depends on the foods consumed. As far as I am concerned, Mr. Karras was suggesting unhealthy weight loss and Dr. Oz was condoning it.


1 comment:

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