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Quick-Fix Diets Aren't the Answer for Lifelong Health

Quick-fix diets are routinely promoted as a magic bullet for weight loss. With the recent popularity of the K-E Diet or "feeding tube" diet, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone that the best path to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong combination of eating smarter and moving more...and enlisting the help of a registered dietitian.

What Is the K-E Diet?

The so-called Ketogenic Nutrition or K-E Diet was developed to induce rapid weight loss by providing a specialized high-fat, high-protein, very low-carbohydrate (or ketogenic) diet through nasogastric feeding (insertion of a tube through the nose) for a period of 10 days. The formula is provided 24 hours a day using a pump.

Enteral nutrition—or feeding by tube—is a type of life-sustaining medical nutrition therapy that is intended to promote and restore the health of people who cannot consume food orally. There are valid medical reasons for employing such diets, including drug-resistant epilepsy.

However, the K-E Diet contains potential risks to both short-term and long-term health, including kidney damage and cholelithiasis (gallstones) from rapid weight loss. In addition, since the plan does not address the psychological and emotional reasons that cause many people to overeat, the lost weight is often regained once the diet is stopped.

No Endorsement by Academy

A website containing information on using the K-E Diet for quick weight loss lists several state affiliates of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as resources for learning about diets and eating habits. While the Academy and its affiliate organizations are reliable resources for information on eating right and staying healthy, the Academy does not in any way endorse the K-E Diet, or any other specific weight-loss plan.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics does support the use of enteral feedings solely as a method of nourishing individuals who are unable to eat by mouth.

The Academy's Official Position on Weight Management

There is no "magic bullet" for safe and healthful weight management. Successful weight management is a lifelong process. It means adopting a lifestyle that includes a healthful eating plan coupled with regular physical activity. Weight loss in the range of one to two pounds per week is considered safe, and allows the individual to learn to manage food and drink intake while still getting the important nutrients his or her body needs.

The Academy's position paper on weight management can be found at http://www.eatright.org/About/Content.aspx?id=8382, and a podcast discussing the Academy's position is at http://www.eatright.org/Podcast/default.aspx?id=7657.

Contact a Registered Dietitian

The Academy encourages anyone who wants to lose and maintain a healthy weight to contact a registered dietitian in his or her area. An RD can create a tailored and sustainable approach to healthful eating and weight loss that is based on your personal lifestyle and preferences.

Through their education, knowledge and experience, RDs specialize in translating nutrition science into practical advice. Visit the Academy's website at www.eatright.org to locate a registered dietitian near you.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at www.eatright.org.