Last evening on ITV I watched the final documentary programme about Brookhaven Hospital in New York, the hospital where morbidly obese people go to be cared for and, hopefully, to lose weight. I was, again, very impressed by the kindness, humanity and understanding shown towards the patients by the staff there, especially by the manager of the hospital. Everyone seems to be treated as an individual and care is taken to preserve their dignity. - I don't think I can say the same for the programme editors though...)o: - I will write about this later in this post.
Although there was a theme about the supposed genetic nature of obesity and the risk of children of obese parents becoming obese themselves, I was not very interested in this, because I believe it to be a bit of a red herring. I am confident that any genuine genetic component of obesity is very small compared with the overwhelming magnitude of the main factors, namely prescribed medications which cause sodium and water retention, pregnancy, and eating salty food in childhood. - See http://www.wildeaboutsteroids.co.uk/vulnerable_groups.html
What particularly interested and impressed me was the success and happiness of some individual patients who lost a great deal of weight in their time at the hospital. The weight loss cannot, of course, have been because of lower calorie intake (See the article in the British Medical Journal of November 2003 article in the British Medical Journal for actual research on what happens when this advice is followed!). The weight loss must be because the meals at the hospital are much lower in salt/sodium that the food that these patients had been eating prior to going into the hospital. - Obese people who reduce their sodium intake always lose weight - because of excreting extra water - even if they eat more calories than before...
I fear that when those successful patients eventually return home they may gain weight again simply because their meals are unlikely to be as low in salt as those at that hospital. - On the other hand, they may now have come to prefer less salty food and may be able to keep to lower sodium food. - I do hope so.
It would all be so much easier if the 'expert' advice about obesity contained the information about salt and fluid retention... - And if reckless high dose prescribing of steroids and other drugs which cause sodium retention were to be curbed BY LAW.
My criticism of the programme makers lies in the way they portrayed the sons of the brave woman who lost such a lot of weight. - We hardly seemed to see these young men doing anything other than eating - and they were always shown as though they were gluttonous pigs...)o: - They were kind, loving sons to their mother and obviously decent guys, who should not have been spoken of patronisingly or held up to ridicule in this way. - It is definitely NOT their fault that the 'experts' do not tell them that eating less salt is the key to losing excess weight safely, rapidly and easily. When obese people make a genuine effort to eat less sodium they usually lose about 14 pounds in the first month.
Obese people are almost always portrayed on TV as though they are gluttons. It has become the popular perception of obese people. But it is unfair and untrue. - Most obese people are, sadly, 'dieting' or watching calories most of the time. Some, of course, overeat - but some slim people overeat; in fact I think most of the people who overeat are slim. - The fact is that simply overeating does NOT cause obesity, as I have explained above.
Lose weight by eating less salt! Go on! - Try it! - You will feel so much better!
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