Obesity Time Bomb Is CBT-E The Solution?

Obesity in women hits the news today. A lot of us girls are overweight or obese, and nothing is said about men although obesity is actually not gender specific. The report mentions CBT-E as a treatment for obesity although there is no evidence that it works for obesity. Sad that so-called experts give out the wrong message.

CBT-E is a packaged therapy which has some good results for eating disorders, it deals with body image problems and unhelpful eating disordered thinking. But not all overweight people have eating disorders. Some just like eating especially when a lot of tasty food is available and we don’t have to go hunting to acquire it. With Christmas looming, even I’m having trouble not buying armfuls of goodies from Hotel Chocolat.

Will a sugar tax help?  Not really, food is still quite cheap. It is the organic meat I buy which is expensive and I have to think twice about buying it. The only thing a sugar tax might do is raise enough money to give some people a gastric band or gastric bypass surgery.  Even these procedures don’t always work. Fat it seems is just one mouthful away.

See The BBC Report here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35061167







Constant Cravers And Intermittent Fasting? A Big Lie?

I’m a little behind some of you with looking at the latest BBC Programme about finding a personalised diet programme with all the World Famous Obesity Experts. Sorry Professor Tanya by the way, with respect you are an erudite clinical psychologist but a world famous obesity expert?  However….

I still want to know why they have put constant cravers (who may be Leptin Insensitive) on the Intermittent Fasting Diet. Leptin is a protein which tells our brain to stop looking for food when our fat cells are expanding. By the way. So constant cravers are looking at food all the time, in shops, with other people eating and so on. This is like the behaviour of drug addicts. Perhaps there is something wrong with the reward centres of the brain as well.  We call this Reward Deficiency Syndrome. If this is the problem, then intermittent fasting might make their preoccupations worse.

I have plenty of research which shows that intermittent fasting in some people can ADD to their desire for food, increase their thinking about food, make them search out food and eating cues in their environments. So what’s the explanation for this choice of diet?

The programme shows that there are certain basics which need to be handled in obesity treatment no matter what is wrong with your genes and your hormones. This is like eating slowly and mindfully, not in front of the TV which increases appetite by the way…. not boot-camping people in exercise programmes which they don’t enjoy, building flexibility and teaching people how to solve day to day problems and deal with irritations without needing to eat;  managing cravings, dealing with lapses & so on & so on.

And some of the participants are getting “CBT” although CBT on its own doesn’t have a good success rate for long term success. For one thing CBT lacks a spiritual dimension which inspires people to change and CBT doesn’t address the need to teach people how to increase their willpower. Yes, yes, yes it can be done.

You might like to see my own ideas on how to work with constant cravers on my blog Deanne talks to save me having to write it all again here. Meanwhile enjoy the programme, talk about it by all means, but the idea that there is a DIET alone that helps an overweight person to lose weight and keep it off is  BIG FAT LIE.

In Search Of A Personalised Diet BBC Horizon

Hello all you people who want to lose weight, this is such an important subject that I have written about this on my personal Blog at Deannetalks but also here as well.

I am going to have a lot to say about the Tanya Byron, Susan Jebb and other expert take on weight loss. I will I promise try to make it positive and helpful.

We are now in the dieting months and I’m already sick and tired of all the diet plans I’m seeing. There is the Ice Diet being promoted by Peta Bee in the Times – sorry Peta, bad science. And even a diet called EAT! Which is just another variant on the low carb diets. These diets are one size fits all and take no account of personal genes and nutrient responses. They are designed to fail in the long run, as all fervent followers will discover.

SO…Have we finally found the Holy Grail of weight loss? Is tailoring DIETS to your obesity-type the best way to help you lose weight? We have been searching for tailored programmes for years.  An army of world famous weight loss experts cannot surely be wrong. Can they?

Well let’s see.

A few years ago, the BBC ran a diet trials experiment at the University of Surrey which compared different types of diets for success. There was a clear winner (Conley)  but the take- home message in the long run is that different types of diet suit different people. People who don’t like calorie counting do well with  Atkins or Dukan, while some  people do really well with a group approach. But in the long run it’s pretty much all the same. Failure, that is, for most 18 months down the line.

The BBC have an all-singing-dancing world expert scientific approach that is new. Do people really divide themselves into three obesity types?

The first “cant-stoppers” who are low on gut hormones.

The second “constant cravers” who probably lack a good leptin response (science here) to tell their brains they aren’t hungry.

The third, “comfort eaters” who meet the day to day stress in life by using food as a feel-good drug.

Perhaps. They have all lost weight, HURRAY – but that proves very little; they have also been very unhappy here and there. it was poor research design, and the proof of the obesity pudding must surely be in how well they are able to keep it off. Oh well, it makes good TV but probably very little else.

Professor Susan Jebb is an expert-expert on obesity but has said that losing weight is not a matter of will, but of habits. People have to change their habits for life. I know that, and part of the therapy I do is to help change habits from very deep inside. This is useful for everyone and flexibility training was missing from the treatment given to these subjects.

But I cannot agree with that. There is a whole new science of willpower – known as self-regulation theory – which is available to obesity specialists and which is helping people to use their willpower to change their lives. This can help comfort-eaters, constant-cravers and cant-stoppers too. Why was this ignored?   So what’s going to happen to these happy weight losers? Will they have to stay on their diets for life, an impossible task surely, unless they learn how to exercise their WILL.

I like it when people feel they have done something valuable and positive. Who could fail to be moved when men weep real tears for having help and support. But is this real science when it ignores real psychological strategies that work, like flexibility training and self-regulation training. More than half of the fatties got “CBT” on top of their diets, maybe it was the CBT not the diet that helped them.

And I want to know why the experts have decided the Intermittent Fasting Regime is right approach for constant cravers. MY RESEARCH TELLS ME THAT FASTING WILL MAKE THEIR PREOCCUPATIONS WORSE? Who said this was the right way for them to eat?

So for me the jury is out. Some bits of this interesting programme hold out hope for people who cannot lose weight. It’s good for someone to know that they may be lacking in a gut hormone that helps them to feel full. Its good to suggest that an emotional eater is not just weak-willed and greedy. It may be useful to know that a constant craver might not be feeling leptin in their brain.

This programme is misnamed. It is called finding the right diet for you. It should be named the right mix of strategies for you. Possibly but I am going to write more about this shortly

World experts should know better than to suggest that what they have done is a solution. It is just one of a number of things that must be properly explored in properly designed clinical trials before we can truly discover a personalized solution for obesity. And we experts know better than to think that any single diet can provide a quick fix even when the experts say “genes”.

Obesity And NICE

Obesity!  There has been a lot in the press about obesity this week with the publication of NICE guidelines for obesity treatment, information that our girls are the fattest in Europe and publication of research associating sleep in the light with obesity. Even I have had my say, see me on the BBC website

In the London Times today an article shows us that low fat custard has more calories than ordinary custard (thanks, Asda).

Fat is on my mind as well because I am about to train a group of 70 obesity professionals from all over the world.

Oh dear, do I really think that the NHS should be spending billions on 12 weeks of free attendance at slimming clubs?  Do I really think that 3% weight loss will save the NHS a lot of money on medical problems associated with obesity?   Well I don’t think I do.

The chances of people maintaining a 3% weight loss I think are nil. That’s based on evidence. It’s not going to cure diabetes or liver disease. It isn’t going to make fat people feel better or even look better which is why they try to lose weight in the first place.  How did these idiots come up with such a stupid idea.

Ah I think I know why …. lobbying pressure from the slimming club industry!  Money!  If only I had shares in a commercial weight loss company!

On the other hand, lots of people are fat because they are ignorant about what a healthy diet really is. Do we believe, as the food industry would have us do, that sugar coated frosties are better than no breakfast at all?

Do we think, as they would have us think, that low fat yoghurt full of sugar is better than normal yoghurt (which is a low fat food).

People need to wake up and get real about what is in the food we eat. Its right to correct ignorance which the slimming clubs might do. But I think that many of the so-called army of helpers are also ignorant and improperly trained. Perhaps the Government should invest in properly trained obesity specialists who can do the same job in the community, like practice nurses. These people won’t just give out diet sheets, they will understand motivation and proper nutritional wisdoms, and they will know what kinds of activity really can help – not just “going to the gym”.



Obesity Experts For Sale To VLCD?

Today I found myself arguing with the NICE co-ordination team who are on the verge of recommending VLCD liquid diets for Obese Type 2 diabetics.

VLCD diets are associated with addictive behaviours, long term weight loss failure and severe binge eating, which can make people even more  unhealthy. Of course they “work” in the short run, as does anything.  Is it any surprise that some of the expert obesity specialists who endorse diet systems and who “do the research” are in the pay of these commercial operations?

In 2010 it was reported that Susan Jebb, obesity expert, is being paid by Rosemary Conley and Weight Watchers presumably to lobby on their behalf. Or something else. Just about all commercial weight loss enterprises have their expert obesity academic on their letterhead.to confer “authority” on their products. Do you think that such organisations should be compelled to disclose what they pay and to whom? Shame on the academics for taking the “kings silver” and for not having the courage to say that everything works for someone, that long term outcomes are pretty much the same for everything, and for not being able to admit which enterprises are causing harm.

I should know about harm – I pick up the pieces. On behalf of the overweight and ill, it is naughty.

The Men Who Made Us Fat

Last night I walked down Marylebone HIgh Street, London. Every two yards there was another place to eat, a Pain Quotidien, a cafe, an epicerie, a Costa Coffee and a cake shop from heaven. People were eating as they walked along the street.

20 years ago I walked down the same street and every 100 yards there was a place to eat and very few people ate as they walked.

40 years ago I walked down Marylebone High Street. There were no places to eat, lots of other shops and no one ate as they walked.

They assume that people who gain weight are weak willed. On the contrary, people who keep their weight stable have to work really hard 24 hours a day 7 days a week to avoid – like bouncing bagatelles- the food they see around them saying “eat me now, you will feel nice, I will give you a lift, you don’t need to be hungry -you just need to be wanting a bit of fun and what’s the harm in that”.

On top of that are the dangers that we can’t see; the men who made us fat have inserted them quietly into the food we eat. Corn syrup, tastes so nice but it is food that our body cannot deal with properly. Relax, have a beer, or a bit of ketchup on your chips. It will make you fat while it makes them rich.

Going to put petrol in your car? Have a chocolate bar, it will reward you for doing all that hard work. They made it big so you would spend more money and feel virtuous because you hadn’t bought 2 bars.  They knew that you would eat it all up in one go because thats what people do. And while you were scoffing it made them rich.

Did you know that the food industry has blackmailed, denigrated, rubbished and possibly even murdered the people who wanted to tell you the truth. They have bought or crushed the politicians who could have done something about this. They wanted to make you fat so that you would need what they had to sell you.

And everyone is frightened of taking them on.See that giant bag of crisps?  See that double caramel flavoured frappucino?  JUST SAY NO.