Shocking new implantable weight-loss device


Do you want an “easy” way to lose weight? A new device has been approved in the US. It’s a kind of pacemaker with electrodes to the upper part of the stomach. It will signal that the stomach is full… and people will lose weight:

CBS News: FDA approves new kind of device to treat obesity

In the company’s studies subjects with the implant lost slightly more than others. Side effects may include…. nausea, vomiting, heartburn and difficulty swallowing.

Admittedly it’s great with less extreme surgical procedures against obesity than cutting away healthy organs (regular bariatric surgery). But you have to wonder if this isn’t just another desperate emergency measure, that doesn’t address the real cause of the obesity epidemic. It’s of course not caused by a lack of electrodes in our stomachs.

mcDAs an almost too good irony the CBC News video clip starts with an ad. The two I’ve seen were for “cholesterol-lowering” wheat-based cereal and over-sized McDonald’s meals.

If I ate like that perhaps I too would need stomach electrodes to maintain my weight. Perhaps one could get a pair with a future Happy Meal?


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  1. mezzo
    As you say, doctor - it's not a lack of electrodes that causes obesity. But this procedure is a lot less invasive than surgery. And while it may not be the be all and end all as a solution to obesity it may help very obese people to get a head start on weight loss. Some of them have indeed lost any feeling of satiety and can just keep on eating and eating without ever feeling full. And while I realise that this is often owing to the wrong food choices it is still daunting if you have to lose maybe 150 kg through diet alone. Some help from the electronic kingdom combined with proper dietary advice may of of help though.
    Reply: #5
  2. Sonja Connan
    Yes, it would be funny if it weren't so sad. In South Africa, we've got a "professor" who slams Prof Noakes' approach to diet and instead, promotes bariatric surgery. Guess who's the director of a bariatric services clinic? How daft (or sadly misguided) do you have to be to cut up your body before trying to change your diet for a month?
  3. Martin
    Sadly, most things are promoted by vested interests: be they those of pharmaceuticals, the agricultural industry or the processessed food industry. The patient/consumer is exploited in the process to the benefit of the shareholders of the the industries with vested interests.
  4. Murray
    Animal activists could sneak on to duck farms and install these devices to undermine the efforts of farmers to pour grain down the gullets of the ducks to cause fatty liver. As it is, the ducks eagerly line up to have grain poured down their gullets and they develop fatty liver for foie gras. Some might say this is cruel but the ducks are actually quite happy and are certainly not coerced--much like people lining up at a bakery or McDonald's to eagerly stuff grain down their gullets and develop fatty liver, waddling down the path to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's and other chronic diseases. Ducks don't live longer enough for that. So who is more cruel--the farmer or the baker?
    Replies: #13, #15
  5. erdoke
    As with all problems, the solution must be based on proper understanding of the underlying cause(s). This solution is not even close to this understanding.
    You are also not not correct with regard to the options through diet. It just has to be based on the best possible understanding of the causes and the working mechanisms. LCHF together with fermented foods and intermittent fasting is THE single best way to (quickly!) cure obesity and T2 diabetes. There is even room for some playing with components which provide best adherence for the specific patient.
  6. Jessica
    This is absolutely ridiculous. SERIOUSLY!!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH CUTTING BACK WHAT YOU EAT AND GETTING OFF YOUR BUTT TO EXERCISE A FEW MINUTES OUT OF YOUR DAY? I say this all the time! There are no short cuts! Not even if the FDA approves it! #icant
    Reply: #11
  7. Mark
    "FDA Approves New Fat for Cash Device"

    This is how it should be titled.

    So let's look at the facts.

    The study comprised 233 patients with a BMI of 35 or higher. 157 patients received the active device, 76 received a deactive device (placebo/control group).

    The study lasted 12 months, the active device group lost 8.5% more weight than the placebo/control group. No seriously, that's it....only 8.5%. The FDA wanted the device to achieve at least 10% vs. a placebo device, but what the heck, 8.5%is close enough...approved.

    So how much weight did both groups lose?
    50% lost at least 20% of excess weight
    38% lost at least 25% of excess weight

    So 88% lost between 20-25% of excess weight over a period of 12 months. If you are 100lbs overweight and a Type II Diabetic (pretty small by today's obesity standards), after 12 months on this device, you are still 75-80lbs overweight, and still a TypeII Diabetic.

    This device proves very little, how so?...look at the control group. Given the active device was only 8.5% more effective than the control group, proving that it is really a mental game, and not a physical inability, or some chemical imbalance making them zombie slaves to food. The control group still lost weight. Using the 100lbs overweight example, the placebo group would have been at 83.5 - 88lbs left to lose vs 75-80lbs.

    Obesity is big business, they don't want you cured....they want your cash.

    Reply: #8
  8. Mark
    HA...i'm an idiot, even worse than i said. 8.5% of 25 of is 22.9, and 8.5% of 20 is 18.3

    Corrected #'s using a 100lbs obese person would leave the active device group less than 3lbs better off.

  9. tz
    What next? electronic bulimia?
    (How about a shock when something sugary or starchy enters your mouth)
    But the ads aren't surprising, way back when:
    You can google more - I haven't found the one where Lucy and Ricky say that the Micronite filter (containing asbestos) is "healthy".
  10. greensleeves
    It's not about weight loss, it's about punishing those vile lazy morally inferior fat people. They must be starved, monitored and controlled. Punished for their sins.

    Cannot even believe this is a serious medical device. Based solely on the hatred of overweight folks. We must educate the medical establishment to remove this irrational prejudice. Until then,more punitive and draconian devices will come into being.

  11. Boundless

    Not sustainable unless you change the macronutrient balance. Keep eating a glycemic diet, particularly one that contains appetite-provoking grains like wheat, are you are doomed.


    Doesn't work, the fictions of the Biggest Loser TV show to the contrary notwithstanding. Exercise is great, and essential for health, but is depressingly inefficient at weight loss, both due to the paltry number of calories burned, and the fact that exercise tends to add muscle, which is not weightless.

    re: There are no short cuts!

    There is one - eat an ancestral diet for your genotype, or start with LCHF grain-free if you can't discover what is otherwise ideal. "Short" as in - try it for a month, and see what happens.

    But sure, this FDA-approved abomination is insane, and suggests that it's going to be a very long time before the FDA stops parroting the equally insane USDA dietary recommendations.

    Reply: #12
  12. Mark

    It think the thing a LOT of people fail to realize is that it's not the weight, it's what the weight consists of, or in otherwords, what the body fat % is. Lifting weights adds muscle, develops stronger bones, and cuts fat...but yes, you may weigh more, depending on where you start. Given the choice between cardio and's weights all the way.

    A lot of women want to wear the bikini at the they eat literally nothing, lose both muscle and into the bikini but do not look healthy...but heck, they're thin right. Whereas a woman that hits the weights can fit the bikini and maybe even gain some weight, is healthier..but she wouldn't care about the weight, as the clothes size would be smaller. better, hit the weights.

  13. Mark
    dude...stay away from my McDonald's...i'm partial to a burger and fries :-)
    Reply: #14
  14. Murray
    Mark, I mentioned it because Dr. Eenfeldt mentioned the McDonald's ad. And because of this Swedish study that found fatty liver formed in 2 of 18 test subjects after just four weeks of dining twice a day at McDonald's, Burger King or a comparable fast-food restaurant. Good thing the beef raised the protective HDL cholesterol, but the starch and sugar from bun, fries and soft drink did the liver no good.

    Reply: #18
  15. Andrew
    I fail to see the connection between Mcdonalds and grains!?
    Most of the stuff on the ingredients in their foods are mystery meats, refined sugars, fatty oils and heaps of sodium. A person on a real low carb high fat diet would not be eating fast food at all! Taking off the bun might save carbs and some extra calories but does not make the food magically better! I agree meat and fish can be beneficial to ones health but quality matters alot! I doubt fast food chains use wild caught fish or organic grass fed beef!
    Reply: #19
  16. Suzanne
    Interesting conversation, but can we try to speak without SHOUTING or lecturing, please? After believing strongly that I (incorrectly, as it turned out) knew all about healthy eating, I learned an important lesson: When we're busy being sure we're right, we may be wrong.
  17. tony
    I honestly can't see how the device's feel full signal would stop a junk food addict from stuffing him/her self beyond full.

    However, if the feel full signal included an electric shock.....

  18. Mark
    i'm just jokin', i know people look at McDonald's as the poster boy for what ails the world, however, for me it's just another choice, and one that I indulge in after a heavy workout.
  19. Mark
    Andrew, not necessarily true. I run on LCHF, with a Carb Night, why?...because when you deplete your glycogen stores, fat loss slows, and once a week you reload them and fat loss increases. For me this isn't the case, I reload carbs post workouts, and because i like Donuts, maybe 4 at a time, and i like burgers and fries and sweet tea.

    The point is, it's not all....or nothing

    Replies: #20, #29
  20. Paul the rat
    @ Mark, so you are happy to indulge in AGE formation after every workout?

    Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2015 Jan 17. pii: S1357-2725(15)00019-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2015.01.009. [Epub ahead of print]
    AGE/RAGE signalling regulation by miRNAs: associations with diabetic complications and therapeutic potential.
    Piperi C1, Goumenos A1, Adamopoulos C1, Papavassiliou AG2.
    Author information

    Excessive formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) presents the most important mechanism of metabolic memory that underlies the pathophysiology of chronic diabetic complications. Independent of the level of hyperglycaemia, AGEs mediate intracellular glycation of the mitochondrial respiratory chain proteins leading to excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and amplification of their formation. Additionally, AGEs trigger intracellular damage via activation of the receptor for AGEs (RAGE) signalling axis that leads to elevation of cytosolic ROS, nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) activation, increased expression of adhesion molecules and cytokines, induction of oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Recent studies have identified novel microRNAs (miRNAs) involved in the regulation of AGE/RAGE signalling in the context of diabetic micro- and macrovascular complications. The aim of this review is to discuss the emerging role of miRNAs on AGE/RAGE pathway and the potential use of several miRNAs as novel therapeutic targets.

    Reply: #21
  21. Mark

    you could've provided a link..ugh...

    Anyway, Advanced Glycation-end products (AGE) can be found in meat, butter, and some vegetables, formed during frying, roasting, baking, but less in boiling, stewing and microwaving. However, the stress on a "healthy body" is proportional to the intake of sugars.

    So you're saying we should avoid meat that is fried, roasted, or baked....additionally, avoid butter?

    Replies: #22, #26
  22. Zepp
    I would be more worried about internal made AGEs by glykation of high blood sugar.
    Replies: #23, #24
  23. Mark
    High GI carbs..i.e., sugar is needed post workout to create a rise in insulin, which allows glucose among other things to be used by the muscle for rebuilding. My "heavy" workouts are once a month, and include the usual amino's and proteing. Typical post-workout is amino's-protein and a candy bar or other sources of sugar that i may happen upon.
    Reply: #28
  24. erdoke
    My reason for staying away from fast foods is their frying/baking with omega-6 oils. You can throw away the bun or leave alone the French fries, but how to remove the heat damaged omega-6s from the chicken wings? Also, there is zero chance for grass-fed, pastured, etc.
    Reply: #25
  25. Mark
    erdoke, now i will agree with you on this fact, that the omega-6 oils are not good. However, given the # of times I eat them over the course of a year ~10 - 12, i'm OK with it, based on the rest of my diet, health condition, and lack of other "vices", except're not touching my wine.
    Reply: #27
  26. Murray
    As Zepp observes, there is an important difference between exogenous AGE consumed in diet and endogenous formation of AGE.

    I expect we are fairly well adapted to eating exogenous AGE. A glycated protein would (absent leaky gut from the gluten in grains) not cross the gut barrier before being broken down into amino acids or peptides. If the glycated protein did get in, presumably the liver would likely get it. If it got past the liver, the exo-AGE would have to find its way into a cell. Not likely.

    The research Paul kindly provided (thanks again, Paul, very useful) involved intra-cellular glycation of the mitochondrial respiratory chain proteins. This is AGE formation at the most critical site on the native proteins that are important to mitochondrial function. The AGE process happens because dietary sugar resulting in transient hyperglycemia gets accelerated access into cells (due to increased insulin sensitivity post exercise) resulting in hyperglycemia within the cell itself and accelerated AGE formation affecting proteins in the mitochondria. So the transient surge in energy for the cell comes at a high AGE-ing cost. This is likely why Phinney, Violek and numerous athletes are finding superior recovery by becoming keto-adapted and avoiding post-workout carbs and allowing fat oxidation to fuel the recovery process. For athletes like Kobe Bryant, this has been a career-extending move.

    With exo-AGE proteins, assuming they even make it past the digestive enzymes, the gut barrier, the liver and the cell barrier, they would have to be close enough in structure to proteins in the mitochondria to mimic their structure and take their place. With the endo-glycation process from excess sugar being sucked right into cells, it is the proteins already in place that get glycated, assuring impairment to mitochondrial function.

    For these reasons, I am not so much concerned about exogenous AGE in food but am very concerned about intracellular glycation from blood sugar surges.

  27. erdoke
    I'm afraid that average supermarket food is so depleted in omega-3 that we cannot be careful enough about staying away from any excess omega-6. There is well enough in natural foods like nuts and animal fats while omega-3 are nowadays come bundled with heavy metals in fish. :(
    Otherwise I see your point of course and for most mindful eaters there is no problem with rare derailments.
  28. Zepp
    Well.. I think that post excersis refeding of high GI carbs is for rebuilding depleted glycogen stores?

    And I think its importante becuse then your gluconeogenes dont need to use amino acids?

    Insulin dont need to get high at all post excersise if one is healty.. GLUT 1 do take care of glucose anyway.. whitout any help of insulin.

    But.. those amino acids you take post excersise do make a rise in insulin.. and there is altso a rise in Glukagon.. so you dont goes hypoglycemic.

    There is a misunderstanding that Insulin helps glucose in to the cells, it dont do that its cut out gluconeogenes, glycogenolysis, inhibit lipolysis and cut out fat oxidation.. and then there are more place for glucose.

  29. Paul the rat
    1)@Mark, I don't think your 'post-work out 4 Donuts' are loaded with carnosine.

    2) I repeat my apologies for not providing full PDF. I have PubMed subscription at work and such set up does not allow me to provide the full link. Those interested in details can easily access given reference at their local college/University library.

    Neurobiol Aging. 2014 Jun;35(6):1469-72. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2013.11.032. Epub 2013 Dec 4.
    Aging risk factors and Parkinson's disease: contrasting roles of common dietary constituents.
    Hipkiss AR1.
    Author information

    Aging is a Parkinson's disease (PD) risk factor. It is suggested here that certain dietary components may either contribute to or ameliorate PD risk. There is evidence, which indicates that excessive carbohydrate (glucose or fructose) catabolism is a cause of mitochondrial dysfunction in PD, one consequence is increased production of methylglyoxal (MG). However, other dietary components (carnosine and certain plant extracts) not only scavenge MG but can also influence some of the biochemical events (signal transduction, stress protein synthesis, glycation, and toxin generation) associated with PD pathology. As double blind, placebo-controlled carnosine supplementation studies have revealed beneficial outcomes in humans, it is suggested that MG scavengers such as carnosine be further explored for their therapeutic potential toward PD.

  30. Mark
    i am not arguing the science behind AGE, and the associated risks (thanks for the information). My problem is that when we as a community discuss weight-loss with those that need help, it cannot be all or nothing. You cannot continue to brow beat people into submission and expect it to work. If I get people to eat LCHF, and tell them once a week, i don't care what you eat, they will lose fat, and they will be healthier, vs "this food item is off limits...forever". From the comments here it appears that some of you believe it is all or nothing, and is no wonder why we lose people and they gain the weight they have previously lost. I love my Donuts...and will get them, maybe once a month. I love my Burgers and Fries also. The point is, if I were to stick to my usual diet, it would be very boring long term, and mentally unsatisfying. I grew up eating a lot of different things, and still do. The overwhelming majority of what I eat is real food. Erdoke called it a derailment, i prefer to look at it as mental satiety.
    Reply: #34
  31. Murray
    Mark, the human body is an engineering marvel and is surprising resilient. There is a world of difference between eating at a fast food place every day (not an uncommon practice), which the Swedish study indicates is a path to fatty liver and worse, and having a burger and fries on the way home from mountain biking. Yes, it is a stress, but the effect of stress is always a function of frequency, intensity and duration.

    If reducing body fat is a goal, there is a world of difference between eating and exercising to maintain weight versus losing weight. The first point is that if one needs to shed excess body fat, the habits that got one there need to be changed. Many people are fine eating whole food carbs, especially with habits of walking post meals and going long stretches without eating so insulin levels can normalize daily. But for people who put on excess weight, something has to change. For example, I can eat virtually unlimited fat and not gain weight, but i certainly don't lose weight eating 5000 calories of fat per day. I need at least some daily dietary fat so my metabolism can burn fat when insulin rises in response to protein and ease the transition until my insulin level is low again when fat cells can begin releasing fat into the blood as an internal source of energy. So my diet pattern varies significantly depending on whether I am in a hold pattern or a fat-reducing pattern.

    An exception to this may be keto. A weekend carb feast will reduce my morning ketone level (when I measure) and it will take a few days And some long evening walks and early dinners to restore my usual levels. So if the goal is to stay in keto, then eating in a way that causes a big insulin response will have a disproportionate effect. One can debate how beneficial it is to stay in steady keto. I lean to steady-keto and there are a number of thoughtful research-oriented people who lean that way. No one suggests people need to be in keto, just that it has added benefits. I note that most cultures evolved both fasting and feast rituals. When we have occasion dinners my wife tells me it is festival time. In cultures of European origin there seems to be an ancient pattern of Christianized pagan festivals every couple of months during the low-carb winter months (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter). Only recently did the festivals devolve into sugar orgies. So I am the last to be dismissive of festival occasions. The issue is to fine tune the frequency, intensity and duration, and the exercise and fasting patterns that accompany them.

    Reply: #33
  32. Mark
    Murray, I agree something has to change. If it doesn't change, people with high levels of body fat will continue on their current path and claim their prize. However, as sugar is highly addictive, it is often easier for people to make dramatic changes to their sugar intake, while being able to look ahead 7 days for their weekly reward. This doesn't change the fact that they will lose body fat, it simply makes it easier for them to compartmentalize the process into 6 day blocks of time. The downside is given that they have shown through their accumulation of fat that sticking to a healthier diet is not their strong suit, the one day a week may turn to two or three, and then they've simply failed again.
  33. Galina L.
    I think the LC diet is the worst to interrupt with high carb re-feedings - the people who practice it will get higher blood sugar spikes because of their adaptation to less dietary carbohydrates consumption during the LC phase(so called physiological insulin resistance). May be the ideal way to eat if the eating donuts is the goal would be IF - eating small amounts of high fat/LC food every other day, the rest of the week eating so called "balanced" diet, like a ZONE diet, and pig on donuts ones a week. This way physiological IR should not be developed.
    I would rather eat consistent LC - I use ketosis for health reasons, and I love the food allowed on LCarbing, and indifferent to sweet things.
    Reply: #35
  34. Mark
    Galina L., While the goal of LCHF is to keep insulin spikes low, thereby minimizing the storage of sugar to fat, at times the high insulin spikes is helpful, not harmful. During the first few weeks of any low-carb/keto plan, fat is burning at a higher rate. However, as glycogen stores deplete and are not replenished, the body settles in for the long "winter" and burns fat at a slower rate. Weekly re-feeds spike insulin levels for one night. When you are really hot, as carbs burn hot and fast. Depending on how many carbs were eaten, there is some water gain ~3:1 ratio. However, the high insulin spike now tricks the body into believing that winter is over and to burn fat at a higher rate than before. Somewhere around 4 days later it slows again, after again assuming winter has arrived, as no carbs are incoming.
    Replies: #36, #37, #39
  35. Zepp
    The problem whit that thinking is that depleted glycogen depoes only occur in the begining.

    Its been showed a lot of times.. when insulin been keept low, glucakon gets higher, it upregulate glukoneogenes, how top up glycogen when you sleep.

    High ketosis is easy in the begining becuse of glucose shortige, but after a month your fatoxidation capasity increase, and ketosis get lower.

    You know fat is burned in the flame of amino acids.

    And it seems that you tryes to convince your self that cheat days is good for you.. I dont think so, it comes anyway, one dont need to have plan for that.

    I dont even think that those are bad either, becuse there are festival days but moste days is ordanary days.. and christmas is only once a year.

    Reply: #40
  36. Paul the rat
    @ Mark
    "...When you are really hot, as carbs burn hot and fast. Depending on how many carbs were eaten, there is some water gain ~3:1 ratio. However, the high insulin spike now tricks the body into believing that winter is over and to burn fat at a higher rate than before. Somewhere around 4 days later it slows again, after again assuming winter has arrived, as no carbs are incoming."

    and you carried out clinical trials/animal model studies to show that it is so ?

    " carbs burn hot and fast…"

    and fatty acids burn cold and slow ?, where is the difference, in the rate of transport into the mitochondria, at the Krebs cycle or electron transport chain?

    If you have clinical experience with those who practice LCHF you would know that first thing people notice is that they do not feel cold as they use to, say, during winter time.

  37. Chris the Barbarian
    I think there are two sides to the "cheat day/meal": If you can handle it, and your health markers or fine - then go on with it. It seems to work.

    But if your interval between those cheat meals gets shorter with each meal, and you can't help but to think of the very next cheat meal... it is usally a sign that you won't be on your diet for long.

    I did a low carb diet for years, but I hard the hardest time staying really low carb - I only thought about my next delicious carb meal, how I would indulge myself, and I would have earned it. I didn't have any gains to speak of, but still food was on my mind the whole time. It was getting ridiculous.

    Around last Christmas I read some Books about ketosis(Dr. Westmanns New Atkins, Both books by Dr Phinney and Dr Volek), and how staying in nutrinial ketosis has so much more benefits for carbohydrate intolerant guys like myself, that I just had to try it. Well, now I am in ketosis for just about one year, and I haven't even eaten an apple during the last year - they are too sweet ;).

    Sometimes I even forget to eat the whole day - eating is not the only thing on my mind anymore. That is really refreshing.

  38. Murray
    Mark, I defer to Paul on this, but my understanding is that excess body heat at night from over feeding is caused by proton leak in the mitochondria, as a protective response to reduce free radical damage in the mitochondria from burning off excess sugar.

    A feature of high-fat, low-carb is that there is regulated uncoupling to generate heat, not as a measure to reduce excess free radical damage, but to generate heat (non-shivering thermogenesis). This has the benefit of reducing free radical damage. This is regulated by uncoupling proteins, and not as a triage measure to help reduce the high level of free radical damage caused by carbohydrate over feeding.

    Mitochondrial damage and failure is implicated in aging and a host of chronic diseases and organ failure. Enhancing mitochondrial health is one of the principal reasons for going keto.

  39. erdoke
    Both fat and carbs burn in the fire of amino acids. At least if you mean the feed of intermediates to the citric acid cycle. :)
    Reply: #41
  40. Zepp
    Thats what I mean!

    But thats to complicated to explain in a foregin language.. so I leave that to you!

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