A Welcome Dose of Common Sense

This weekend's New York Times featured an editorial pushing back against the medical industry's most recent device for obesity and diabetes treatment, called the Aspire Assist. The Aspire Assist is essentially a tube surgically implanted into your stomach so you can drain a portion of your stomach contents after each meal, in an effort to avoid absorbing all the calories you consumed.

How is it that we've come to the point of believing that human physiology requires this degree of intervention to achieve a healthy weight, and healthy metabolism?

The authors of this article add their voices to the growing chorus that thinks our health is suffering because we're eating the wrong types of foods, not just too many calories.

It is nonsensical that we’re expected to prescribe these techniques to our patients while the medical guidelines don’t include another better, safer and far cheaper method: a diet low in carbohydrates.

Once a fad diet, the safety and efficacy of the low-carb diet have now been verified in more than 40 clinical trials on thousands of subjects. Given that the government projects that one in three Americans (and one in two of those of Hispanic origin) will be given a diagnosis of diabetes by 2050, it’s time to give this diet a closer look.

When someone has diabetes, he can no longer produce sufficient insulin to process glucose (sugar) in the blood. To lower glucose levels, diabetics need to increase insulin, either by taking medication that increases their own endogenous production or by injecting insulin directly. A patient with diabetes can be on four or five different medications to control blood glucose, with an annual price tag of thousands of dollars.

Yet there’s another, more effective way to lower glucose levels: Eat less of it.

We are just beginning to appreciate the conflicts endemic in our healthcare and food industries, and the impact of conflicted research on our healthcare and public health crisis. Fortunately, more individuals and companies are discovering that improving health and reducing healthcare costs are more a matter of education and inspiring lifestyle change than implantation and aspirating stomach contents.