February 13

ASBP weighs in


The ASBP, the American Society of Bariatric (weight-loss) Physicians, has released a statement about the recent studies showing the ineffectiveness of low-fat diets. The thrust of the statement is that the ASBP worries that these JAMA studies will cause all the people who have been struggling to do the right thing and stay on their low-fat diets to make a beeline for the nearest Ben & Jerry’s and go face down. The message between the lines is that if you tell people that fat isn’t really the problem, these people may go out and, well, eat fat.
It was apparent to me that my friend Mary Vernon, M.D., who is now the president of the ASBP, had a hand in the writing of this statement when I read the following part:

One side of a worthy study was not done – that of evaluating the effect of restricting carbohydrates and total calories or identifying which types of dietary fats should be included in the eating plan.

Those words, especially the ones about restricting carbohydrates, would not have been written by anyone at the ASBP I used to know. MD and I were both members for many years, but it became way too much of a drag to attend meeting after meeting where the presentations were all about how to cut even more fat from the diet, why fat is bad, and, when your patients fail on low-fat diets, how to start them on weight-loss drugs.
Dr. Vernon is the author of the latest Dr. Atkins book, Atkins Diabetes Revolution, and is practicing physician in Lawrence, Kansas who uses low-carb diets with her weight-loss and metabolically troubled patients. She tells me that the ASBP has changed considerably over the past few years. MD and I may take a chance and hit one of their upcoming meetings to test the waters.
Change comes slowly, but it finally comes.

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