Weight-loss wonder or weird trend: Facts about the 'feeding tube diet'


by Courtney Zubowski / KHOU 11 News


Posted on May 2, 2012 at 11:14 PM

HOUSTON – What if you could lose 20 pounds in 10 days without working out? Sound too good to be true? At least one weight-loss doctor in Florida says it’s not – that is, if you’re willing to try the "feeding-tube diet."

In a YouTube video, Dr. Oliver Di Pietro explains the diet, which is actually called the KE or European Ketogenic diet, and how he was the first doctor to bring it to the U.S.

Patients put a tube through their noses and into their stomachs and are given a feeding solution of 800 calories a day.

The solution is high in protein and fat with no carbs.  It forces a state of ketosis in the body, which promotes fat-burning, rather than muscle.

"It is, in essence, the Atkins diet without chewing – with a tube down your nose," Dr. Benton Baker, who practices in Conroe, said.

But Baker also said he thinks we’ll be seeing the KE diet more and more, despite the risks – like perforation of the nose, esophagus or stomach; constipation; bad breath and lung damage.

As for Baker himself, he said he isn't offering the diet now, but that could change, as long as there were more research and studies about it.

"If those were to appear, I wouldn’t rule out anything," Baker said.

Participating in the diet at Dr. Di Pietro’s Florida clinic will set you back about $1,500.

And even after that, you can always gain those pounds back -- once you get back on real food.