Starvation: A good thing when concerning the Obese.

  1. After doing some research, I have yet to see a reason why an obese person would not want to just fast their way down to a healthy body fat percentage. If anyone can raise some legitimate points for debate that'd be great as I need some more views on this so I can do further research. Feel free to be as technical as you like in reasons for or against said topic. Please include sources for referenced information. Feel free to through up cliches so they can be shown as inaccurate or proven either way.
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  2. 68 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Starvation is not a healthy thing. I don't have any resources but the pathophysiology of starvation causes havoc to the body....and of course eventually kills a person. Why would anyone want to starve themselves? Obesity is a bit more complicated to treat than "why don't they just quit eating?".

    When you say obese, you realize that means quite a bit of weight to lose and one would not be able to starve themselves that long. A few days fast doesn't hurt anyone, but for the obese to starve...not a good idea.

    Any research from your end that starvation is a good thing?
    Last edit by Tweety on Sep 25, '06
  4. by   bethem
    Quote from xt1
    After doing some research, I have yet to see a reason why an obese person would not want to just fast their way down to a healthy body fat percentage. If anyone can raise some legitimate points for debate that'd be great as I need some more views on this so I can do further research. Feel free to be as technical as you like in reasons for or against said topic. Please include sources for referenced information. Feel free to through up cliches so they can be shown as inaccurate or proven either way.
    I have to wonder where on earth you have got your research. Have your sources considered the following points:
    1. Starvation affects one's metabolism, meaning that when the (perhaps formerly) obese person resumes eating, the body will store energy (read: fat) in preparation for another 'famine'?
    2. When fasting, the body does not receive its required vitamins and nutrients?
    3. Fasting is incredibly unpleasant and is not sustainable for extended periods of time. Electrolytes are often out of whack and cardiac problems can arise?
    4. Fasting often results in muscle mass being used for fuel while some fat is kept in case the 'famine' persists?
    5. Instead of fasting, a reduction in the number or kilojoules/calories being ingested, and an increase in the number of kilojoules/calories being burned through activity is required?
    6. Being thin does not automatically equal being healthy. Although the health risks of being obese are myriad, there are many risks associated with being inactive. Fasting alone is not a suitable remedy to this problem, and will therefore not result in 'health'?
    7. This one is personal - honestly, I can't imagine you have done any serious research into this topic. The premise that fasting is the answer to obesity is baseless and just plain ridiculous. Should we take, as an example, the starving millions in developing countries? Is this the picture of health? I think you need to look into the problem of overweight, obesity and weight management more thoroughly. I also suggest you do not pursue positions in bariatric clinics, if you hold these beliefs. Sorry to rant, but this is tantamount to saying, "I can't believe alcoholics just don't want to go cold turkey and never drink again", as if it were that easy. I have no direct source - my NURSING education and plain old common sense prevail here.
  5. by   suzy253
    And your research source on 'starvation: a good thing when concerning the obese" is.................???
  6. by   LuvMyGamecocks
    I have read that the up and down of crash dieting (which is what fasting would seem like to me....eat, don't eat, eat don't eat) is 75% MORE likely to cause heart disease because of the strain it puts on the heart.

    I don't expect to see it, but if there is actual scientific research that says this would be healthy.....Nah, I don't expect to see it. I've taken a Physiology class...starvation is BAD.
  7. by   augigi
    uh.. off the top of my head, depends what you mean by "fast' - which fluids are allowed?

    1. fasting decreases the metabolic rate so as soon as the fasting stops, they'd put on even more weight.
    2. fasting-induced neurologic damage, even with thiamine supplementation:

    ba'o'lu et al. neurological complications of prolonged hunger strike. eur j neurol (2006 oct) 13:10 p.1089-97
    we investigated neurological findings in 41 prisoners (mean age: 28.6) who participated in a hunger strike between 2000 and 2002. all cases were evaluated using neuropsychological, neuroradiological, and electrophysiological methods. the total duration of fasting ranged from 130 to 324 days (mean 199 days). all cases had 200-600 mg/day thiamine orally for 60-294 days (mean 156) during the hunger strike, and had neurological findings consistent with wernicke-korsakoff syndrome. all 41 patients exhibited altered consciousness which lasted from 3 to 31 days. all patients also presented gaze-evoked horizontal nystagmus and truncal ataxia. paralysis of lateral rectus muscles was found in 14. amnesia was apparent in all cases. abnormal nerve conduction study parameters were not found in the patient group, but the amplitude of compound muscle action potential of the median and fibular nerves and sensory nerve action potential amplitude of the sural nerve were lower than the control group, and distal motor latency of the posterior tibial nerve was significantly prolonged as compared with the control group. the latency of visual evoked potential was prolonged in 22 cases. somatosensory evoked potential (p37) was prolonged but not statistically significant. our most significant finding was that the effect of hunger was more prominent on the central nervous system than on the neuromuscular system, despite the fact that all patients were taking thiamine. in our opinion, partial recovery of neurological, and neurocognitive signs in prolonged hunger could be a result of permanent neurological injury.

    oge et al. neuromuscular consequences of prolonged hunger strike: an electrophysiological study. clin neurophysiol. 2000 nov;111(11):2064-70.
    objectives: the purpose of this study was to determine the electrophysiological consequences of neuromuscular and central nervous system involvement in a group of patients presented with the neurological complications of a long-term hunger strike (hs). methods: motor and sensory nerve conduction (ncv), f wave, somatosensory evoked potential (sep) and motor evoked potential (mep) studies were performed in 12 male and 3 female patients (mean age: 29.4) following hs. results: all patients whose weight loss was 11-31 (mean: 22.8) kg after 69-day hs, had neurological findings consistent with wernicke's encephalopathy or wernicke-korsakoff syndrome. abnormally prolonged latency and/or low amplitude sensory nerve action potentials were found in 7 patients. the amplitudes of compound muscle action potentials were significantly reduced in ulnar, median and tibial motor ncv studies as compared to the controls. f waves elicited by median nerve stimulation at wrist and muscle responses evoked by cervical and lumbar magnetic stimulation had significantly prolonged latencies. meps recorded from the lower extremities showed a slight prolongation in central conduction times. the cortical response latencies were prolonged in tibial seps. conclusions: the most prominent finding in this patient group was the low amplitude of cmaps elicited in motor ncv studies which was concluded to be resulted from the reversible muscular changes. the other electrophysiological findings suggested that peripheral nerves and long central nervous system pathways were also mildly involved.
    Last edit by augigi on Sep 25, '06
  8. by   Tweety
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieting

    Scientific analysis of the dangers of fasting (and discussion of partial fasting with protein supplementation)
    While anyone can lose weight by fasting (temporarily stopping one's food intake), it is a dangerous practice. When concentration camp survivors, who involuntarily suffered famine as a result of horrendous living conditions, were examined by doctors, what little weight they had was mostly fat, with practically no muscle.

    The muscle loss is partly due to the fact that the brain cannot rely completely on fat for fuel. The brain usually reserves ketones for lipid synthesis but will use ketones (from fat) for some energy once levels rise during carbohydrate shortages or starvation, but it must get at least 15 percent of its energy from glucose, and it takes a much greater percentage than this early in a fast before the switch to ketones for most energy needs. Glucose can only be synthesized from proteins, glycerol and carbohydrates.

    The body stores carbohydrates as glycogen in the muscles and the liver; glycogen is used to make glucose. Glycogen stores (from carbohydrates) can only last a couple days (during starvation). (In fact, marathon runners experience a shortage of easily-available glycogen after only 2 hours, commonly called "hitting the wall" or bonking.)

    Because fasts, very low calorie diets (VLCD), and low-carbohydrate diets restrict the intake of carbohydrates, glucose must be obtained from protein. In the event dietary protein is insufficient, internal sources will be obtained: autolysis and muscle wasting occurs. (The conversion of amino acids to glucose is called gluconeogenesis.)

    A very low calorie diet that restricts all carbohydrates and non-essential fats, while providing just enough dietary protein to prevent muscle loss, is termed a "protein sparing modified fast" (PSMF). This type of diet is possible when dietary protein is sufficient to meet the body's glucose needs via gluconeogenesis conversion, thus sparing muscle protein. After experimentation, it was found that a protein intake of 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of ideal bodyweight (lean body mass) per day prevented the loss of body protein. A somewhat "safer" intake of 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of LBM per day is often recommended. Thus, a PSMF allows for rapid fat loss due to the severe caloric deficit that is created when nearly all carbohydrates and fats are removed from the diet. This extreme dieting technique has many potential hazards, such as hormonal changes and rapid metabolic slowdown. A PSMF is sometimes used by bodybuilders for "cutting" (losing fat to expose muscle) just before competitions
    Last edit by Tweety on Sep 25, '06
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    I just finished "First They Killed My Father" about the death camps in Cambodia in the 1970's and I think starvation is a horrible thing.

    Where is your research?


    steph
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    P.S. This thread may be just to get a rise out of us . . . . :wink2:


    steph
  11. by   Indy
    Quote from stevielynn
    I just finished "First They Killed My Father" about the death camps in Cambodia in the 1970's and I think starvation is a horrible thing.

    Where is your research?


    steph
    I doubt the OP has done any research. Sounds like a "do my homework for me" type thing, to me. Either that or just a normal troll post.
  12. by   bethem
    Quote from stevielynn
    P.S. This thread may be just to get a rise out of us . . . . :wink2:


    steph
    I had an inkling but i couldn't let this kind of ...er.... poppycock go by without a good slap upside the head!
  13. by   txspadequeenRN
    :yeahthat:


    Quote from stevielynn
    P.S. This thread may be just to get a rise out of us . . . . :wink2:


    steph
  14. by   Tweety
    Quote from stevielynn
    P.S. This thread may be just to get a rise out of us . . . . :wink2:


    steph

    Could be. As a mod, that was a thought. However, the poster's history is quite benign and even supportive, so let's give them the benefit of the doubt. OK?

    Maybe the OP just needs some enlightenment and really wants to know. (Rose colored glasses firmly on.)

    We as responders are responsible for whether we get a rise or not. Don't give anyone the power.

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