Lose weight with fake food?


News from the Obesity Society annual meeting in San Diego:

-- Doctors have tried inserting a balloon into the stomach to make a person feel full so he won’t eat as much and will lose weight. Now scientists are turning to a similar strategy that involves swallowing a capsule.

-- Researchers in Calgary reported Sunday that they had devised fake food, or pseudofood, to make people feel fuller. The method involved filling a gelatin capsule made of biocompatible and biodegradable materials with expandable, absorbent fiber and polymer granules. Four people took the capsules for one month. The researchers found the capsules were safe and the participants didn’t experience any discomfort. The participants reported feeling less hungry and said they lost weight. The study showed the feasibility of the approach, the researchers said.


-- What can we learn from people who have lost a lot of weight and kept it off? The National Weight Loss Registry, a database of some 5,000 people who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time has produced some fascinating findings. On Saturday, researchers presented data showing those who exercised the most also reported having the lowest percentage of calories from fat in their diets. It could be that these people were more devoted to their diets. But another possibility is that heavy exercise causes biological changes that decrease the desire to consume fat.

-- Obese young women who have not had much success in using diet and exercise to lose weight are sometimes advised to undergo bariatric surgery to improve their reproductive health. The strategy makes sense. Studies show women who lose excess weight are more likely to become pregnant and have healthier babies compared with obese women. But a study presented Sunday showed that women who had bariatric surgery and then became pregnant were not able to maintain their weight loss after pregnancy compared with similar women who had bariatric surgery and didn’t become pregnant.

-- A study examining what kids ages 2 to 19 eat found something surprising: The overweight and obese children in the study did not consume more sugar-sweetened beverages compared with normal-weight kids. Other studies have suggested sugary drinks contribute significantly to child obesity.

-- The national “What We Eat” study confirms that we are not three-squares-a-day people. Overall, 59% of men and 64% of women reported eating a standard breakfast, lunch and dinner. Obese people were less likely to report a three-meal pattern. About 90% of adults said they ate at least one snack a day.

-- Shari Roan / Los Angeles Times

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