Our dietitian and Clinical Manager of Dietetics at Spectrum Health reviews the second diet of a series of fad diets…
Ok so crazy diet Number 2………… THE KEN DIET or otherwise known as theKetogenic Enteral Nutrition diet and sometimes referred to as the feeding tube diet!!
Who came up with this KEN diet?
Believe it or not but this diet was actually invented by Gianfranco Cappello, associate professor of general surgery at the University of Rome’s La Sapienza Hospital and has been introduced to the UK market by a highly respected consultant gastroenterologist Dr Ray Shidrawi.
So let’s dig a little deeper, what’s the KEN diet all about?
The doctor threads a narrow tube through the patient’s nose, down their throat and into their stomach. A pump drip feeds a protein liquid formula through the tube continuously throughout the day and night for a period of 10 days. There is no limit on how often this 10 day cycle can be repeated but there needs to be a 10 day rest period in between cycles. The estimated energy intake while on this diet is 130kcal per day.
Benefits/Results of the KEN diet
The KEN diet promises weight loss of between 4-9% of initial body weight for each 10 day cycle. There are no published studies on these results and whether a large percentage of this loss is muscle loss or not.
Risks of the KEN diet
Naso-gastric feeding tubes should only be used in hospital under medical supervision and should only be used for people who actually need them and physically cannot eat. There are a number of risks associated with feeding tubes, they can become dislodged and food may go down into the lungs. As well as this there is a risk of infection if not looked after properly. And then there is the risk of weight re-gain – what is this diet actually teaching anyone… If they lose the weight how are they going to keep it off, they are hardly going to use the tube long-term. More evidence is needed, there is likely to be a degree of muscle wasting and it cannot be good for the body to be running on only 130kal per day.
Well generally when I see someone with a tube hanging from their nose I automatically think that they are unwell. If someone is having 5 or more 10 day cycles, that’s at least 50 days out of the year when they will have a tube hanging from their nose. I can only imagine that this would hugely impact on their social life. Not to mention the stigma attached to it. If people want to take more dramatic approaches to weight loss there are other ways of doing it. This ‘liquid’ formula being fed into the tube is available in palatable solutions and can be drank. There is absolutely no need for the tube.
It costs €470 (£375) for each 10 day cycle plus a €300 (£300) deposit for the feeding pump. Based on the promise of a weight loss of 4-9% per cycle, it would cost someone between €2,345 – €3,750 (£1875-£3000) to lose 30kg requiring 5-8 10 day cycles.
I’m all for new approaches when it comes to weight loss but I really think that this feeding tube diet is taking it to a whole new level. It mentions on the website that you will be provided with “guidelines on how to maintain your new weight, as well as a one-day weight reduction diet should your weight increase after treatment