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Fit Friday: The cereal key to weight loss
February 18th, 2011
05:40 PM ET

Fit Friday: The cereal key to weight loss

Losing weight is hard, especially if you don't pay attention to calories.  But for some, it's as simple as dropping the Gatorade and 1,800-calorie sugar bombs.

The secret behind Yankee pitcher’s weight loss?

Yankees’ pitcher CC Sabathia said he lost 25 pounds in the off season as he reported to spring training camp this week.

Was his workout a result of some mad muscle workout, protein shakes or intense athletic training?

He told the New York Daily News, the key to going from 315 pounds to 290 was “not eating Cap'n Crunch every day."

"I used to eat it a box at a time," Sabathia said.

A 16-ounce box of Cap’n Crunch contains 1,800 calories and 197 grams of sugar, according to Diet Blog. "CC, you see, has stopped eating CC' s – namely, his beloved Cap'n Crunch cereal." quipped the Huffington Post.

Hat tip: Diet Blog

What do teenagers think when they see calorie counts on menus?  Not much.

A professor at New York University School of Medicine and his team surveyed teens eating at Burger King, McDonald's, Wendy's and KFC before and after a New York City law went into effect to requiring calorie-counts, writes the Time’s Healthland.

More than half of the teenagers said they saw the calorie postings, but 91% didn't seem to care.  Only 9% said the labeling motivated them to buy foods lower in calories.

On average, they shrugged off the calorie posts and bought 725 calories per meal, according to Time.

Widening weight loss surgery

The weight requirements for the Lap-Band weight loss surgery have been lowered.  The company that makes the device, Allergan, got approval from the FDA to market the Lap-Band  to patients who have lower body mass index.

The surgery had been permitted only  for people with BMI of 40 or more, which is a 5-foot-9 patient who weighs 270 pounds.  Now, the requirements have been eased to allow a person with a BMI of at least 30 and at least one obesity-related medical condition– a 5-foot-9 patient who weighs 203 pounds, with a disease like diabetes.

“That would make an estimated 11 million more Americans eligible to receive the device, which shrinks the size of the stomach to reduce food intake — assuming they can persuade their insurance companies to pay for the $25,000 cost of the device and the surgery to implant it,” according to the LA Times.

The ring device limits the amount of food that can be consumed during a meal.


soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Peter Live!

    Good Lord! A 69 inch patient weighing 203 pounds is morbidly obese ENOUGH that a lap-band is a potential solution? Who thought up THIS abortion?

    Mr. 203 would be much better advised to follow the LARDLOSS diet (see Facebook); buy the 4 Hour Body Makeover, or just plain eat less and move around more.

    No wonder health care costs are, in some views, disastrously high. I can't imagine the bribery that may have gone on, but this is just idiotic. I hope that United Health Care and others will stick to the current guidelines.

    A 203 # person – 69 inches – is at substantially greater risk over her lifetime from this abortion of a procedure than her slightly overweight condition, even with diabetes (which, BTW, kiddies, is an indicator for NOT having surgery due to increased risk of infection and prolonged healing times).

    Every MD (nope, not one, 2 PhD's instead) ought to condemm this attempt to mainstream bariatric surgery in other than the most extreme cases.

    February 18, 2011 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      The change in guidelines is not actually as drastic as this article makes them appear (a 10 BMI jump) – in fact, it's half that. The guidelines I learned last year, as a medical student, were BMI >40 OR BMI >35 + diabetes, hypertension, etc. (e.g. metabolic syndrome or certain chronic diseases). Why? Because, whether you like it or not, the data shows that bariatric surgery yields improvement or even "cure" in up to 80% of patients with these diseases.

      Being able to get off prescription medication when you're diabetic or hypertensive is actually a big deal, and shouldn't be dismissed.

      I'm not sure what the point of your 4th paragraph is – of course there's risks associated with surgery. They must be conveyed to the patient, and they are – bariatric surgery is a team approach, involving physicians, psychologists (yes, PhDs – maybe even two!), nutritionists, and so on. You don't have your BMI measured at 30 and get pushed onto the operating table. Risk of death in these surgeries hangs at around 0.1% – I don't really think it's appropriate to say it's more of a risk than living with obesity + chronic disease (30 BMI is not a "slightly overweight condition" by any measure).

      I would argue that the vast majority of those with a BMI of 30 do NOT need bariatric surgery to manage their obesity or their diabetes. The new guidelines simply make them candidates. If an obese patient with diabetes is not managed on lifestyle modification and medication, and their disease is progressing, I would not be opposed to allowing them to go this route.

      February 18, 2011 at 23:17 | Report abuse |
  2. Quizzle

    Yay, bariatric surgery for everyone! We don't have to actually control ourselves with diet and exercise, when we can pay someone (and charge someone) $50,000 to fix us? What a crock.

    February 19, 2011 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. mig

    Duh if you're snacking on a box of cereal totaling 1800 calories every day are going to gain weight.

    Now the mystery is, how am I not losing weight when I only eat 1300-1400 calories a day (I log every food I eat and drink and keep track of everything.) I go to the gym for 1.5 hours 3 times a week, and still try to get outside for quick a walk or something on the non-gym days :/.

    Given my troubles losing weight, I'd probably strongly consider surgery or medication, unfortunately I fall in the gray area where I really should to lose 20-25ish pounds, but I'm not 'fat' enough for medications or surgery.

    February 20, 2011 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lila

      Birth control pills? Anti-depressant medication? Some other medication? Improperly functioning thyroid (even if your TSH levels are "normal." Have you had a free-T4 or Anti-TPO test?) PCOS or hormone imbalance? Maybe you actually need more calories, fewer "carb" calories, or a more strenuous work-out. Check with a nutritionist or personal trainer? I wish you luck.

      February 20, 2011 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • Duane

      Drink BUCKETS of water each and every day!!! Seriously!!!

      February 20, 2011 at 18:43 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Hi Mig – one possible issue for you is that you are not eating ENOUGH calories and may be causing your body to go into survival mode to maintain mass. You should first find out your estimated calorie needs online or using one of the calorie armbands (I think bodymedia) – my calorie output ranges between 2,600 and 3,300 – set your target calories to about 300-500 less (in my case 2,300 or so) – and keep up the moderate exercise. This has worked for me. My sister worked with a trainer and found that by increasing her intake by about 300-500 calories a day (and dropping refined sugar) that her weight is dropping around .5 -1 lb / week. Good luck.

      February 21, 2011 at 07:36 | Report abuse |
    • Mance Lotter

      Let a republican punch you in the face. For some reason, it really helps.

      March 4, 2011 at 12:53 | Report abuse |
  4. Elle

    Cmcerning BMI? Why aren't more HMO's offering to pay for a gym memberhip for members meeting the new BMI standards? I fit the criteria for the surgery, but making a gym membership more affordable may have been what it took to motivate me into losing more weight. Last November I weighed 146, a BMI of 29 at my five foot two height (if I calculated right). Two cancer scares later, I'm up by 21 pounds. A gym membership might have helped, since stress and weight gain go hand-in-hand. I am joining a gym tomorrow actually, but I in the meantime I worry what other health risks I exposed myself too, by overeating due to-health worries!

    February 20, 2011 at 02:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mig

      I agree with gym memberships being expensive. In my area it is ridiculous, I spend more on my gym membership than I do on my cell phone. I only graduated from college 3 years ago, and then ended up getting unemployed for 7 months, then working part-time min wage jobs. The gym membership had to go for about a year and a half. In addition the stress of being unemployed, and then underemployed in crappy minimum wage jobs was probably the worst. I felt so out of shape, but due to knee injuries I cannot run, so that limits what I can do outside of a gym. I probably only gained 15 pounds, but I already started out on the high side of what is considered a healthy BMI,. Now I can't seem to lose any of it. I joined up to a gym in December, been eating healthy, yet I haven't lost anything. I feel better, my strength and endurance has improved a lot, but not losing the weight. Again I think it is still stress related – stress of financial issues and still looking for a 'real' job.

      Anyways, good luck!!!

      February 20, 2011 at 03:16 | Report abuse |
  5. Rick

    The only thing cereal is good for is regularity. It makes you poop like a goose.

    February 20, 2011 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Sandy

    Keep in mind that not everyone is able to move around more. Knee pain, back pain, medical conditions - everyone who needs to lose weight is not able to go to the gym and exercise like a normal weight person does, or sometimes even to take a walk.

    February 20, 2011 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. mclj2011

    I don't think it's intuitively obvious for many people that certain cereals can cause weight gain, especially if someone is not reading the nutrition facts on the box (which they should be doing). Cereal is one of those products that people feel is always "good for them" because it's what mom served for breakfast. Wake up – mom wasn't always right. Serving oodles of sugar every morning to your children isn't doing them any good.

    February 20, 2011 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. health & safety canada

    Nice information and the focus of public health intervention is to prevent rather than treat a disease through surveillance of cases and the promotion of healthy behaviors. In addition to these activities, in many cases treating a disease may be vital to preventing it in others, such as during an outbreak of an infectious disease.
    health & safety canada

    February 21, 2011 at 06:28 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.