Shame on Dr. Eric Westman

Dr. Westman is the director of the Lifestyle Medical Clinic at Duke University Medical Center. He is the President of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians.  He is co-author of The New Atkins for a New You.  He has published clinical research mostly treating diabetics on an Atkins Induction-style low carb diet.  He knows obesity.  He knows many obese people.  He has treated some to great success.  No doubt he has observed countless others that are not as successful.  He has been on Jimmy Moore's low carb cruises, and most recently he has lent his name and reputation to highly questionable health claims and advice made by his former patient and friend in their books Cholesterol Clarity and Keto Clarity.  

One thing that I hope we can ALL agree on is that crazy crash diets are not a long term solution to the problem.  In Keto Clarity Westman criticizes marketing schemes and diet book gimmicks (from pgs 115 and 177)

I will blog extensively on the inconsistency of Dr. Westman's dietary advice through the years despite his dogged allegiance to low carb.  But that is for another day.  I'm pressed for time at the moment.  But this is too outrageous to leave for later. 

How many here think the HCG diet is a good idea?  Five hundred calories a day and hormone injections.  How about the Fat Fast?   Kiimkins anyone?  Just to fit into your wedding dress?  No?  How many recall the "bride diet" buzz going around a couple years back?   It even made Time ...

For weight-loss purposes, you don’t need to be hospitalized, but you do have to live with a nasogastric tube inserted through your nose and threaded into your stomach. A protein pack “feeds” your body through the tube, by dispensing drops of a liquid mix of nutrients — but no carbs — totaling about 800 calories a day. Experts recommend that healthy adult women consume about 2,000 to 2,400 calories daily.
People use it drop significant amounts of weight or just to trim off a couple of extra pounds before a big event. “At first I decided not to do it for people who just want to lose a few pounds,” Dr. Oliver Di Pietro, who offers 10-day versions of the diet for $1,500 at his Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., office, told the New York Times. “But then I thought, why should I say 5 or 10 pounds are not enough? People want to be perfect.
Let there be no mistake, this diet was a proprietary diet plan called the KE diet.  K for ketogenic, E for enteral.  

Hat tip once again to CharlesG, who tweeted me information about this.  


I have no words for this.  In Keto Clarity one of the success stories describes how Westman put her on a 1600 calorie a day 90% fat, 8% protein, 2% carb diet.  There is no indication she had any special reason to be on these levels, but doing the math that works out to 32 grams of protein a day.  According to the Atkins book he co-authored, that is less than half the lower limit of recommendations for a woman of her height.  

Irresponsible.  Disgusting.  More words I dare not voice.   I'll leave it to Dr. Katz, whom despite some questionable sponsorships himself (Institute of Integrative Nutrition :(  ) to say it for me in The K-E Diet: Weight Loss Lunacy:
As for the doctors involved in peddling this travesty, I condemn their actions. The job of physicians is not to come up with any way to satisfy a patient's whim, no matter how fundamentally at odds with health.
Our professional mission is to promote and protect health, and to serve the patient in that context. In that context, the patient is the boss -- and we are, or should be, at their service. But we are abdicating our profound responsibilities and most sacred pledges when we renounce a commitment to health, and adopt an "oh, what the hell" approach to make some extra money by exploiting a patient's faith in us, and their desperation.  On behalf of my profession, I am ashamed.


River Rance said…
Westman will likely be the bariatric physician that Jimmy Moore will use when Moore has his operation. It'll happen sooner than later, and a book will accompany.
carbsane said…
Ironically entitled: Bypass Clarity
Wuchtamsel said…
Well, I would prefer that over "intestinal clarity" any time...
charles grashow said…
There's also this from the good doctor Eric Westman

In this unique program, a physician will make a housecall to your home and perform an initial evaluation of your medical and lifestyle situation. A personalized program will be outlined with follow-up visits to assist in monitoring the diabetes and other health problems. In some cases, the insulin can be eliminated in just 1 week!

What you get

Personalized metrics including body fat percentage, blood ketones, and more

Intensive coaching on how to fine-tune your lifestyle to get the most out of the program

A pack of healthy foods to try

Suggested recipes and menu plans

Detailed education on diabetes and its interaction with diet and lifestyle

A support group of patients who have gone through this program or are starting the process themselves


$5000 to get you off insulin. We’ll work with you as long as it takes.


$200 for an initial visit and evaluation, $500 for each subsequent visit. Each time we’ll walk you through a sequence of education, lifestyle evaluation, and coaching.
StellaBarbone said…
For the kind of bypass Jimmy Moore is going to need, a cardiothoracic surgeon is probably the better choice.
Lighthouse Keeper said…
Can't wait for that book, a cross between Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and The Incredible Shrinking Man.
DaveHPT said…
jesus christ what is wrong with these irresponsible lunatics.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
I've done my bit for science.

The reviewer JoAnn Schreffler needs your vote.
Paleo Nouveau said…
KE diet? Where is the evidence that this works long term? For just about any goal an initial positive outcome can be inspiring however it can be a double edged sword. By placing the emphasis on the attainment of weight loss, instead of proper eating & lifestyle habits which will eventually lead to weight control, they are still setting people up for failure. Or more likely in this case, setting people up to continue with this low calorie pseudo scientific money making program!
John Smith said…
From a business perspective the feeding tube gimmick is ideal

- profit margin high
- chance of short-term weight loss high
- chance treatment will result in death low
- chance client regains weight high
- chance of repeat business significant

If I were running the business I would offer MDs a referral fee of $400 for each paying client they produce, once you've got the client in the door they might repeat the treatment every year or two, eventually you're making a fortune from repeat business alone.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
The South Beach Diet (low-carb and low-fat) is a PSMF. This is THE No. 1 best diet for short-term Rapid Fat Loss™ and reversing T2DM. See and
carbsane said…
I think John has pretty much nailed the ideal nature of the business model. I'm flabbergasted that this is being promoted in the treatment of obesity ...
You'd need several treatments that would really add up. I could see if it were some LONG TERM alternative to gastric bypass surgery, but 10 days is not long enough for any of that. Fasting for 10 days would be a more responsible suggestion!

Phrases like "jumpstart weight loss" and somehow brides doing this don't help much.

The protein sparing modified fast (PSMF) has been useful in some cases, but Oprah Winfrey and countless others have demonstrated that it is not a long term solution.

Oh my. Kris Gunnars of "Authority" Nutrition has a column on their blog. SMH.
carbsane said…
I have the SB book here somewhere. It's hardly a PSMF. Now Kimkins K/E that Jimmy PROMOTED, profited off of and went on for a little over a month losing 35 lbs -- THAT was a PSMF. How that is irresponsible and this is endorsed by Westman is just disgraceful.
charles grashow said…
More from the good Dr Westman
Because it is brand new, Dr. Westman will only be making this service available to patients in the Triangle area of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina area. Your personalized visit will include an initial detailed medical evaluation, customized follow-up visits based on your personal health needs, hands-on assistance at stocking your refrigerator and pantry with the appropriate foods, and guided tour through the grocery store to locate the foods that will keep you on track in your pursuit of ditching the insulin.
$5000 to get you off insulin. We’ll work with you as long as it takes


$200 for an initial visit and evaluation, $500 for each subsequent visit. Each time we’ll walk you through a sequence of education, lifestyle evaluation, and coaching.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
I stand/sit corrected. I always thought of SB as a type of PSMF. Lyle's RFL is definitely a PSMF.
MacSmiley said…
$5000?!!! Wowie Owwie!!!
NS said…
There is a European movie in case anyone's interested that properly puts perspective into this type of real life theater. Its name is Dogville, starring among others Nicole Kidman. It's essentially about how everything in the States is, ultimately negotiable, and that money/personal profit eventually take priority over basic common sense, common/public morality/ethics. That a chump like Jimmy Moore can have an audience and make money from his nonsense, that a Dr. Westman can market, I'm sure quite successfully, something like KE, that any Dick and Jane can make a killing with slightly different spinoffs of Paleo.... yet the fact that the US is the only OECD country on Earth without a proper public healthcare system.... this is all a testament to the psychotic public nature of American culture and the basic common sense and morality of which it is wholly bereft.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
> Because it is brand new, Dr. Westman will only be making this service
available to patients in the Triangle area of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel
Hill, North Carolina area.

IMHO the truth may be closer to:

"Because my franchise fee and insurance covers this small area ...[0]"

[0] damn, wish I could abuse this like a patent ... that Andrew Wakefield seminar really opened my eyes to patent "opportunities" in "public health". That #.~^~# '~/!!^ Attia should have pushed SS harder. Maybe I can get in on Sous Vides? Girdles?
StellaBarbone said…
I have the blogs "Paleo per Tutti" and "Régime Paléo" bookmarked. Magic diet schemes are not limited to Americans.
Lighthouse Keeper said…
Many a true word spoken in jest ! I would place a large juicy bet on his next book being stool and gut biome based.
NS said…
Indeed Stella. Cultural psychosis/illness is not at all exclusive to the US, and is ultimately of course a human phenomenon. But it is the "degree/dose" that always makes the difference in all meaning and matters. Can you cite another/other western societies with similar degrees of American-like, borrowing from you, "magic?"
NS said…
The latest case in point:
Sanjeev Sharma said…
agreed, IMHO he'll need new BS to exploit soon and gut biome is a great candidate for commercialization.

AND he'll play the faux-scientist card again and test everything; so buy those shares in Q-tip, petri dish, microscope, stains and agar-agar manufacturers; maybe the colon cleansing woo folks too.

He'll also get EXTREME with resistant starch, which will give him gas, so it will be greasy, floating, fungus-covered, stinky stool clarity, complete with colour charts showing good & bad colours and textures.

I wonder if there's "conventional wisdom" he can rail against in this field.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
> I wonder if there's "conventional wisdom" he can rail against in this field.

a field to walk in with care, as the paleos and organic foodies will be leaving their "contributions" lying about.

Jimmy, of course will walk (not run) in there barefoot.
Lighthouse Keeper said…
No doubt he will poo poo the Bristol Stool Chart as being a bastion of discredited conventional wisdom vis-a-vis excrement classification as well.
Mike Victor said…
So let me get this straight. This fat fraud would rather stick a tube down your throat and pump fat into your intestines than have you adopt a real foods high carb diet?
Roy Walker said…
Maybe any diet is better than what we have in America, Britain,Australia And New Zealand. Where people are just eating anything and everything. If There wasn't this continual battle, we might convince some people to at least try some form of whole food eating. Instead the ordinary joe in the street just see's a bun fight going on, and decides no-one knows what is going on I will just keep eating this way and take my medication. Just maybe.
Blogger said…
New Diet Taps into Pioneering Plan to Help Dieters Get Rid Of 12-23 Pounds within Only 21 Days!
Blogger said…
EasyHits4U - Your Free Traffic Exchange - 1:1 Exchange Ratio, Business networking. FREE Advertising!