BAY HARBOR ISLANDS, Fla., April 16 (UPI) -- A crash diet that uses a feeding tube to provide 800 calories a day is being used by brides to look "perfect," but a U.S. dietitian says it could cause illness.
Dr. Oliver Di Pietro of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., told ABC News the K-E diet promises a loss of 20 pounds in 10 days by using a feeding tube that runs from the nose to the stomach and provides a constant slow drip of protein and fat, mixed with water and zero carbohydrates. The liquid is kept in a bag and held by the patient as if it were a purse.
"It is a hunger-free, effective way of dieting," Di Pietro told ABC. "Within a few hours your hunger and appetite go away completely, so patients are actually not hungry at all for the whole 10 days."
Di Pietro said patients are not hospitalized, but under a doctor's care. The diet, which costs $1,500 for the 10-day plan, has few side effects, Di Pietro said.
"The main side effects are bad breath; there is some constipation because there is no fiber in the food," Di Pietro said.
Suzy Weems, a professor at Baylor University and a former chair of a public policy committee for the American Dietetic Association, said the diet of about 800 calories a day has the potential to be even more harmful and less long-lasting than so-called liquid starvation diets of fewer than 1,000 calories a day.
"It seems very extreme because of its potential for infections and irritation," Weems said in a statement. "It seems to be illogical to do this for one fairy-tale day when most brides have plenty of time before their weddings to lose weight in a healthy way."