The story of the death of Samantha Clowe offers an insight into how the pressure of weight can overwhelm things that are more important.
Well qualified and in a good profession, she still felt she didn't have the respect of her colleagues due to her weight. I suppose its easy to feel confusion, but it hints at how some intelligent people can get really odd about dieting. The pressure from the circles they move adds an edge to their need to be very pro dieting. The aura of scientific respectability helps.
The system she tried was called lighter life, which specializes in a kind of abstinence by VLCD. At 530 calories a day for three weeks we are talking starvation. It is described as controversial, even though I wonder how much less that is than the calories ingested by those who've had a gastric bypass operation.
Although the post-mortem could not establish a definite cause, the coroner deemed it cardiac arrhythmia, literally when the heartbeat becomes irregular.
The responsibility has been placed on Samantha, even though she went for a check up with her doctor beforehand and was pronounced fit enough. Indeed this is a policy of the company itself.
Even so, she was accused of doing it incorrectly-that old stand by to excuse diet dysfunction, apparently she did not re-introduce herself to eating in the correct manner.
Unbelievably, the fact that she was fat to begin with has been used to write off her underlying health; A Lighter Life spokesman said although Miss Clowe's BMI had reduced from 37 to 32 when she died, she was 'still clinically obese' and 'her health may have already been compromised.'
Seriously are they for real?
Although this is from the company itself, it just so happened to chime with the professional view;
'It had been suggested that there was a possible link to the diet but the coroner said it was very difficult to make such a connection.'
None too convincing.
This is what Dr. Dee Dawson of the Rhodes Farm Clinicwhich specialises in treating people with eating disorders;
It happens to the anorexic girls we treat - they can have arrhythmias and I suspect that's what happened to the poor girl who died. Similarly, a low calorie diet like LighterLife will affect memory and general well-being.
People think they are protected through being fat. They have so much stored, how can it be a problem? It trades on the fact that its easier for many to just stop eating rather than eat half rations, which is something no one seems interested in explaining.
Good old daily mail with its tsk, tsking about "quick fixes" and the harm these regimes do, yet they failing to question the deadliness of fat, that links being fat to risks greater than those of virtual starvation.