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Stomach Balloon May Aid in Weight Loss, but You Have to Go to Canada for It

As the amount of weight loss surgeries in the U.S. continue to rise, doctors are finding different and better ways to surgically treat obesity. One of the newest players in the game is called an intragastric balloon, and as it’s not approved for use in the United States, many patients have chosen to cross the border to Canada to do the procedure.

The intragastric balloon is less invasive than traditional bariatric surgery. It involves inserting a tube down the esophagus into the stomach, so there’s no surgical incision. A deflated balloon is then threaded down the tube, and once placed, blown up to the size of an orange and filled with sterile blue water. It can stay there for up to six months, at which point it is removed to prevent ruptures. This can be done multiple times if the patient continues to need the support the balloon provides. The balloon decreases the patient’s feelings of hunger, making them eat less and lose weight.

Although the average weight of Americans continues to bound upward, there are still very few bariatric surgeries performed annually. Less than one percent of individuals who meet the criteria for bariatric surgery actually have surgery, according to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery. Each year, about 250,000 Americans choose to have some form of weight loss surgery, the most popular being gastric bypass, a gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy, or duodenal switch. These involve removing a portion of the stomach, restricting how much food can go into the stomach, rerouting the intestinal system, or a combination of these methods. The gastric sleeve is cheapest, costing around $10,000, while the others range from $17,000 to $35,000, according to the Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery.
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Skinny Women Banned from Canadian Gym

I’m sure you’ve heard of gyms that are for women only, but have you ever heard of one that not only bans men but “skinny” women as well?

While going to the gym may be simple for some, it can be a much harder task for others. I don’t necessarily mean reasons due to lack of motivation or lack of time. What I’m talking about is lack of confidence and security.

Body Exchange, a gym chain in Canada, has banned all males and skinny females from using their gym. Their reasoning? To create a “safe-haven” for overweight women where they can workout without feeling insecure or uncomfortable. They want their plus-size clientele to have a place where they can relate and challenge themselves without wondering if the fitness gurus/everyday gym goers surrounding them are judging them or not.
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What’s in a McNugget? Canadian McDonald’s Reveals This and Other Menu Secrets

Oh, Canada, why are you getting all the interesting interaction from McDonald’s and we’re not? McDonald’s in Canada is making waves with their new “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign. Real customers are getting their tough questions answered about the restaurant’s food. Even the tough questions are being answered in very in depth ways.

I came across this campaign after hearing that a McDonald’s executive chef revealed the recipe of the Big Mac’s secret sauce through a YouTube video. The video exists on the Canadian McDonald’s YouTube channel along with some other very revealing videos. Most are simply extended responses to questions asked at the “Your Questions. Our Food.” website, only hosted in Canada.

At the site customers asked questions like, “when you say 100% beef, do you mean the whole cow: the organs, snout, brain, kidneys, etc. etc., or just the plain beef we buy at the grocer?” Or, “Does your Egg McMuffin use real eggs? They look too perfect.”
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Village on a Diet Documents a Canadian Town Planning to Collectively Lose One Ton

With losing weight being the most common New Year’s resolution, it’s no surprise that the weight-loss show,“Village on a Diet,” airs at a time of increased gym membership and diet supplement sales.

Broadcast by CBC, this 10-part series documents the residents of Taylor, a British Columbia town, and the trials and tribulations that come with learning how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Over 60 percent of the residents of Taylor are either overweight or obese, but the town plans to change this statistic by losing a collective ton.

The small town, with a population of 1,400, admits to eating a diet of mostly meat and potatoes and forgoing exercise during the cold winter months. This series plans to change the citizens’ lifestyles by teaching them how to cook healthily while being whipped into shape by two of Canada’s best personal trainers: Garfield Wilson and Mike Veinot.


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5 Odd Fast Foods from Around the Globe

Most of us know about the entertaining world of strange language translation goofs, particularly from Asian languages into English. There are entire websites dedicated to the phenomenon, and I think they are generally done with good-natured humor and not condescension or racism.

But, can food concepts get lost in translation? Maybe you can just chalk it up to cultural differences, but either way, the following fast food items from around the globe are sure to raise a few eyebrows, if not turn a few stomachs.

(Note:the list is largely skewed towards McDonald’s food. It’s not a conspiracy on my part, just how the cards fell in my research on global fast food items.)

1. Winter Double King Pizza at Pizza Hut (Japan)

I’ve heard of some strange pizza topping, but this one from Pizza Hut Japan takes the cake. With the cryptically named Winter Double King Pizza, you get crab, shrimp, beef, broccoli, corn, onion, mayonnaise, and potato. What do you think? Did they leave anything out?
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