Getting Healthy with the DeVIP System by Dr. Marilyn Shieh and her daughter, Michelle Shieh, is an ambitious book. Its purpose is to halt obesity, promote health and empower readers with tools to change their lives. The book serves as a nutrition reference manual, a meal planning guide, a calorie counter, a food exchange reference and a weight loss plan. To the motivated dieter, however, this opus may prove less helpful than expected; the first 240 pages are devoted to a litany of reasons why and how weight is gained, and only eight pages are allocated to the DeVIP weight loss plan.
The DeVIP System is a confusing acronym that the authors note stands for: “sugar addiction Detoxification, use of Vinegar, high Protein diet, and Physical activity”; the authors recommend the sytem for weight loss and subsequent maintenance.
Unfortunately, the diet isn’t substantiated by science, and it could be dangerous. The authors recommend consumption of vinegar in amounts up to 3,000 mg daily and keeping caloric consumption to 1,000 calories per day. They fail to cite any scientific sources to support their viewpoints, referencing instead online outlets such as livestrong.com and Wikipedia.com, both authored by laymen.
Throughout history, folk medicine has made numerous claims about vinegar, in particular, apple cider vinegar. It has been purported to treat diabetes, lower blood cholesterol levels and prevent cancer and osteoporosis; however, this belief is clinically unproven. Further, vinegar is highly acidic and can dissolve tooth enamel and irritate both the throat and stomach lining. It can also interact with certain drugs, including diuretics and insulin, and it may contribute to low potassium levels.
Clearly, the authors are passionate about ending the obesity epidemic, but those who approach it in this prescribed fashion may face a host of other unwanted consequences. As a result, this book is best used as an occasional nutrition reference. More effective and safer diet programs can be found elsewhere.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.