Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kate DeAraugo's Lactose Intolerance

I come across many "huh?" moments when searching for material for this blog. Huh" as in "what were they thinking?" "Huh?" as in "how could that possibly happen?" "Huh?" as is "how could anyone be that stupid?"

And sometimes just "Huh?" as in "what in the world is going on here?"

I just had that last feeling when I read this article from the Australian site of SkyNews Online. [Article taken down by August 12. Intestesting.]

Former Australian Idol, Kate DeAraugo, has quit her endorsement deal with weight loss company Jenny Craig.

It follows reports health problems were hampering the singer's efforts to shed the pounds.

Since being named idol winner back in 2005, DeAraugo has had a public battle with her weight, hoping to beat the battle once and for all when she became Jenny Craig's latest celebrity fat fighter at the beginning of the year.

However the split has been confirmed by the weight loss company after it was found out the singer was not losing weight due to a lactose and glucose intolerance.

She couldn't lose weight because of lactose intolerance? Or because of gluten intolerance? Those statements don't belong together. If you can't eat dairy or wheat without symptoms, you find substitutes. What you eat and how you exercise have bearing on whether or not you gain or lose weight (or stay the same). The mere fact of being lactose intolerant is entirely irrelevant.

She has had health problems that could very well be linked to efforts to lose weight. An October 2005 blog post noted that the then 19-year-old had already lost 30 kilos (66 pounds) in 2005 and had two fainting spells before winning the competition. I'm not walking out on a very thin rope to guess that the weight loss and the fainting were related or that her desperate slimming was done to acknowledge the planetary culture of thinness in beauty. She's gone up and down in weight since, and became the Jenny Craig spokesmodel in January.

She never should have been allowed anywhere near that position with her history. I'm stunned into another "huh?' moment by the thought that Jenny Craig didn't have doctors check her out before signing the deal. That's a "what were they thinking?" moment?

No matter what the outcome might be - I somehow doubt the story ends here - the real problems for DeAraugo concern her yo-yo dieting and what that might be doing to her long-term health. Yes, she might be both lactose and gluten intolerant. That's not a big deal. (Not will it cause you to faint.) Now that she knows she can eat healthier foods that won't cause her any symptoms. If she can get away from the deadly spotlight that shines on the outline of her body she has a great rest of her life ahead of her. If not, then food intolerances are the least of her problems.

UPDATE: The Australian published a follow-up to the earlier story.
I went to the doctor and my body doesn't digest certain foods well, so I decided it was bad for them and I didn't want to do bad by them.

However DeAraugo seemed to be confused by her dietary dilemma when quizzed by an equally uninformed Kyle Sandilands.

After first stating she was unable to digest gluten - a condition known as coeliacs disease - DeAraugo then said she was lactose intolerant after being prompted by Sandilands.

Lactose intolerance refers to the inability to process dairy, not gluten.

All right! Is everything clear now?

All this latest bit of nonsense says is that we haven't heard any of the real truth about this story. But we have heard lactose intolerance once again used as a convenient scapegoat.

Ugly, ugly, ugly.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I never trust any of those weight endorsements. Gillian Barberie advertises the fact that she lost 40-something pounds on Nutrisystem after giving birth... duh! Don't all women lose weight after giving birth?

Anyhow, I'm so happy I found your blog. I'm LI also, and I even have my own site about it... I'm glad there are many of us out there talking about lactose intolerance!