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gregs887 11-08-2010 06:25 PM

Eat Twinkies, lose weight?
Apparently so


For 10 weeks, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, ate one of these sugary cakelets every three hours, instead of meals. To add variety in his steady stream of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Haub munched on Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos, too.

His premise: That in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most -- not the nutritional value of the food.

The premise held up: On his "convenience store diet," he shed 27 pounds in two months
Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds -

orangello 11-08-2010 06:28 PM

I think everybody knows what i'm wondering about. :)

Dillinger 11-08-2010 06:34 PM

Nice avatar 'gello. :p

I heard about this last month. Every "nutrionist" in the country was coming out to condemn the guy. If he was a witch, he would have been burned at the stake... LOL

His premise was interesting, but it's misleading in the story.

First off, he dropped his overall calorie intake to below 1800 calories a day. To achieve that, he ate (1) twinkie, not a package, at a time and he also had some veggies and a protein shake a day to spread out the time he could go before eating again.

His cholesterol numbers were down/up respectively and his trigs were down, which was interesting though.

Perhaps this will eventually open up more mysteries of how the body works and how people can get healthier by eating other than FDA approved pyramid foods.

AusLach 11-08-2010 09:59 PM

Weight loss boils down to a relatively simple formula...
Calories Consumed (through eating) > Calories Expended (through exercise) = Weight Gain
Calories Consumed = Calories Expended = Weight Stable
Calories Consumed < Calories Expended = Weight Loss

Can you lose weight by following this diet? Sure.
Is it healthy? NO!

AusLach 11-08-2010 11:17 PM

Sorry but more I think about this the more it gives me the sh!ts... There are way too many people out there who will see this headline and think "I can lose weight JUST by eating Twinkies"... Although he said he didn't recommend the diet, I find it highly irresponsible for a Professor in Nutrition to present these findings without mentioning the long term consequences.

Yeah, it's all well and good for a variable to have an effect on the experiment but as a scientist you can't then just shut down the test and publish its findings without either waiting for mid to long term effects to be revealed, or misleading the public into believing there are no further consequences at all.

Of coarse his cholesterol levels improved, he was losing weight. As the body is denied the fuel it needs during calorie-controlled dieting, it must metabolise fuel stored in the body to perform normal bodily functions such as breathing, circulation and digestion. The first fuel to be used is glucose in the blood, then glycogen which is stored in the liver and muscles, then fat (which include triglycerides). Cholesterol is used by the body to break down these fats as it is synthesised by the liver into bile. Thus when dieting, cholesterol levels fall because they are used up to burn fuel.

Now this is all well and good until the body reaches an equilibrium point where calorie intake=calorie expendature. This will occur because the body's energy demands drop dramatically during weight loss. At this point, the unhealthy nature of the Professor's diet starts to have an effect. I can explain these if needed but I think most of us know the consequences of a (clearly) unhealthy diet.

I'm not completely sure whether this is a case of bad reporting, bad experiment design or even a combination of both but this story has the potential to be very harmful.

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