Weight Loss: It's Not About The Twinkies, Stupid

BlogHer Original Post

In an unprecedented show of nutritional and scholarly savvy, a forward-thinking professor of nutrition was seeking to prove that limiting calories is the key to weight loss.  And incredibly, his theories have turned out to be correct.

Wait a minute, wait a minute, am I being Punked?  Isn't it already a fact that eating less calories than your body burns is the key to losing weight?  I guess we can overlook that minor detail, because it's how the professor lost the weight that is so astonishing.

You see, the real excitement of this story is how Twinkies and junk food are finally taking their rightful place in the war against obesity.

Yes, it's true...

Twinkies: Comics Lied!A one-man pseudo-research experiment has proven without a doubt that eating Twinkies can lead to weight loss (just as long as you consume considerably less calories than your body requires).  I know, it's a shocking revelation.  It's being dubbed the Twinkie Diet, and you can actually eat just about anything (candy, cookies, chips, cake. fruits, vegetables) and still lose weight, just as long as you are taking in much less calories than your body burns.

If it sounds like a miracle diet, IT'S NOT.

What really blows my mind about this research into the benefits of cheap junk food as a method for weight loss is how it's being reported by major news organizations as ACTUAL NEWS.  Are you kidding, CNN?  For the record, even us "non-professor types" were already aware that if we restrict our calories by almost half of what our body requires, it's likely we will lose weight.  But in CNN's defense, I can certainly see how the whole "Twinkie" angle could have blurred the lines between what's news worthy and what's not.  Maybe next time you could at least dig a little deeper into the story.  I'm no investigative reporter, but here is something that would have added to their piece.

This is from an article written a few weeks into professor Haub's one-man research study (I highlighted a few points missed by CNN) -- The Twinkie Diet:  Eat Junk Food and Lose Weight:

By sticking to 1,800 calories a day - around 600-800 fewer than he'd need to maintain weight - Haub lost 10lbs in the first three weeks of his "diet".

It shouldn't come as such as surprise. After all, you could lose weight eating two candy bars a day: it's the calories-in verses calories-out which matter.

Haub isn't doing this because he's a junk-food addict - he admits missing salads and blue cheese. He's trying to open up debate about how people on a low income can't eat healthily (on the diet, his food costs have dropped to around $5/day):

It's unrealistic in some areas of society to expect that you can find fresh broccoli, tomatoes at a price that is affordable. If somebody can get their nutrients from a supplement and then they get their fuel from whatever is available, does it matter that they're not getting fruits and vegetables and whole grains? Is that okay?

Are you shocked?

I am.

But this is the actual reason for the professor's crazy experiment in the first place.  Basically, he wanted to prove that poor people don't need access to healthy food because they can lose weight for just dollars a day eating nothing but junk, fast food included.  However, I doubt he'll be talking about this politically incorrect back-story anymore, since the "nutty" professor is now fielding book deals

This is exactly what's wrong with our society.  Instead of trying to figure out how to help the poor get access to healthy food, people like this professor, want them to make due with what they have (just less of it).  Tax cuts for the rich and junk food (in moderation) for the poor...Why is it so easy to imagine a candidate running on that platform and becoming our next president?

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
Also at Catherine-Morgan.com

Photo Credit: Christian Cable.

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