Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nutrition expert loses TWO STONE (28lb) by eating doughnuts, cakes and crisps for ten weeks

Some remarkable realism below

A professor who went on a ten-week diet based on cream cakes, snacks, sugary cereals and biscuits says he lost nearly two stone. Mark Haub said that on the ‘convenience store diet’ his ‘bad’ cholesterol also dropped by 20 per cent and his level of triglycerides, a form of fat, by 39 per cent.

Professor Haub – who lost 27lb, going from 14st 5lb to 12st 6lb – teaches human nutrition at Kansas State University in the U.S.

He began his experiment to try to prove to his students that in weight loss, pure calorie counting matters more than the nutritional value of the food. He cut his usual daily calorie intake from about 2,600 to less than 1,800 by eating one Twinkie deep-fried cake – a mini-sponge cake with cream filling – every three hours instead of meals.

To add variety to the cakes, which are often sold deep-fried, he ate Doritos, Kellogg’s Pops cereal and Oreo biscuits, and had a daily double shot of espresso. The final third of his daily intake came in the form of a multivitamin pill and a protein shake, along with some kind of vegetable such as a can of green beans.

He could not say whether he considered his diet healthy or unhealthy, but talking about the sweets and snacks that he ate, he said: ‘These foods are consumed by a lot of people. ‘It may be an issue of portion size and moderation rather than total removal. I just think it is unrealistic to expect people to totally drop these foods for vegetables and fruits.’

During the ten-week diet, Mr Haub’s body mass index went from 28.8, which is considered overweight, to a normal 24.9. His body fat fell from 33.4 per cent to 24.9 per cent.

Before his Twinkie diet, Mr Hub considered himself a healthy eater with a diet including whole grains, fibre, berries and bananas. ‘I wish I could say the outcomes are unhealthy. I wish I could say it's healthy. I'm not confident enough in doing that. That frustrates a lot of people. One side says it's irresponsible. It is unhealthy, but the data doesn't say that,’ he said.

‘It is a great reminder for weight loss that calories count,’ said Dawn Jackson Blatner, a dietitian from Atlanta, Georgia. ‘Is that the bottom line to being healthy? That’s another story.

‘There are things we can’t measure,’ she added, questioning how the body is affected by a lack of fruits and vegetables over the long term. ‘How much does that affect the risk for cancer? We can’t measure how diet changes our health,’ she told CNN.


Attack of the Food Police

The government tells us what medicines we may take and what recreational substances we may ingest, but when it comes to food, we decide what goes down our gullets. Gun-owning barbecuers coexist peacefully with Humane Society vegans. To paraphrase the old adage, your freedom ends where my stomach begins.

But not everyone is keen on emancipated eating. Public health puritans, appalled at the spread of excess weight, think the government should forcefully guide our dining choices. And when it comes to policy, they are getting a place at the table.

Last week, the San Francisco board of supervisors voted to hose the Happy Meal. No longer would McDonald's (or any other restaurant) be allowed to provide a free toy with a meal that exceeds specified amounts of fat, sugar and calories. If the folks at the Golden Arches want to offer a Batman action figure, it will have to be flanked by fruits and vegetables.

The impulse to overrule nutritional choices exists elsewhere too. In his last two budgets, New York's Democratic Gov. David Paterson proposed a tax on soda.

The governor says this would help cover "the $7.6 billion the state spends every year to treat diseases from obesity." Reuters reports, ominously, that he "did not dismiss the idea of eventually imposing a tax on other obesity-linked foods such as hamburgers and chocolate bars."

San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar speaks in more grandiose terms. He said the Happy Meal ordinance addresses "a survival issue," and proclaimed, "We're part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice." Food justice?

Now, there are many places where the government ought to be: between a citizen and a mugger, between the polluter and the sky, between us all and al-Qaida. But the space between a diner's hand and a diner's mouth is not one of them.

The nice thing about eating is that the person who makes good or bad choices is the one who reaps the reward or penalty. If I scarf a cheesecake, you don't gain weight. And if I decide that consigning myself to the Big and Tall Store is not such a bad option, it's not your place to stop me from doing so.

You don't like what's in a Happy Meal? Don't let your kid have one.

High-calorie food is not one of those substances that presents a mortal threat to innocent bystanders. Guzzle a liter of Fanta, and you can still be trusted behind the wheel of a car. Walk by a KFC, and you don't have to worry about secondhand fat.

True, my gluttony may cause me to end up morbidly obese and a burden on the medical system. But if that's grounds for regulation, we will all soon be surrendering our TV remotes to the police and doing daily calisthenics under the watchful eye of commissars in spandex.

As it happens, soda taxes may affect only the people who don't need affecting. California Polytechnic State University economists Michael Marlow and Alden Shiers, writing in Regulation magazine, noted data showing that "taxes on alcohol consumption significantly lower drinking by light drinkers, but not heavy drinkers." One study found that a 58 percent tax on soda would "drop the average body mass by only 0.16 points" -- on a scale of 30.

Restrictions on fatty food are no more promising. Suppose a 5-year-old has a Happy Meal every week (which is how often new toys appear). Economist Michael Anderson of the University of California at Berkeley tells me that while a child who dines on fast food may get a couple of hundred extra calories, that's not much compared to the 11,000 calories she is likely to eat in a week.

Besides, people who are diverted from the Golden Arches have plenty of other cheap, tasty, artery-clogging options. "If they don't eat at McDonald's, are they going to go home and eat broccoli and brown rice?" asks Anderson.

Fat chance. His research shows that people who live in places with fast-food restaurants are more likely to eat out, but no more likely to be obese.

The stubborn fact is that people who are intent on doing things that expand their dimensions to an unhealthy degree can always find ways to do so. Ditto for governments.


Health faddists who paid a big price for their fad

You have to be a real nut to think that cow's milk is bad for you -- unless you really are allergic to it

A BRISBANE mother who became dangerously ill after drinking Bonsoy milk has told how the product destroyed her life. Shannon Cotterill, 31, of Coopers Plains, is one of 155 Australians to join a class action against Bonsoy’s distributor Spiral Foods Pty Ltd.

Marketed as “the original and the best” soy milk, Bonsoy was recalled world-wide shortly before last Christmas after it was discovered that one glass contained seven times the safe dose of iodine.

Before the recall, scores of people developed thyroid problems after drinking the milk. A number of women also reported miscarriages or babies with abnormalities. Other symptoms included anxiety and irritability, heart attacks and hair loss.

Ms Cotterill drank Bonsoy for four years before giving birth to her daughter, Lucy, in December last year. Shortly after the baby was born, Ms Cotterill became very unwell with three hospital admissions including one for congestive heart failure. She suffered weight loss, severe muscle weakness and a heart rate of over 150bpm.

“I could not walk up stairs or hold Lucy, I had to give up breastfeeding,” she said. “We had to move back home with my mum and dad because I was too sick to look after Lucy or do anything around the house. “I’ve had to extend my maternity leave because I’m not well enough to return to work.”

Ms Cotterill’s daughter Lucy, now 11 months, has some lumps in her breast tissue, which doctors are monitoring and believe could also be linked to Bonsoy. “I put Lucy to bed every night, kiss her and tell her I love her and that I’ll see her in the morning, then I silently wish for her to not ever suffer because of this,” Ms Cotterill said.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn is handling the legal action.

Company principal Rod Hodgson said the scale of the problem was much bigger than originally thought. “Our clients are health-conscious people – they drank this milk to improve their health and they got sick – some critically ill,” he said. “Some have quit their jobs and lost their businesses because of their illnesses. Others live with on-going health problems and their lives have been devastated.”


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