Warm Southern Breeze

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Nutrition Professor’s “Twinkie diet” shows promise

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 9, 2010

‘As a healthcare professional licensed in…’

Yeah, that’s how blowhards might start writing this, but I’m gonna’ shoot it to you straight, no chaser… even though I am a licensed healthcare professional.

Here’s the “scoop” – which perhaps should be a scoop of ice cream. For 10 weeks, Mark D. Haub, Associate Professor, and Assistant Department Head of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University, consumed less than 1800 calories daily, and lost 27 pounds.

His body fat decreased from 33.4% to 24.9%, and his Body Mass Index (BMI) went from 28.8, which is considered “overweight,” to 24.9, which is considered “normal.” As well, his Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad” cholesterol, lowered 20%, his High Density Lipoprotein (HDL), also known as “good” cholesterol, increased 20%, and his triglycerides – as type of blood fat – decreased 39%.

Big deal. Right?

What’s interesting, is that Dr. Haub lost his weight by following a “convenience store diet” consisting of Twinkies and other Hostess snack cakes, Little Debbie snack cakes, Oreos, powdered doughnuts, sugary cereals, Doritos, nutty bars, and other so-called “junk” food. A full 2/3 (66%) of his total caloric intake came from such food.

However, to avoid setting a bad example, while at home in his childrens’ presence he ate vegetables – typically, a can of green beans, or three or four celery stalks daily – away from home, every three hours he would eat one junk food item rather than a meal. He also supplemented his “diet” with a daily protein shake and multivitamin pill, and maintained the same level of moderate physical activity.

His body composition, blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, progress and findings are documented on his FaceBook page, and strikes at the heart of many commonly accepted notions concerning “healthy” eating, which for past decades has meant increased consumption of whole grains and vegetables, low fat, low salt (sodium), sugar-free sweets, and decreased meat consumption – particularly pork and beef.

Dawn Jackson Blatner, an Atlanta, Georgia dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association said, “It’s a great reminder for weight loss that calories count. Is that the bottom line to being healthy? That’s another story.”

Dr. Haub said that before he began his experiment, he attempted to follow a “healthy” diet that included whole grains, dietary fiber, berries, vegetables and occasional treats such as pizza.

Remarking on the appearance of inequality in nutrition and health, Dr. Haub said, “There seems to be a disconnect between eating healthy and being healthy. It may not be the same. I was eating healthier, but I wasn’t healthy. I was eating too much.”

Commenting further about what is certain to create uproar in the health and nutrition circles, Dr. Haub said, “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.”

Dr. Mark D. Haub, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Human Nutrition, Kansas State University

Contact information:
Dr. Mark D. Haub, PhD
Associate Professor
Assistant Head
Department of Human Nutrition

Haub@ksu.edu
127 Justin Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-1407
USA
(785) 532-0170
(785) 532-0159
(785) 532-0178

3 Responses to “Nutrition Professor’s “Twinkie diet” shows promise”

  1. Great information!!

    Like

  2. […] Remember the “Twinkie Diet“! […]

    Like

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