Word of Mouth

Man loses 27 pounds on the Twinkie diet

Popular diets speak to our society's insatiable desire to pin blame for the saddlebags and love handles on some evil type of food. But if you think stuffing yourself with meat and cheese (since you're cutting carbs) is a surefire way to get thin, you're probably not going to like Mark Haub's study.

The Kansas State University nutrition professor just lost 27 pounds in two months on a snack-cake diet. As in Hostess, supplemented by a hefty dose of Doritos and Oreos.

Don't go out and down a box of Twinkies in response, though. Haub's experiment was about portion control -- he limited his intake to 1,800 calories a day -- but he got two-thirds of those calories from junk food (and the rest from canned vegetables and a protein shake). And not only did he lose weight, but his overall health improved.

Though the results are far from conclusive, they at least suggest that it's the quantity, rather than the quality, of calories in the diet that matters.

So, yeah, America, we're fat because we're stuffing our faces, not because we're loading up on carbs.

You can follow Haub's bizarre progress on Facebook.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk