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Nutrition in America; Snack Cakes for Weight Loss

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Hey everybody; I hope you all have had an excellent weekend! I just got back from the gym at school. It’s been a while since I’ve been there, so I’m gearing up for a sore day tomorrow. But it had to happen sooner or later I suppose.  

I read this article on CNN recently; a human nutrition professor at Kansas State University recently ran an experiment on himself. Mark Haub went on a steady diet of snack cakes and processed candy treats… to lose weight. 

As counter-intuitive as such a diet would seem to be for weight loss, it actually worked. Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day with most of those coming from snack cakes and other processed food; a man of his size and stature presumably consumes 2,600 per day. Over the course of two months, Professor Haub lost 27 pounds. The professor maintained the same level of exercise he was accustomed to before beginning the diet. While it did work for weight loss, the professor (of nutrition no less) was reluctant to claim that this was a healthy way to lose weight. He emphasized the fact that the longterm effects of such a diet had not been studied (although I think we can look at the general health of the American public and get a good idea about the long term results of regularly consuming such fare…) and that more research was needed.  

I find professor Haub’s experiment both boring and interesting at the same time. It is boring on the one hand because it is a well known fact that weight loss can be a mechanism of input vs. output. If you starve your body of fuel, it burns reserve fuel in the form of stored fat, resulting in weight loss. At the risk of sounding blunt, that is why people who are chronically hungry are not obese. Not really any new ground here.

I also find it interesting because it raises an important question; Is this what the study of nutrition in America has been diminished to? Finding ways to subsist on processed snack cakes? That is a terrifying thought indeed. While I’m glad to know that professor Haub doesn’t claim this to be the healthy way to lose weight, I think his time would be better spent studying the ways nutrients nourish the body. While I won’t argue with the results, it certainly doesn’t mention the hordes of people who’ve lost weight by simply eating healthier. These people don’t necessarily count calories, they just change their diet to something like the Kaufmann 1. We can’t argue with these people’s results either. I think we could definitely contend that the Kaufmann 1 is the safer and healthier weight loss alternative to the snack cake diet, and I don’t think the good professor would disagree. 
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