Sunday, October 10, 2010

weekend in polaroids

This has been such a fun weekend! My sister drove up from Indiana, and we had such a fun time catching up, running outside in the gorgeous Michigan fall weather, and visiting the beach.


I also had my first experience with substitute teaching on Friday, and I have to say that teaching math classes is a lot more fun than taking them. I told my classes that algebra is the most useful math for anyone who wants to go into a science-related field. [I’m not sure they agreed with me].


Did anyone see this article about a nutrition professor (Mark Haub) from Kansas State University who is going on a high-calorie, high-fat food diet to determine if we should be more concerned with weight rather than the foods we eat: "If we lose weight, this diet should be viewed as healthy." Haub theorizes that foods we think are healthy may be unhealthy while junk food may have some benefits. He later plans to gain weight by eating foods touted as healthy, such as fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.


First of all, I could answer his question without subjecting my body to a multitude of processed poisons, and I would definitely say that the food we eat is just as important as weight loss for health. Other problems I have with Haub’s little experiment:

  • Although Haub has lost some weight, he reported increased triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure…that doesn’t sound like a beneficial aspect of eating junk food to me.
  • The reason why Haub has lost weight is likely related to his dietary goal of 1800 calories/day…if you decrease the number of calories you eat, you will lose weight, regardless if the calories are from junk food. This does not mean that eating junk food is healthful!
  • The same goes for his reverse experiment of eating health foods and gaining weight. It’s a matter of calories. If you eat an excess of grains, fruit, and vegetables, you will also gain weight. It doesn’t mean that these foods should not be considered healthful!
  • Haub cites another advantage of his experiment is that he will be saving money. I’m not sure where he shops, but regardless, healthcare costs resulting from disease will overshadow any lunch money savings.

In my opinion, Haub is trying to garner media attention by practicing poor science, which is pretty unfortunate. As a nutrition scientist and registered dietitian, I think his behavior is irresponsible and a disgrace to those actually doing credible research. Thoughts, anyone?

Instead of eating Twinkies, Taub should make this super easy Tuscan salad: tomatoes, feta cheese, and white beans with any type of lettuce. Eating all that junk food has probably rotted some of his brain cells already.


All in all, it was a beautiful weekend…hope everyone is enjoying fall, and congrats to everyone who ran Chicago today!


p.s. I really want a Polaroid camera.


  1. what an interesting experiement this guy did on himself! i think it just goes to show that everything is good in moderation.

  2. I think Haub is a moron. That is all I have to say ;)

  3. interesting article indeed. i tend to agree with you: the issue with weight is a calorie thing and, while it can be related, it doesn't have to be related to health. i think what he's doing is for shock value only. bah.

    but on a brighter note: it looks like you had a good weekend :) yay!

  4. It's not an valid experiment because it is not controlled and an N of one. Cute in the way Morgan Spurlock was but not science.

    Timothy S. Harlan, M.D. / Dr. Gourmet

  5. Wow, the Haub thing sounds so strange! I think when it comes to weight it's about calories, but I feel like people should value their HEALTH too. Junk food does not equate to good health!

  6. glad you had fun with your sister. yay twins =)
    and i really want a polaroid camera too!

  7. So nice that you got to see your sister!

    From what little I've seen about Haub's experiment, I'm not sure how accurately the results will be reported - there's a good deal of him wanting to show a specific result. The way it's been dealt with seems like it's pandering for attention, but in theory, it'd be nice to have the information from it.

  8. you and your sis are super cute, I am talking on social media to my local dietetic association that could be something you offer ?


  9. I agree, he's just trying to catch public attention by doing something that everyone already know but just don't bother to prove it.
    glad you had good time with your sister! ;)

  10. Oh Emily, I could NOT agree with you more!!! I think he already knew what the outcome would be. We all KNOW that weight loss is about eating less calories than you burn. While we focus a lot on weight, we also put a lot of focus (especially lately) on eating the right foods to LOSE that weight. Just like when someone needs to gain weight, it's not ok to just pound a bunch of Whoppers and fries, it's best to do it in a healthier way, even if it will take a little more time. This experiment is so lame in my opinion, and I'm glad you brought attention to it.

    BTW, LOVE your new website!!!! It looks fabulous and if I wasn't an RD myself, I'd sign up for a consult :)

  11. Shouldn't Haub know that weight is not necessarily a determinant of health? Also, I'm going to out on a limb and say that most people who eat a lot of junk food don't limit themselves to 1800 calories/day...unless they're picky teenagers.

  12. Haub's 'experiment' definitely looks like a cry for media attention to me as well...and Im sure lots of people will mistakenly use his 'findings' as evidence that junk food is good for you, which is really sad.

    anyways...your weekend looks so fun and the salad looks beautiful!

  13. I hadn't heard of this guy before reading about him on your blog. It seems like a media stunt to me. Does the ADA have anything to say about it? Have they been quoted in any articles about this experiment?

  14. awww i love seeing posts with you and your sis! there's such good times to be had with family and sisterly fun is always a good time :) i'm off to have some of my own!

  15. I totally agree with you about the experiment. That sounds just crazy...and YES we all know that you can lose weight if you decrease your calories, no matter what you eat. You don't need to do some crazy "experiment" to prove it!

    Oh! And I just wanted to say thanks for all the sweet comments on my blog. You always brighten my day :)

    <3 Em

  16. I agree that he's probably trying to get everyone's attention with bad science. Unfortunately, that is one of the better way to get people's attention these days...

    I want a polaroid too! I didn't know they were still making them.

  17. I totally agree with you! I think he's just trying to get attention. His experiment isn't really scientific and I agree, it's irresponsible and giving people the wrong message.

  18. I hadn't heard of him, but I agree with you that it's irresponsible and harmful. Health is about so much more than just weight, even if we (as a society!) have screwed it up big time as far as equating being thin with being healthy.

    If anything, he should know about the body needing vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients to stay healthy and those just aren't found in junk food, hence why it got its name!

  19. Wow, what a weird "experiment". I definitely agree with you, he's losing weight because he's eating less calories, but he's definitely not getting healthier! Yuck! Just thinking about eating all those twinkies makes my stomach hurt...

  20. WEIRD!! some experiments leave me so puzzled lol! i agree with you tho, especially since its pretty evident that theres quite a few flaws in his thought process lol <3

  21. Haub sounds totally crazy!! I hate when people think weight is in indicator of health. It often is not!! That salad looks fabulous :)



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