Nutrition expert loses TWO STONE by eating doughnuts, cakes and crisps for ten weeks
By David Gardner
Last updated at 8:22 AM on 10th November 2010
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.
Fat patients 'prompts ambulance fleet revamp'
By Nick Triggle, Health reporter, BBC News
Some patients are getting so fat that ambulance bosses are having to revamp their fleets to cope, the BBC has learned.
Every service in the UK has started buying specialist equipment, data from freedom of information requests show.
This includes wider stretchers, more lifting gear and reinforcing existing vehicles.
Many have also bought specialist "bariatric" ambulances - costing up to £90,000 each - to ferry the most obese.
These are designed so that double-width trolley stretchers for patients up to 50 stone (318kg) can be accommodated. They also tend to include hoists and inflatable lifting cushions.
But the rising rates of obese and overweight patients mean even standard ambulances are having to be stocked with specialist equipment.
While these vehicles cannot take the full-range of kit that a bariatric ambulance can, they can often carry heavy-duty wheelchairs and stretchers as well as the lifting cushions on newer models.
Prices vary depending on how many and what make a trust orders.
Cushions tend to cost about £2,500 and stretchers anywhere between £7,000 to £10,000, while reinforcing an ambulance tail-lift can set a trust back £800 per vehicle.
One ambulance trust - South Central - has spent more than £1m in the last three years to upgrade nearly two thirds of its 180-strong fleet.
West Midlands is another area which has started upgrading its fleet. It has also bought four specialist bariatric ambulances at a combined cost of more than £300,000.
Nigel Wells, an operations manager at the trust said: "It is all about safety for our patients and safety for our crews. We have got a greater number of patients who are larger in size.
"A few years ago - probably only 10 years ago - your average patient was 12 to 13 stone, now that's probably 17 to 18 stone. And we quite regularly see patients around 30 stone in weight and even bigger than that."
Jo Webber, director of the Ambulance Service Network, agreed ambulance bosses had been left with no option.
"The fact is patients are getting larger and larger and ambulances need to be able to respond immediately to what could be life-threatening situations.
"Every service is having to invest money in this. It shows that some of the lifestyle changes we are seeing have a range of costs. It is not just about treating them, but the infrastructure costs as well."
The data obtained by the BBC showed the speed and pace of the approaches vary from place to place.
However, every ambulance trust in England as well as the services in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland confirmed changes were being made.
For example, the West Midlands, Yorkshire, the North West and Wales already have pools of bariatric ambulances and are well on the way to upgrading the rest of their fleet.
Meanwhile, in London ambulances bosses have been relying on a private service for which they were paying a monthly fee of £5,000 until recently.
But they have now bought two bariatric ambulances and a third is on its way. The rest of the fleet will also be getting specialist equipment in the coming years.
Jonathan Fox, of the Association of Professional Ambulance Personnel, said: "It is becoming increasingly frequent that the size of patients causes problems moving them and that in turn increases the risk of injury to staff. That is why we need this equipment. We are not just talking about those that are really heavy, even patients who are 16, 17 stone can pose difficulties."
Dr Frank Atherton, president of the Association of Directors of Public Health, added: "It is not surprising the NHS is responding this way. It is unfortunate and what we need to do is get better at trying to prevent obesity in the first place."
Britain's fattest teenager is 40 stone at 17
Britain's fattest teenager now weighs 40 stone at just 17-years-old despite losing 15 stone at a US fat camp.
8:16AM GMT 21 Feb 2011
Georgia Davis said depression over her size only makes her eat more. The 17-year-old now weighs 40st 6lbs.
Speaking to The Sun newspaper Georgia said: "I try not to think about it too much, otherwise I panic and it makes my eating problem worse — but I do know it is serious.
"I've covered over the mirror in my bedroom, but there is one in the bathroom I have to look into each morning when I wash and brush my teeth and it makes me feel so sad.
"Sometimes the sadness makes me eat more, but sometimes I just cry."
Georgia has put on an extra seven stone since she was 15-years-old when she weighed 33 stone.
Despite nine months at a US fat camp, where she lost 15 stone in 2009, she has managed to regain all that weight as well as much more.
Yesterday her true wright was revealed when she stood on a weighbridge designed for industrial materials after being too heavy for traditional scales at her local hospital. :shock:
She said: "I'd been following a programme of healthy eating in the camp where I'd been living in North Carolina, America, and I'd learned to enjoy low-fat foods like salads, bagels, yoghurt and even buffalo meat. "I was really looking forward to trying it all out back home but, when I arrived, my mum said she hadn't had time to prepare any healthy food so we had fish and chips instead.
"From that moment on, I had a niggling feeling that things weren't going to work out."
Georgia added: "I'd also learned to love exercise in America, using a gym and playing proper sports like tennis and basketball for the first time. But back home, it soon became obvious it wasn't going to be easy.
"The same facilities weren't available here and I couldn't easily afford to join the local gym. I soon found I was becoming much less mobile, just like before."
I have a feeling that's this isn't about how a parent 'let' a teenager get to this point, that young womans parents must have worked really hard to make her that way. It's long term neglect if you ask me, I can't imagine that she just ballooned overnight, can you?
US Coast Guard gets heavy on overweight passengers
By Tom Peck
Thursday, 28 April 2011
On American passenger ships, expanding waistlines are lowering hull lines, forcing the authorities into action.
The US Coast Guard has raised its average passenger weight from 160lb to 185lb – an increase of almost two stone. It is the first time it has done so since the 1960s.
That the average American is a touch portlier than 50 years ago may not come as a huge surprise but it is a blow to many commercial boat operators, who will be forced to reduce capacity.
"People have just gotten heavier," said Coast Guard spokeswoman Lisa Novak.
The Coast Guard has followed the lead of other transport administration bodies. The Federal Transit Administration, with responsibility for the nation's buses, still tests vehicles as if the average rider weighs 150lb – it has just proposed a jump to 175lb. Prompted by a 2003 plane crash in North Carolina, the Federal Aviation Administration has raised its average weight estimate from 170lb to near 190lb.
Ashes on the Sea, a California based company that conducts ocean burials, is concerned the new rules will force them to raise prices. Anticipating less usable space on many of the 50 boats he charters in five states, Ken Shortridge, from the company, said the change could add several hundred dollars to the cost of each service.
"Unfortunately, the new rule makes sense," he said. Overloaded boats are more likely to capsize.
In 2004, a water taxi called the Lady D flipped over in Baltimore harbour, resulting in the death of five passengers. A year-long investigation followed focusing on outdated estimates of passenger weight.
Not all services will be affected however. Catalina Express, which annually ferries hundreds of thousands of passengers from Los Angeles to nearby Santa Catalina Island, won't be carrying any fewer.
"It won't affect us at all," said spokeswoman Elaine Vaughan. "We usually carry less than our Coast Guard-approved capacity. That's a decision we made for comfort reasons."
The new boat rule takes effect in December, after the 185lb figure was first suggested in 2006. Since then, the average American has already grown a couple of pounds heavier.
Denmark taxes fatty products
Denmark is to impose the world's first "fat tax" in a drive to slim its population and cut heart disease.
By Richard Orange, Malmo
2:06PM BST 29 Sep 2011
The move may increase pressure for a similar tax in the UK, which suffers from the highest levels of obesity in Europe.
Starting from this Saturday, Danes will pay an extra 30p on each pack of butter, 8p on a pack of crisps, and an extra 13p on a pound of mince, as a result of the tax.
The tax is expected to raise about 2.2bn Danish Krone (£140m), and cut consumption of saturated fat by close to 10pc, and butter consumption by 15pc.
"It's the first ever fat-tax," said Mike Rayner, Director of Oxford University's Health Promotion Research Group, who has long campaigned for taxes on unhealthy foods.
"It's very interesting. We haven't had any practical examples before. Now we will be able to see the effects for real." The tax will be levied at 2.5 per Kg of saturated fat and will be levied at the point of sale from wholesalers to retailers.
Hungary at the start of this month imposed a tax is on all packaged foods containing unhealthy levels of sugar, salt, and carbohydrates, as well as products containing more than 20 milligrams of caffeine per 100 milliliters of the product.
Less than 10pc of Danes are clinically obese, putting them slightly below the European average.
But researchers at Denmark's Institute for Food and Economic estimate that close to 4pc of the country's premature deaths are a result of excess consumption of saturated fats.
For Britain, where more than 20pc of the population is obese, the number will be considerably higher.
A 2007 study by Mr Rayner's group concluded that a combination of taxes on healthy foods and tax breaks on fruit and vegetables could save 3,200 lives a year in the UK.
Health Minister Andrew Lansley has up until now resisted calls for taxes on unhealthy foods, but Mr Rayner said they were the only credible way to combat Britain's obesity problem.
"I think we're going to have them in Britain whether Mr Lansley wants them or not, because the obesity crisis in the UK is such that we need to take more action.
The Hadza live a hunter gatherer existence that has changed little in 10,000 years
Sugar tax needed, say US experts
The idea that exercise is more important than diet in the fight against obesity has been contradicted by new research.
A study of the Hadza tribe, who still exist as hunter gatherers, suggests the amount of calories we need is a fixed human characteristic.
This suggests Westerners are growing obese through over-eating rather than having inactive lifestyles, say scientists.
One in 10 people will be obese by 2015.
And, nearly one in three of the worldwide population is expected to be overweight, according to figures from the World Health Organization.
The Western lifestyle is thought to be largely to blame for the obesity "epidemic".
Various factors are involved, including processed foods high in sugar and fat, large portion sizes, and a sedentary lifestyle where cars and machines do most of the daily physical work.
Continue reading the main story
Daily energy expenditure might be an evolved trait that has been shaped by evolution and is common among all people and not some simple reflection of our diverse lifestyles”
Dr Herman Pontzer
Department of Anthropology, Hunter College, New York
Find out how healthy your weight is
The relative balance of overeating to lack of exercise is a matter of debate, however.
Some experts have proposed that our need for calories has dropped drastically since the industrial revolution, and this is a bigger risk factor for obesity than changes in diet.
A study published in the PLoS ONE journal tested the theory, by looking at energy expenditure in the Hadza tribe of Tanzania.
The Hadza people, who still live as hunter gatherers, were used as a model of the ancient human lifestyle.
Members of the 1,000-strong population hunt animals and forage for berries, roots and fruit on foot, using bows, small axes, and digging sticks. They don't use modern tools or guns.
A team of scientists from the US, Tanzania and the UK, measured energy expenditure in 30 Hadza men and women aged between 18 and 75.
They found physical activity levels were much higher in the Hadza men and women, but when corrected for size and weight, their metabolic rate was no different to that of Westerners.
Dr Herman Pontzer of the department of anthropology at Hunter College, New York, said everyone had assumed that hunter gatherers would burn hundreds more calories a day than adults in the US and Europe.
The data came as a surprise, he said, highlighting the complexity of energy expenditure.
But he stressed that physical exercise is nonetheless important for maintaining good health.
"This to me says that the big reason that Westerners are getting fat is because we eat too much - it's not because we exercise too little," said Dr Pontzer.
"Being active is really important to your health but it won't keep you thin - we need to eat less to do that.
"Daily energy expenditure might be an evolved trait that has been shaped by evolution and is common among all people and not some simple reflection of our diverse lifestyles."
Under the proposals, overweight benefit claimants could have their money docked if they refuse exercise regimes
Overweight or unhealthy people who refuse to attend exercise sessions could have their benefits slashed, in a move proposed by Westminster Council.
GPs would also be allowed to prescribe leisure activities such as swimming and fitness classes under the idea.
The Tory-controlled council said the aim was to save £5bn from the NHS budget when local authorities take over public health provision from April.
BMA member and GP Dr Lawrence Buckman called the idea "draconian and silly".
The measures are contained in a report entitled A Dose of Localism: The Role of Council in Public Health, in a link-up between Westminster Council and the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU).
Continue reading the main story
Political Correspondent, BBC News
The idea of cutting someone's benefits if they don't swipe into a yoga, weights or Zumba class might seem absurd.
But the authors of this report insist this is a serious attempt to develop new policies and positive incentives to meet a huge public health challenge.
From April councils assume responsibility for a multi-billion pound public health budget. They also take control of administering council tax benefit (the reduction in council tax for those unable to pay the full amount).
These two developments are a huge challenge, but also an opportunity. In theory people making healthier choices (and saving their council money) could be given some money off their council tax bill.
Councils certainly have the power to design new council tax schemes. But there will be howls of protest from those appalled by the idea of a town hall computer monitoring our "healthy" choices.
Under the proposals, overweight benefit claimants could have their money docked if they refuse exercise regimes prescribed by doctors.
Smart cards would be brought in to monitor the use of leisure centres, meaning local authorities could reduce welfare payments for those who fail to follow their GP's advice.
Resident, housing and council tax benefit payments "could be varied to reward or incentivise residents", the report said.
It claims "early intervention techniques" could help save more lives and money.
These include linking welfare payments to healthy lifestyles and rewarding those who take responsibility for their own health, the report's authors claim.
Red tape would be cut for "non-alcoholic venues" to encourage a more responsible approach to drinking, which the report says was promised but never delivered by the change to 24-hour licensing laws.
British Medical Association GP committee chairman Dr Buckman, a GP in north London, called the proposals "some of the silliest things I've heard in a long time".
Continue reading the main story
A fast-food generation need support in the long term”
Spokeswoman, Big Matters
"When I was first told about this I thought it was a joke," he said.
He added: "The best way [councils] can intervene is to stop restaurants and fast-food chains providing the kind of food that make people put on weight, and interfere with the way foods are sold in shops."
Obesity support organisation Big Matters spokeswoman Susannah Gilbert said: "It would be fairer to use the money to support people rather than to penalise people.
"Any plans for health should be holistic," she added. "Some people have emotional issues to do with food.
"A fast-food generation need support in the long term."
But Jonathan Carr-West, acting chief executive of the LGiU, said the proposals offered "a win-win" solution.
He said the proposals were about "finding innovative ways to both improve people's lives so they don't suffer from these conditions, while also saving money for the public purse".
"We have to look at ways of managing demand, of helping people not to need such expensive health interventions," he said.
He said the proposals would "help people lead healthier, happier lives".
Westminster council leader Philippa Roe said: "This report contains exactly the sort of bright, forward-thinking and radical ideas that need to be looked at.
"The potential improvements to the nation's health and to the public purse could be significant."
But the change to local authority control over public health has led many councils to voice concerns about how much money they will get and the formula that central government will use to allocate funding.
The public health funding announcement was originally expected on 19 December.
Paul Mason: Excess skin plea from man once labelled world's fattest
By Richard Haugh, BBC News
A man once labelled the world's fattest has released naked photographs of his body to warn others "how bad things can get" and to plead for medical help.
At his heaviest, Paul Mason weighed 70 stone (444kg) and was confined to the bed of his bungalow in Ipswich.
He now weighs about 24 stone (152kg) but says he will be "stuck in limbo" until the excess skin is removed.
"I want health professionals to have a look and think 'it's about time we helped this chap'," he said.
Mr Mason, 52, who had gastric bypass surgery in 2010, says his "goal weight" is 15 stone (95kg).
He said about eight stone (50kg) would be lost if he could have the three operations he needs to remove loose skin around his midriff, legs and under his arms.
"Around my middle and on my legs the skin keeps splitting because of the weight of it," Mr Mason said. :shock:
"I've got myself a little bit of independence and want to carry that on to where I don't need a wheelchair to get around."
He said he decided to undress for the photographs because he had given up hope of the NHS offering him the surgery, which he says could cost more than £60,000 in total.
"I wonder if it will ever happen now," he said. "I met a lady the other day who has been waiting 13 years and she's only got about two stone of loose skin to be removed."
The NHS says Mr Mason has to have a stable weight for two years before the skin removal operations can be considered.
Mr Mason said he had never seen "proper photos" of the back and front of himself and admitted that some people might find the images "shocking".
"I wanted people to see the issues that can happen to your body, to your skin, when you put an extreme amount of weight on," Mr Mason said.
"A lot of people think that's just going to shrink back, but it doesn't.
"If people find it shocking, perhaps they will think twice that they mustn't get themselves in that state."
Samantha Scholtz, a consultant liaison psychiatrist working in the bariatric (treatment of obesity) service at St Mary's Hospital in west London, said excess skin was an issue for a lot of patients.
"It's an under-recognised issue and something patients before going to surgery aren't always informed about," she said.
"Although health is the main motivator for seeking surgery, I think the cosmetic appearance does come into it.
"It certainly affects their quality of life, self-image and their ability to form relationships."
Ms Scholtz said she could not comment on Mr Mason specifically, but said it would be "unfair" to allow a patient to wait two years for an operation if that person was suffering from other complaints such as tears to the skin.
But she added it was important for patients to get to a "stable weight" before having the skin removed.
"If they are still losing weight they will be left with more excess skin," she said.
The NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said decisions about surgery were taken in the "best interest" of patients.
"In cases like this the NHS has a panel of people, including clinicians, who decide whether the patient should have such an operation," a spokesperson said.
"A patient must have a stable weight before he or she is considered."
Suze Orman, Barbara Walters, Paul Mason and Rebecca Mountain on The View
Rebecca Mountain (right) proposed to Paul Mason during filming for The View
A man once known as fattest in the world has accepted a marriage proposal during a television show in the United States.
Mr Mason, 53, from Ipswich, was recording an episode of The View alongside US resident Rebecca Mountain, who he had met online.
He said yes and has vowed to lose enough weight to allow him to walk down the aisle.
"I don't want to go down that aisle in a wheelchair," Mr Mason said.
Mr Mason, who at his heaviest weighed 70 stone (440kg), flew to the United States in December to spend Christmas with Ms Mountain and to see a consultant about surgery to remove excess skin.
He got his weight down to 22 stone (140kg) with the help of gastric band surgery but said his life is on hold until the excess skin was removed.
Mr Mason went to New York to meet with Dr Jennifer Capla, who has agreed to donate her time to perform the operations.
"What she's going to do is my tummy and my arms, both at the same time," Mr Mason said.
"I thought just the tummy would be major surgery on its own, but she feels confident that because my health is good, she could do the arms at the same time.
Barbara Walters and Paul Mason on The View
Barbara Walters asked Paul Mason about his excess skin
Mr Mason said he received a second surprise on The View, saying the programme has offered to pay the $17,000 (£10,341) he had been fundraising for the cost of the first operation.
"We've still got to fundraise to pay for the aftercare," Mr Mason said, adding that he hoped Friday's broadcast of the show in the United States would prompt people to add to the $1,170 (£711) already raised.
"I'm excited, all I've got to do is go back to the UK, get a medical visa, and then come back."
The couple said they had not set a date for the wedding.
Ms Mountain said: "There's so many things we need to do to take care of Paul first.
"There will be another surgery for his legs, but not for another six to eight months."
A story about a top politician - is he losing his gravitas?
Slimline Tories: how my 5:2 diet has changed the face of politics
The latest Tory plans to slim the deficit were delivered by the newly-svelte George Osborne – so has the 5:2 diet sculpted his political ambitions? Its creator gives her verdict
By Mimi Spencer
3:15PM BST 30 Sep 2014
If anyone doubted the effectiveness of the 5:2 diet, they only need to look to our Chancellor for proof of how well the regime works. When George Osborne stepped up to the podium at the Conservative conference on Monday, it was clear that his penchant for cuts has extended beyond the budget and to his own dietary intake.
Osborne has been following the 5:2 regime, where dieters eat normally for five days a week and fast for two, and showed off his defined jawline and newly narrow frame after eight months of dieting. The Chancellor has never been very heavy but he did accumulate some middle-aged weight around the chin and looks a lot better without those jowls.
Of course, he may not have intended to become a lean chancellor for the sake of our lean economy, but it makes for a nice headline and is in keeping with our times.
It’s impossible to say whether Osborne’s slim shape is a sign of grander political ambitions, but there’s no doubt that politics is as much of an image game as it is about ideology. A leader who looks after themselves is undeniably compelling – that’s a reason Cameron goes off on his jogs and why Putin wrestles with fish. We all respond to active and health-conscious leaders.
Now here's something I can relate to:
(Some sample headings only!)
The 24 worst things about being a fat man
Weight-loss website Man v Fat has polled its users to find out what they hate most about being overweight, reports Andrew Shanahan
8:21AM BST 07 Oct 2014
Being fat doesn’t come with a list of the special nuggets of misery that appear when you hit BMI 25+, which is a shame as a bit of warning would be nice.
Fortunately, our friends at MAN v FAT - the leading men's weight-loss website - has polled the users of its popular online forum and put together 24 of the worst things about being a fat bloke. Read them and weep.
1. People stare at your food in the supermarket trolley
2. The stuff that grows in the folds of your body