The power of a Twinkie

Twinkies...the new diet aid?

“Four out of five dentists recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum.” Do you remember that slogan? Have you ever thought about that slogan, about the sheer inanity of that slogan? What does it mean? That one out of every five dentists recommend sugar-saturated Bubble Yum over the sugar-free alternative?

I don’t know about you, but I have never met a single dentist who advised me or my children to chomp on sugar-laden bubblegum. Not one. Yet 20 percent apparently were counseling patients to coat their teeth with sickeningly sweet, caloric, cavity-inducing chewing gum. Why is that?

Because in any study, any collection of information, any data sampling and analysis, there will be a shockingly high percentage of people, (often impressive, well-degreed people), who espouse a point of view that is not only patently untrue, but may actually border on the edge of absurdity.

Think about it. We know beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is no link between autism and immunizations. There have been countless, international, meta-analyses to prove this. Yet an entire subculture of parents is out there proliferating this hogwash and exposing their children to deadly diseases like polio, measles, and whooping cough. Why? Because celebrities like Jenny McCarthy insist that the evil medical industry is responsible for sickening her child with autism. (Not to worry though. She changed his diet and cured him!).

Never mind the facts. There will always be someone who will say something insane, unsound and idiotic about anything.

I have numerous friends who are currently on the HCG hormone diet. This diet allegedly resets your metabolism and you lose tons of weight in a mere three-week period. Here’s the catch: You are only allowed to ingest 500 calories a day for 21 days. This new diet craze, which incidentally first appeared in the 1940s, has been conclusively shown to be dangerous, even deadly, in several circumstances. But all it takes is some “expert” on television touting its benefits, and millions of people rush to the naturopath for a dose of the delightful diet aid.

To prove a point, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, put himself on a Twinkie diet. For two months, he only ate Hostess Twinkies, snack cakes and other equally junky munchies. He lost 27 pounds. His point? It doesn’t matter what you eat. Just eat less, burn more calories, and you’ll shed the extra weight.

But we want to believe in miracles. We want to uncover the truth that someone somewhere is conspiring to keep from us. The truth that will make us thin, cure our kids and ultimately set us free.

Keep this in mind: if there is even one licensed dentist in this country recommending sugar-filled Bazooka to their gum-chewing patients, you can pretty be pretty sure there are plenty of other people who will say something illogical, irrational and idiotic about almost anything.

My advice? Trust no one. Question everything. And never, ever underestimate the power of a Twinkie.