Wednesday, June 11, 2014

No, Low-Fat Doughnuts Aren't Going to Cure Obesity


I had many people send me a piece from the Ottawa Citizen entitled, "People line up for Almonte inventor's lower-fat doughnuts" that included their inventor Ed Atwell's unopposed comment,
"I believe this is a technology that is going to curb if not eliminate the obesity epidemic"
I guess he's never read any of Brian Wansink's work that suggests the doughnuts' "low-fat" label will likely contribute to obesity's rise, rather than help it's fall. Why? Because the label and the story provide a health-halo that the evidence would suggest will lead people to consume more calories from these purportedly "healthy" or at the very least, "healthier" doughnuts than if they just hit the full strength versions (something to which the store's out the door lineup to buy speaks directly).

My favourite part of the story though has to be the nutritional information disclosure.

Apparently Ed's average obesity-fighting miracle doughnut contains 190 calories.

Want to know how many calories are in Tim Horton's classic chocolate dip?



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  1. Lauri8:07 am

    "...his new secret process, which says “in layman’s terms involves tricking the doughnut to make it think it’s going to be deep-fried”...

    So, he's saying that donuts have become sentient?

    After looking at the pictures in the article and looking at pictures of Tim Horton donuts, I think the allegedly low fat ones are smaller which might account for the fewer calories, but for me, it doesn't matter - they are high carb, high sugar and fried in crop oil.

    1. "So, he's saying that donuts have become sentient?"

      ruh roh, now the secret is people will know why Tim Horton's has become the branch of government most beloved by the's all those "smart doughnuts" inserting themselves into our bodies and thinking FOR us...

  2. Yoni, your words from a previous post still ring in my ears: "Just eat the damned _____" (in this case, donut).

    If people are flocking to Almonte because the donuts are that good, then that's totally valid. But if people think they're going for their health, they are misguided.

    Also, the comments in the article are quite funny. What, because they're nice, hard-working people their donuts must be good for you? LOL

  3. Low fat dougnuts? what next low fat poutine? Just listening to you on Q on CBC... great Job!

  4. The same people who swear a calorie is a calorie and it's all about calories in, calories out, avoid FAT in the diet, because they think fat makes you fat no matter what the calories.

    As far as I'm concerned, they deserve these donuts for those amazing feats of logic.

  5. When are we ever going to put to rest the whole fat makes you fat hypothesis? It never works out! Also, if you want a donut just eat a damned donut.

  6. I laughed at that piece. Frankly, of all the treats out there, I generally don't have a problem finding room in my diet to treat myself to a 200 calorie doughnut (once in a while!). It's half the calories of most other treats/desserts out there.