Living

The Twinkie diet works, Stephen Harper gets chatty, and bilingualism delays Alzheimer's

Who says Twinkies are bad for you? Kansas State University professor Mark Haub lost 26.2 pounds in 10 weeks. His secret? A diet of nothing but Twinkies, Doritos, doughnuts, and other foods high in saturated fats. Haub's cholesterol levels also improved and his body fat percentage went down by 8.5 percent. The professor says he wants to show dieters they can eat treats and still lose weight, but does not advocate an all-junk-food diet. Shame.

Who says Twinkies are bad for you? Kansas State University professor Mark Haub lost 26.2 pounds in 10 weeks. His secret? A diet of nothing but Twinkies, Doritos, doughnuts, and other foods high in saturated fats. Haub’s cholesterol levels also improved and his body fat percentage went down by 8.5 percent. The professor says he wants to show dieters they can eat treats and still lose weight, but does not advocate an all-junk-food diet. Shame.

If you’ve got some words for Stephen Harper about the way he’s been spending your tax dollars, now is your chance to tell him to his face. The prime minister has announced a cross-Canada “listening tour” to hear what everyday Canadians think about government spending. Harper is expected to announce a controversial new federal budget this coming March, and this road trip has been viewed by some as a preemptive act of political theatre. 

Not content to bid adieu to daytime television alone, queen of talk Oprah Winfrey has rustled up five of her colleagues/frenemies to help her say goodbye. This afternoon’s episode will feature fellow daytime superstars Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue, Geraldo Rivera, Sally Jessy Raphael, and Montel Williams. Possible topics of discussion include hairspray and how much better things were in the ’90s.  

A new report has found that the education gap between black and white students in the United States is even wider than previously thought. Only 12 percent of black fourth grade boys are proficient in reading compared with 38 percent of white boys, said the study’s authors, with similar discrepancies across most subjects and grades. The statistics cannot be explained by economic differences, as poor white boys do just was well as black boys who are not poor, according to the study’s markers. The National Assessment for Educational Progress authored the report, and hopes it will reveal the urgent need for change in the American education system. 

A new Canadian study has found that bilingualism may help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The study, published in Tuesday’s issue of the journal Neurology, found that the onset of symptoms in Alzheimer’s patients who had spoke more than one language consistently for many years was delayed by as much as five years. Apparently bilingualism contributes to what researchers are calling “cognitive reserves,” which help the brain cope with the degenerative disease.