Vol. 1, Issue 7, June 24, 2003
Study Supports Effectiveness of Nacho Diet
A study to be published in NATURE concluded that the popular Tourette's diet, also known as the "nacho diet," can lead to moderate weight loss.
"The study was conducted repeatedly over a two-year period," said Hopkins professor Raoul Bigby. "We were going to try it out on some macaques first, but it turns out they don't like nachos." The research, funded by Frito-Lay's, is the first to document a positive affect on the American physique by a snack food.
The nacho diet calls for participants to consume one serving of nachos in place of breakfast and lunch; dinner is consumed normally, along with snacks consisting of fruit. Participants lost up to 8 pounds in two weeks.
"I think this is fantastic," said nacho consumer Warren Grundt of Albuquerque, New Mexico. "I've been eating nachos for years, but I never knew they had such weight reducing powers. Good thing, too, cause if I wasn't eating nachos who knows how much I'd weigh."
The American Medical Association (AMA) pointed out in a rebuttal to be published in the same issue of NATURE that nachos are however high in sodium and fat, and suggest that any diet involving such drastic calorie reductions would be equally effective.
"No causality can or should be inferred from this study," said Dr. Thomas Unfer, AMA spokesperson. "Nachos are a high-calorie, high-sodium, high-fat food which contain no documented weight-loss properties whatsoever and possess virtually no nutritional value. The only reason this 'diet' works is because participants are substituting less than a cup of food for two out of three meals." The AMA suggests that scientists could just as well have conducted this study with cereal, bread, or Cheetos. Even pure butter, argues Unfer, could provide positive results under such controlled circumstances.
Frito-Lay spokespeople disagreed with this rebuttal.
"The fact is, we've done this study at a top institution, and the effect is demonstrable. Moreover, there are absolutely zero studies performed at top institutions which demonstrate a similar effect for any other snack food."
In response to the study, the U.S. Department of Education issued Frito-Lay's a contract to provide nachos in school cafeterias across the nation, as part of a program to improve the often criticized content of school lunches.
"Nachos are made with corn, right?" said Grundt. "Corn's a vegetable, right? So maybe we can skip the green beans."