Five Day Diet Disaster

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Did you ever wonder how long it takes for a junk food binge to catch up with you? According to an article in TIME magazine, the answer is about five days.

In a study published in the journal Obesity, just five days of a poor diet, rife in fatty processed foods, is enough to change the body’s healthy response to food.

The study focused on 12 college aged men who were put on a diet in which 55% of their total caloric intake came from fat, 18% of which was saturated. The control group ate a much lower fat diet, with the identical amount of calories. Muscle biopsies were taken before and after the experiment.

The high fat group spent the week gorging on Western dietary staples such as mac ‘n cheese, ham and cheese sandwiches slathered in butter and mayonnaise, and fatty microwavable meals. Even McDonald’s could not supply enough dietary fat in one meal to meet the study’s criteria.

After only five days on the extreme high fat diet, metabolic changes began to occur. The body’s normal response to a meal was either blunted or obliterated, compared with how the men responded prior to the test. Under normal eating conditions, the men’s biopsied muscle oxidized glucose to use as an energy source. Just a few days later, this function was completely shut down.

This information brings about many questions that the scientists will continue to explore, including those related to weight gain and diabetes.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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