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    Archive for the ‘David Zinczenko’ Category

    “Men’s Health” Stamp of Approval: First It Was Chocolate Milk, Now It’s Fast Food Burgers with Trans Fats

    How much stock would you put in a nutrition expert who suggested you drink chocolate milk and eat fast food burgers?  What if I told you this expert was nationally renowned as a trusted source of nutrition information, often appearing on television and radio as someone worth listening to?  Sadly, this is not just a hypothetical situation.

    Last week, I was flabbergasted when I came across a hyperbolic article by Men’s Health editor-in-chief David Zinczenko’s that painted chocolate milk as one of the absolute best things you can drink for your health, weight, and muscle mass.  This past weekend, I had another “you have GOT to be joking!” moment, thanks to a question tweeted to me by @matchmia.  The question: “what do you think of Hardee’s new turkey burger endorsed by Men’s Health?”.  Wait — what!?!

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    Chocolate Milk: Muscle Nectar? Weight-Loss Secret? Neither.

    Pick up any fitness magazine and you will see the virtues of chocolate milk extolled away, often times classified as the best thing you can drink after a workout. Over the past few years, chocolate milk has even been touted as a heart-healthy beverage (alas, a careful reading of the studies proves otherwise).

    For some odd reason, a May 2010 article titled “The Chocolate Milk Diet” penned by Men’s Health editor-in-chief David Zinczenko was shared by a handful of people on my Facebook feed today.   I should note that despite having no background or credentials in nutrition science or health, Yahoo! Health identifies Mr. Zinczenko as a “health expert”.

    If you are a new Small Bites reader, you should know that I have my share of — pardon the pun — beef with Men’s Health (for their ridiculous attacks on soy, their mixed messages, their condoning of ice cream, soda, and beer following a workout, and for the horrible underlying message behind their popular “Eat This, Not That” book series).

    This particular article gushes endlessly about the many virtues of chocolate milk, mainly weight loss and muscle-building.  Although I shared the article on Twitter earlier today (prefacing the link with “Today’s daily dose of nonsense, courtesy of Men’s Health“), I felt the need to explain, in detail, my frustrations with it.

    These sorts of articles irritate me to the extent they do because not only are they are read by millions, but they are presented as legitimate, objective, trust-worthy nutritional science, when that is not always the case.

    Now, let’s tackle this piece — bit by bit.

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    Who Said It?: Reveal

    1594862389“Powdered whey protein creates the most powerful fat-burning meal possible.”

    This statement appears on page 45 of The Abs Diet: Eat Right Every Time Guide by Men’s Health editor-in-chief David Zinczenko.

    David Zinczenko came up with “The Abs Diet” several years ago and has milked it for all it’s worth.  Although he doesn’t have a background in nutrition, human physiology, or medicine, that doesn’t stop Mr. Zinczenko from considering himself an authority on all things nutrition and health.

    In his articles and books, Mr. Zinczenko often makes reference to the fact that he has combed through the latest research, but I have to wonder how he is able to critically analyze and dissect studies if he ultimately isn’t familiar with the subject at hand.

    In any case, I take issue with his rave review for whey protein.

    Let me begin with a disclaimer.  There’s nothing inherently “bad” about whey protein.  It can certainly be a fine addition to a breakfast fruit smoothie to increase satiety.  It is also an appropriate form of protein to consume after performing weight-bearing physical activity, as it has a very high biological value and is utilized very efficiently by our bodies.

    However, the notion that whey protein powder is “fat-burning” is untrue, inaccurate, and misleading.

    There are no fat-burning foods.  Yes, protein has a slightly higher thermogenic effect than carbohydrates and protein (meaning the body requires more calories to digest it), but that does not mean copious amounts of protein burn fat.  Like any other nutrient, excess calories from protein are stored as fat.

    Relying on a nutrient’s thermogenic effect to burn fat is ridiculous.  Adding a scoop of whey protein to a 700-calorie sugar-laden smoothie does not transform that beverage into a “fat-burning” one.

    Keep in mind that the average adult in the United States consumes 250 to 300 percent of their daily protein requirement.  If protein had these magical fat-burning properties, then two-thirds of the United States population would not be overweight or obese.

    Additionally, the statement that whey protein creates “the most powerful fat-burning meal possible” is pure fabrication.  Who studied this?  When?  Where?  How many foods were studied for their respective “fat-burning” effects in order to establish a comparison?


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