A Question of Science

The Bamba Diet took my breath away.

Pettigrew has proven to be a willing participant in my forays into scientific research. Part of it may be because food figures prominently in my study design.

For information about our first study together see Food Glorious Food.

The last few years there has been conflicting information about healthy eating.

Fat is good; sugar is bad. Protein is good; carbohydrates are bad. Even the adage about calories in: calories out is, apparently, no longer valid.

And then there are the studies that say it’s not calories, not even what foods you eat, but when you eat it.

I have become dubious having watched friends shun avocados and binge on lollipops during the sugar is good /fat is bad phase, only to switch several years later to being proponents of avocado toast.

Or the more outrageous diets my friends and I devised during college, like the theory that there were no calories in pieces. Before snacking, we dropped our bags of pretzels on the ground to ensure no intact twists remained. Voila, calorie-free!

But, we were outdone by my family-members who shared with me their bamba diet. I am convinced it is like the Australian food spread vegemite: you can only love it if you were born eating it.

Bamba is a perfectly revolting peanut-butter flavored snack food. The only way eating bamba could cause you to lose weight is if you binged and felt so sick you couldn’t eat for several days.

Given these diet fails, I decided to collect my own data. Pettigrew and I set out to discover 1) whether you will gain weight if you eat for longer than an eight- to ten-hour window, and 2) if you ingest the bulk of your calories for dinner.

I’m not doing this for me.

It’s for Pettigrew.

Alas, he’s lost about 10% of his body weight. So, I start early and sprinkle food throughout the day, with his biggest meal at night. We cover at least a 14-hour window of consumption.


I’m hoping he will gain weight.

So far, his weight hasn’t budged; although, he’s totally onboard with the multiple-meals-a-day program.

Perhaps I need a bigger sample size. Or perhaps dietary rules that apply to humans don’t carry over to canines.

Or, perhaps, this is yet another dieting truism that is having its 15 minutes of fame.


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