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Does the Cookie Diet crumble under scrutiny?

June 20, 2008 | 11:27 am

Cookies I just knew it was too good to be true.

Have you heard about the Cookie Diet? If not, you probably will. Just the name, the Cookie Diet, was enough to pique my interest. Eat cookies like this? And still lose weight? One last question: Where do I sign up?

But of course, it’s never that simple.

Here’s the fine print on this diet that is kicking up controversy:

Dr. Sanford Siegal from -– where else? -– South Beach, Fla., is the creator of the Cookie Diet. As you might have already suspected, you don’t just get to go out and eat whatever cookies you want. You have to order Dr. Siegal’s cookies, which contain ingredients that he says suppress the appetite and lead to weight loss.

But that’s not the only reason Dr. Siegal is creating controversy. Dr. Siegal was on "The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet" recently and suggested that people embark on an 800-calorie-a-day (!) diet consisting of his cookies and a pared-down, modest dinner. Of course, this flies in the face of everything the American public has been taught of late: that lasting weight loss comes as a result of small, sustainable changes to our diet, and that a 1- or 2-pound-a-week loss is what we should be reasonably shooting for. And you can see a panel of experts on the Mike and Juliet show jumping all over Dr. Siegal’s theory.

-- Rene Lynch

Photo by Ringo H. W. Chiu / For The Times