The cube root of weight gain?

Everyone, it seems, is trying to figure out why people are getting so fat these days — and some aren't buying the notion that it's about eating too much and sitting on one's duff all day. They suggest we're getting fat because of an obesity-causing virus — or due to stress, lack of sleep, or some special, fat-promoting property of corn syrup. Now comes theory No. 300: We eat too much ice!

This interesting thesis is the brainchild of AJ Djo, a chemical thermal engineer and author of "The Hot Diet: The Real Reason You're Gaining Weight and How to Lose It Fast and Forever."

Djo's theory, according to a press release, is the product of "five years of intensive research into America's weight problem." He maintains that ice affects the metabolism in ways that make us pork up, and that the solution is to follow his "Five Hot Principles," which will "lengthen your lifespan, decrease obesity related diseases and give you more energy."

We'll admit that ice-as-the-scourge-of-America is a new one on us. (And thank heavens for global warming if that's the case.) But isn't the converse true? "I thought it made you burn calories," protested a friend when informed of the Djo book. After all, doesn't drinking cold water cool the body and force the expenditure of energy to warm it up again?

Indeed, this may be correct. You can read all about it at, wherein it is calculated that drinking eight glasses of ice-cold water will burn 70 honking additional calories daily. Coming soon: "The Cold Diet"?

— Rosie Mestel