A German Light Eater | Current Affairs | DW | 09.05.2005
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Current Affairs

A German Light Eater

Some people swear by strange fasting diets. But now a German seems to have come up with the ultimate low-caloric nutrient.

It might get a bit monotonous

It might get a bit monotonous


German mass-market paper Bild usually likes to splash marriage scandals or society gossip across its front page, but on Saturday, no randy royal seemed exciting enough to compete with Michael Werner.

"Scientific Sensation?" the headline asked cautiously, only to be followed by the mind-boggling news: "Researcher Subsists on Light."

Werner, a chemist from the central German city of Braunschweig, claims that he has not eaten a thing for the past four years. He says he started by not eating or drinking anything for a week and then limited himself to water and diluted orange juice. After another week of juices, he said his body had adjusted to the food-free life.

Berliner geniessen die Sonne auf einer Liegewiese im Tiergarten

Over-indulging?

"I can't explain it, either," Werner told the tabloid, adding that he even put on weight since switching to natural light as his source of nutrition. "Apparently light energy can be turned into nutrition if one really believes it."

Werner claims that he now drinks about 1.5 liters (about 3 pints) of water, juices, tea or coffee each day.

But even Bild, which loves a good sensation, had to get a second opinion on the matter.

"I don't believe that's possible," Helmut Oberritter, the scientific director of the German Society for Nutrition, told the paper, adding that Werner must lack proteins and fatty acids.

More light, anyone?

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