Dole releases second banana-based weight loss plan

Inspired by the Popularity of Japan's Morning Banana Diet, Dole's Go Bananas 2-A-Day Challenge(TM) offers a healthier version for Americans looking to shed holiday pounds.

Inspired by the Popularity of Japan's Morning Banana Diet, Dole's Go Bananas 2-A-Day Challenge(TM) offers a healthier version for Americans looking to shed holiday pounds.

It was so popular in Japan that supermarkets couldn't keep bananas on the shelves. Now a healthier version is available to Americans thanks to the fruit and nutrition experts at Dole.

It's the Go Bananas 2-A-Day Challenge(TM), created by the Dole Nutrition Institute as a healthier sequel to Japan's Morning Banana Diet that swept the island nation by storm in 2008 and 2009. Originally conceived by an Osaku pharmacist to help her overweight husband lose 38 pounds, the diet led to a nationwide diet frenzy and widespread banana shortages in Japan after the spouse posted his dieting success on a leading social network.

Dole's expanded version, part of larger multimedia initiative created for the New Year by Dole Fresh Fruit of Westlake Village, Calif., substitutes well-balanced meals and nutritious recipes for the "all-you-can-eat" approach popular in Japan. Going beyond the customary two-banana morning routine, Dole nutritionists created a comprehensive two-week regiment of lunches, dinners and snacks to help participants boost their energy, increase their intake of fruits and vegetables, and improve their overall health while they lose weight.

Go Bananas 2-A-Day Challenge is actually the second banana-based plan created by the Dole Nutrition Institute to facilitate weight loss and improved overall health. Shortly after the Morning Banana Diet surfaced in Japan, Dole introduced its own, more comprehensive program in 2009 which served as the basis for this latest Challenge.

"Sumiko Watanabe, the pharmacist in Osaka, was definitely on to something since we know that increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables in general, and bananas in particular, can help support healthy, sustainable weight loss," says Nicholas Gillett, Ph.D., of the Dole Nutrition Institute. "What we did at Dole was expand this simple principle into a well-balanced, two-week plan that can serve as the basis for a long-term healthy lifestyle."

Go Bananas 2-A-Day Challenge participants begin each day with two bananas and at least eight ounces of water, a combination that specifically aids in weight loss. "Bananas contain resistant starch which ferments in your large intestine and creates by-products that block conversion of some carbohydrates before they can be added to your body as extra pounds," said Gillett.

According to Gillett, banana fiber creates extra bulk in the stomach, allowing participants to feel full longer -- and less hungry overall. He says the fiber acts like an internal accelerator that pulls some of the fat in the stomach through the digestive system before it can be absorbed.

The Go Bananas Challenge follows the morning banana routine with 14 new lunch and dinner recipes that combine lean chicken or fish with fresh DOLE(R) fruits and vegetables, low-fat cheeses, wheat pasta, long-grain rice and salads.

For more information on the original Dole Banana Diet, created in 2009 by the Dole Nutrition Institute, go to For more information on DOLE Bananas, including recipes, serving suggestions and nutritional information, go to

About DOLE Bananas DOLE is the top-selling banana in America and the world - in both conventional and organic product categories. From its founding by James Drummond Dole, the company has built its reputation on a ceaseless commitment to quality. Today, the DOLE brand stands for more than 150 years of quality produce - and the world's largest supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables, including bananas. Dole strives to grow, produce, harvest, transport and distribute its bananas and other produce in the most environmentally and socially conscious way possible.

About Dole Foods Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research. For more information, visit

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