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Worst Winter To Fly; Tiger Mom Strikes Again; "Tiger Mom" Strikes Again; Twins Test Different Diets

Aired February 4, 2014 - 08:30   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Add to that all of the delays and all the other issues that you had to deal with. And that doesn't even include the 2,000 canceled flights Monday. And with multiple storms in the forecast, this week could be yet another travel nightmare. CNN's aviation correspondent Rene Marsh has more.

You've been looking into it, Rene. So it begs the question, has this been the worst travel period yet?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, you know, it has been pretty bad for travelers when you look at prior years, recent years. And a lot of analysts say, yes, you know, just this January alone, we saw a lot of people with canceled flights. We're talking about this past January, 30 million people's flights canceled.


MARSH (voice-over): Yet another winter storm once again proving, when snow fall, planes stop flying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We found out that we were - the flight had been canceled until 6:00 a.m. in the morning.

MARSH: In fact, last month was the worst January for flight cancellations in years. According to flight tracking site, Flight Aware, a staggering 40,000 U.S. flights were canceled in January. That's four times more than the past two years. Nasty weather is partly to blame, like this storm that buried New York's JFK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said it's going to be a couple of days before the next flight to Toronto. So I just booked myself a bus ticket.

MARSH: And the one that froze Chicago's O'Hare, grounding planes and freezing fuel pumps.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last time I saw my luggage was in Chicago when we rechecked it. It was three days ago. Four days. Four days ago.

MARSH: More airlines are now pre-canceling flights to avoid flying in bad weather. That would risk planes and passengers getting stuck or snowed in. Federal rules also cause cancellations. Airlines don't want to risk passengers waiting too long on the tarmac. That could net fines of more than a million dollars. Some analysts also blame the new rule requiring pilots get more rest between shifts. DANIEL BAKER, CEO, FLIGHTAWARE.COM: Everyone is in favor of more safety and certainly passengers want their crew to be rested. But there's no question that when a pilot can work fewer hours in a week and can work fewer hours in a day in between flights, there's going to be more delays and cancellations.


MARSH: All right. Well, you know what, it, already at this point, feels like such a long winter. And as that weather starts to move in, we're expecting even more delays and cancellations on top of what we've already seen. So far today, as far as cancellations, over 500.

Chris and Kate.

BOLDUAN: Rene, you've got one of the toughest assignments. Every time you're out there it's because something that is not good is happening, you poor thing. Thank you very much.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up on NEW DAY, tiger mom is back with a controversial new book. Does your cultural group determine whether you succeed in America? She's here with her co-author, who's also her husband, to say, yes, it is all about your culture group. And other than a few groups, the rest of you are losers, me included. So you know we're going to get into it.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, twin brothers test two diets. One gave up sugar. The other gave up fat. So which one worked best? They're going to be joining us live with their results. You'll wanted to hear it.



CUOMO: All right, welcome back to NEW DAY.

Tiger mom Amy Chua made headlines for her 2011 book pushing what some called severe parenting. Well now she's back with another provocative book co-authored this time by her husband and it's call "The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America." In it, they suggest certain groups are more successful than others because of three specific traits. You're looking at them. The superiority complex, insecurity and impulse control. The authors say there is research that support it, critics say it's racism.

We have Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld with us this morning. And thank you very much.

AMY CHUA, AUTHOR, "THE TRIPLE PACKAGE": Thanks for having us.

CUOMO: Let's flip the discussion that you usually wind up having about this book. Isn't by definition - it is racism. It's about whether you are ascribing negative traits to races. But you are inherently saying certain groups have advantages over others, right?

CHUA: Now -

JEB RUBENFELD, AUTHOR, "THE TRIPLE THREAT": Well, first of all, this book is opposite of racists. We show that there are African-American groups and Hispanic groups far outperforming the national average, outperforming the white average. The whole book is written to show that what's propelling success has nothing to do with race. People who are succeeding come from all different backgrounds, skin colors.

Look, the thing is that, there's what we know about the economy. It's tough. Inequality is rising. Yet the striking fact is that all across America there are these groups, and there are many, not just the eight that we focus on. There are many groups where people are still succeeding, people are still rising. And our point is, let's look at that. Let's see how they're doing it. Because if we're afraid to look at that, how are we going to learn anything?

CUOMO: Right. But then why shy away from what makes it provocative? If you're Jewish or Indian or Chinese and you have these indicators and you see the data behind it, then what's wrong with saying these groups do better than the groups that aren't those groups?

CHAU: Oh, that we don't have a problem with. It's just --

CUOMO: But that's inherently making groups superior to others on the basis of performance.

CHAU: I don't think so. See, I think there's a difference between saying some groups are superior in some innate way and that they're just doing better right now. And the important point is that these groups change over time. You know, 10 years from now there will be different groups. Twenty years before, they were different groups. This is very dynamic.

CUOMO: That's the important point, the groups change.

CHAU: They change.

CUOMO: All right, so let's discuss that. Let's talk about the factors and why you'll see some kind of malleability (ph) in terms of who succeeds over time.

CHAU: I think the second factor is really important, this is kind of - what we're calling insecurity.

CUOMO: Insecurity.

CHAU: And this is the opposite of being entitled. It's this feeling like, you know what, I haven't done enough yet. I need to prove myself. And I think in America today, in some ways we shy away from that. Just accept yourself as you are. You know, but what's wrong -

CUOMO: Everybody gets a trophy.

CHAU: Yes. And what's wrong with saying, you know, I want to be better? That's a very American trait. An impulse control is about discipline and perseverance. CUOMO: OK.

CHAU: And those can be taught by - you know in groups of any background.

CUOMO: Well, they would have to be taught, to your theory, right? I mean - you know, Jed, that's part of the dynamic is, you're dealing with a cultural set-up within a family where these things are ingrained in a way that is unusual, right?

RUBENFELD: Well, one of the most fascinating thing we found, OK, so Asian American kids, you know, they famously get better grades, they score better than other kids in the United States and -

CUOMO: And that is true. You look at the data, it's true.

RUBENFELD: It's true. It's verifiable, matter of fact. But then researchers dug down and they looked at third generation Asian American kids, no difference whatsoever in their performance. So this tells you right away, forget the model minority stereotype.


That's a myth. It's nothing innate. Something is happening in those households which is driving those kids and we're saying, we can figure that out. Let's look at that and learn from it.

CUOMO: So you're saying, in America, there's something happening in those households or not happening that is changing what used to lead to success. What's changing?

CHAU: Well, there are a lot of factors. Part of it is just success. In any group or county, as soon as you get a little bit more comfortable, it's natural to not be so desperate and hungry. But what I want to stress is, at the end of the day, our book is about individuals. You know, of course we learn what the traits are by looking at the groups that are doing well today.

But I had an e-mail from somebody who said, you know, I'm from a Dominican Republic family and my single mother instilled every one of these qualities in me. And, you know, he has his own business. So it's really very accessible.

CUOMO: But you're saying that the data shows the groups do stack up?

CHUA: Some are doing better.

CUOMO: And you look at it -

CHUA: Quite starkly (ph).

CUOMO: So superiority means, what, that there's an expectation?

CHUA: Yes, sort of in the household context. It's a sense of being special and exceptional in some way. And, you're right, a lot of this is high expectations. Think about the concept of high expectations. It combines both superiority and insecurity, which is, you have it in you. You can be the best. But you haven't done it yet. You need to work hard and prove yourself. It's both.

CUOMO: I'll tell you what, you know, you talk about what's not happening in America now. when it comes to parenting, you do hear that a lot of people have gotten away from that. Everything you do is good, Johnny. Everything you do is good. Everybody gets a trophy. You know, you're going to find your own individual success. We don't like standards. Everybody is different.

RUBENFELD: Well, for about 30 or 40 years, the psychologists and sociologists, they really believed that if you instilled self-esteem in kids, that would do the cure to all problems. They'd do better at school, they'd have less psychological problems. And the amazing thing is, all the evidence now refutes that. I mean it's almost scary.

It turns out that it's not correlated with better performance. In fact, if you increase self-esteem in kids, it tends to be associated with worse performance. They've done controlled experiments where they give kids self-esteem boosting messages and they do worse afterwards.

CHUA: But that's a certain self-esteem defined a certain way. It's unearned self-esteem.

CUOMO: Right.

CHUA: You know like you - just what you were saying, that you are perfect. You don't need to do anything for it. You just are.

CUOMO: Now, here's what this made me wonder about when I was digging into the book. And I feel that I come from a family, ethnocentric or not, where these values are really important. I don't know about the first one, but in terms of, you know, you better earn it. You know, every day is a desperate day. Every success is failure averted.

You know, so, you know, like that kind of intensity of thought. And I was like, I wonder why this worked, because I don't know that it makes you happy. And it's interesting how you guys define success, what parameters you use.

Do you think, just because you're successful, you may not be happy. You look at these kids, especially in the Asian communities, you see higher anxiety levels, depression, untreated, level of who gets treated is lower. How do you figure that in?

CHUA: Well, we're -- the book is actually pretty textured. We have a whole chapter on the cost of this kind of drive.

CUOMO: Success doesn't mean happy?

CHUA: It doesn't mean happiness, but it also doesn't mean you're not happy. Interestingly, with Asian Americans, they have higher level of stress, but the lowest suicide rate despite - so it's such a complicated terrain. And, you know --

CUOMO: Maybe low on suicide, but it doesn't mean you're not depressed, that you're anxious that there's a lower happiness in this.

CHUA: Absolutely. Absolutely. And the idea of always needing to prove that you're better -

CUOMO: Right.

CHUA: Is actually a very anxious feeling. It's not that pleasant all the time.

CUOMO: So we have to think about our definition of success. I mean that's another thing we deal with, with the kids, which is what gets us into the everybody gets a trophy problem, is you want your kids to be happy, right? Everybody parent - every parent says it. I don't know that my parents would have said it. I think they would have said, I think, we want him to be educated, we want him to have a job, be responsible and give back to society.


CUOMO: With me, I'm always saying happy. I'm I just being PC (ph)?

RUBENFELD: Well, I don't know. Here's how I define success. Achieving your goals whatever they are. We focus on material success in the book, it's true, but for two reasons. One because it's something you can measure and quantify. And, two, because for a lot of people, material success is one of their goals. And an important one for themselves, their families, but the triple package we think can propels success of any kind, including the kind that's defined by service to your community or to your country.

CUOMO: Yes, it's a very interesting concept. It's all very interesting and it's certainly worth a read if you're one of those kinds of people who wants to figure out what matters going forward, you know, and what you can do. But it does raise this interesting question of how we see success versus what's happiness and fulfillment.

CHUA: You know you were saying that you don't know what - where -- about the first one, the superiority complex. But I think your family exemplifies the best kind of a superiority complex, which is one based on your own hard work and striving. That if I feel superior, not because I'm part of any group or ethnicity but because I overcame adversity or I overcame something. I challenged myself. And that's one way into the triple package for everybody.

CUOMO: All we do is look for adversity. We see adversity where there is none. But there are Italian Americans on here, I was looking at the list, of like just like the top nine. I didn't see any Italian Americans. Am I out?

RUBENFELD: You know, the one -

CHUA: They're in the top 20 (ph).

CUOMO: (INAUDIBLE) Cuban exile, Nigerians -

RUBENFELD: There are literally - there are literally dozens of groups that are outperforming the average.


CUOMO: They're in there. OK.

RUBENFELD: Italians are quite successful. And we could have talked about lots of them.

CUOMO: We've got to go, but I'll tell you what, you should read the book just to see if you're the average because then you're in real trouble, I'll tell you that right now.

Mich, over to you.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, that puts me at a slight disadvantage, doesn't it? A little bit of everything. Thought provoking conversation, Chris, thank you.

We're going to take a short break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, twins doctors put diets to the test. One went low carb, the other went low fat. So who had the best results? We'll talk with the pair coming up next.



PEREIRA: This song probably inspired these twins, I feel.

Welcome back. Really interesting what we're going to talk about here. So many people wonder which diets really work for them personally. What if you had like another version of you to test things out on?

Well, after Xand Van Tullexen gained weight -- a little bit of weight, he realizes he and his twin brother Chris knew very little about losing weight and eating healthfully. So they set upon a unique experiment. Going on very different diets for one month and then compare the results.

Well, Xand Van Tullexen is here. His twin brother Chris is in London looking as handsome as handsome can be -- the two of them. Let's explain it.

Xand, you cut out carbs and sugar. And Chris, you cut out fats. Correct? Did I get that right so far.

XAND VAN TULLEXEN: That's right, for a month, I had no carbs, no sugar. So basically I lived on meat, cheese, eggs.


PEREIRA: That sounds like the no fun diet. Chris, you cut out what?

VAN TULLEXEN: I just cut out fat. So I could eat pretty much everything. My food looked normal but eating was a pretty joyless experience. PEREIRA: Which is interesting because the two of you both lost weight. How much weight did you lose -- Dan?

X. VAN TULLEXEN: I lost much more. I mean, I thought I was really winning. So at the end of the month I lost eight pounds. Which is -- eight pounds in month, I've been able to eat as much as I wanted. I actually -- I ate steak for dinner most nights and I felt pretty good. And I had -- my energy levels were low but fairly constant through the day so I didn't have these spikes.

PEREIRA: As compared to Chris?

CHRIS VAN TULLEXEN: I lost two pounds. And so at the end of the diet before we went back to the researchers and discussed the results, Xand was convinced he should stay on his diet. But this -- this I think is the key thing is that although Xand lost weight, by every other measure, his diet has been bad for him.

PEREIRA: In fact you ended up sort of pre-diabetic?

X. VAN TULLEXEN: Yes, so I got to --

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: That's astonishing -- a month?

X. VAN TULLEXEN: And you would think that if you cut sugar you would move away from diabetes --

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

X. VAN TULLEXEN: -- less stress on your pancreas, your insulin system all of that. And instead my body was going to work very hard to deal with all the fat I was taking. All my fat -- most of my calories were coming from fat.

PEREIRA: Well, talk about that real quick though. The sugar -- did you cut out everything, fruit, juices --

X. VAN TULLEXEN: I cut out vegetables. So literally it was meat, cheese, eggs and fish I guess were really the only things I ate. And so -- this would not be a sustainable or even a healthy diet for a long period of time.

What was striking was completely eliminating sugar, I was still bad -- I was much worse at processing sugar at the end of the diet than when I went in.

BOLDUAN: So you obviously both learned a lot. I mean this was a really interesting experiment and it would maybe easier to follow because you were really eliminating one thing.

Chris, what do you think is the biggest take away that you had though? Clearly these extreme diets are not some way to live. What did you really learn do you think?

C. VAN TULLEXEN: I guess the key thing is trying to find one simple solution and vilify one macro-nutrient like fat or sugar is in the end going to cause you problems. And diet is a complicated subject but trying to seek a simple solution is very difficult.

CUOMO: You're both doctors?

X. VAN TULLEXEN: Yes, both physicians.

CUOMO: All right. So there's that although, you know, as we were joking before physicians aren't always the best patients.


X. VAN TULLEXEN: Oh yes. Terrible patients -- but don't know that much about nutrition.

C. VAN TULLEXEN: Speak for yourself.

CUOMO: What did movement matter in this? Did you exercise regularly or did you do nothing?

X. VAN TULLEXEN: We did what we were normally doing, so normal amounts. We're both in reasonable shape.

CUOMO: Yes, you look pretty fit. So I'm saying -- because movement's pretty important.

X. VAN TULLEXEN: Exercise is really, really important. So the big take home messages for us were probably the reason we're all getting -- not all of us, you guys look great -- but in general obesity are rising. It's not because of any one molecule fat or sugar which is the story we've been telling folks. Rather that processed food is very hard to stop eating. It affects your brain in different ways. It's designed to be almost addictive. So avoiding that and then exercise is also really, really important. It does all kinds of good things for you.

BOLDUAN: So essentially the hardest way possible.

X. VAN TULLEXEN: I know. I should have just --

BOLDUAN: No, no, now. That's why it's a hard problem.

PEREIRA: Chris, let me ask you, going forward, what are you both going to do differently now?

C. VAN TULLEXEN: I think for me, one of the really interesting things, of Xand's four pounds of weight loss, two of those pounds were muscle. So he ended up not functioning, you know. He was less able to work well. We did various IQ tests, cognitive tests. He was less accurate on them. His diet was pretty antisocial. He's less functional then. He was less able to exercise -- felt less like it.

And his diet was pretty anti-social. And so for me any (inaudible) that you're going to go on has to be sociable, it has palatable and you have to do it for the rest of your life.


C. VAN TULLEXEN: A lot of people have been on ultra low GI diets and they've lost a lot of weight, but they usually put it back on.

PEREIRA: Has it increased sibling rivalry is the most important question?

BOLDUAN: I was feeling I was seeing it right here.

CUOMO: I feel like Chris was slapping you around. Making it in the context of science.

X. VAN TULLEXEN: It's really funny actually. In fact what's really nice --

C. VAN TULLEXEN: I should say he's normally much worse than me at everything.

X. VAN TULLEXEN: I'm just happy to have a better version of me out there in the world.

CUOMO: Very nice.

X. VAN TULLEXEN: If I can't do it at least, you know, he's like me.

PEREIRA: Xand, Chris, this is fascinating. We appreciate you both sort of throwing your bodies into this for mankind. Very cool and you both look great.

BOLDUAN: You do.

X. VAN TULLEXEN: Thank you very much. It's lovely to see you.

PEREIRA: Thanks so much both of you for joining us.

C. VAN TULLEXEN: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right. Let's take a break here coming up, some park officials clear away the blankets and sleeping bags used by homeless people on one of the coldest days of the year. You don't like it, right? Wait until you hear what made them do it and we'll tell you why it's actually the good stuff, coming up.



CUOMO: All right. Now a lot of the media spends time telling you about the bad stuff that's coming out of Washington. There's good reason for that. But you know what -- there's not just bad stuff, there's good stuff coming out of there as well. And that's one of the things that motivate this is story.

Here's the story. A woman walking through the park on one of the coldest days of the year notices a city worker tossing the wet and dirty blankets that homeless people used the night before into a big can. She thought they were being thrown away. She was angry.

The next day in that same she noticed something amazing -- all of the blankets laundered and folded and put neatly away on a nearby park bench. She snapped this photo which has been liked on Facebook more than a quarter of a million times.

PEREIRA: Really?

CUOMO: Because while it may seem extraordinary, it turns out it's nothing new for D.C., Washington D.C. which has a program to provide blankets to homeless people who won't go to shelters and launder the blankets of those who already have them.

The photo has inspired others to pay a bit more attention to the blankets that the homeless people use. That includes a local dry cleaner in Pennsylvania. And here's what they're doing. They're going to donate cleaning services to shelters, a group of neighbors who are sewing sleeping bags out of moving pads and a company in Texas that now plans to donate 600 sleeping bags to shelters this season.

PEREIRA: Bad flu season, bad winter, the combination is desperate for --

BOLDUAN: It's been such -- it's been talked about. It's a horrible winter.

CUOMO: Right. And important to note D.C. has a very extensive shelter system but there are a lot of people who don't want to go in for various reasons, good and bad. So there are alternatives.

PEREIRA: Way to go D.C.

CUOMO: Washington D.C. doing the right thing by those who need help the most --

BOLDUAN: A rare addition to the good stuff.

CUOMO: And others pitching in. Good stuff. Good on you people. Love the government, love everybody else for chipping in. Love you for being with us on NEW DAY.

The time for "NEWSROOM" with the one and only good stuff personified Carol Costello.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you I'm honored. Have a great day.

PEREIRA: You too.

COSTELLO: "NEWSROOM" starts now.


COSTELLO: Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me. We begin this hour on Wall Street where in 30 minutes we'll see how well we can recover from a staggering loss yesterday.