The answer: Fat. Women, too. After one year, they're about 17 pounds heavier.
For Utah taxpayers, it's a weighty issue. Growing numbers of overweight and obese inmates are contributing to spiraling health care costs in the state's prisons.
By one doctor's estimate, the Utah Department of Corrections spends as much as $2 million a year on food inmates don't need.
While the Food and Drug Administration recommends 2,000-calorie diets for people with active lifestyles, Utah prisoners, both men and women, are fed a 3,000-calorie diet, said Kennon Tubbs, a prison physician.
And they don't exercise. One recent survey revealed that fewer than 5 percent of women at the prison regularly work out.
The result is that many inmates who are healthy when first incarcerated later develop problems such as hypertension, high cholesterol and acid reflux related to their poor diet and lack of exercise, Tubbs said.
In 2004, the Utah Department of Corrections spent more than $80,000 on medications such as Glipizide, Glucophage, Protonix and Enalapril - all used to treat obesity. It spent an additional $34,105 on Lovastatin alone, a cholesterol-lowering agent.
Tubbs said he has pitched to prison administrators a comprehensive health program that would include nutritional education, care for the clinically obese and prevention. At the heart of the program: a prisonwide 1,600-calorie diet, plus mandatory exercise.
The vault of goodies: To begin to understand the weight problem, visit "the vault" inside the prison kitchen.
Behind locked doors are Little Debbie Snacks such as Cherry Cordials, Christmas Tree Brownies and Holiday Marshmallow Treats stacked ceiling high. Up to four of these delectable desserts show up on inmates' lunch and dinner trays every day.
"That's like the nutritional value of nothing," Tubbs said.
There is no monetary value for taxpayers, either, he said. The snack cakes alone cost the prison $125,000 a year. How about Frito Lay chips? Try $117,000.
Tubbs said scrapping the snacks and placing inmates on a more balanced diet would save Corrections money on food and health care costs.
Not everyone is on board. Warden Clint Friel said taking away inmates' sweets could incite a riot.
"You get one riot, you're into it millions and millions of dollars," he said. "We're here to manage the unmanageable."
The warden said even if the prison were to slim down food portions, inmates could still buy junk food from the commissary.
"I don't want to use food as a form of punishment," Friel said. "Their punishment is a lack of freedom, the separation from society. But they still have their constitutional rights."
But Dani Eyer, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, said inmates' caloric intake is not on the organization's radar screen.
"There are many issues dealing with prison inmates' treatment. Excess caloric intake would not be on our top 10 list," she said.
Eat less, exercise more - it works: In September, Tubbs put his health plan to the test. He placed 30 women on a 1,600-calorie diet and asked them to exercise five days a week for three months.
Little Debbie Snacks and chips were replaced with snack bags full of carrots, celery and apple slices. The women did push-ups and sit-ups, and ran laps around the prison track.
It wasn't easy, they say. Other inmates heckled them, hurling candy bars onto the track in an attempt to derail their diets.
But their hard work paid off. One woman lost 31 pounds. Two dropped 29 pounds. The rest shed an average nine pounds.
Since the first study, 60 more women have opted to go on the 1,600-calorie diet and exercise plan. They say losing weight has raised their energy levels and resurrected their sex drives.
"My self-esteem is just, like, up here now," said inmate BobÂette Spann, holding her hand near her head. "It feels so good. The plus-size department is out."
Spann, 35, lost nearly 40 pounds. She can see her neck now and her back pain has disappeared. Now Spann keeps a daily log of what she eats. One of her charts is taped to the kitchen wall near the dishwasher, where she is assigned to work.
"I think it [a prison-wide diet] would be good for women and women's health, and help keep drug usage down," she said.
In a survey of 79 women at the prison, 46 percent said they used methamphetamine on the outside for weight loss. Almost as many women - 48 percent - said they would do it again once they're released to shed pounds.
"If we can substitute their drug addiction and food addiction with an exercise addiction, they will not be as likely to return," Tubbs said.
The prison, however, needs to provide equal facilities to women, he said. While men have a fully equipped gym, the women have one stationary bike and a StairMaster. The doctor said equipment donations from the community would be welcome.
Richard Garden, clinical director for the Department of Corrections, said inmates are often resistant to change. But placing them on a healthier diet is a good policy decision.
"When we do make changes, we really reap the benefits," he said.
A weighty issue
After 12 months of incarceration, men gain an average 34 pounds; women gain an average 17 pounds.
The Food and Drug Administration recommends 2,000-calorie diets for people with active lifestyles. The Utah Department of Corrections feeds its prisoners 3,000-calorie diets.
With a 44 percent reduction in portion size, the Utah Department of Corrections could save an estimated $2 million a year in culinary expenses.
The prison's annual Little Debbie snack cake spending: $125,000. Frito Lay chips: $117,000.