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Knowwaisting that long-term weight management to maintain good health is important, we should be able to determine whether the guidelines/programs of popular diets are set up to be healthy habits for a lifetime or a fad diet that is all hype and will provide only a short-term fix.

Health Risks Fad Diets, and Yo-Yo Dieting

  • Long term weight gain
  • Eating disorders
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies like anemia
  • Fatigue

Determining a Fad Diet

  • Does the diet promise quick weight loss?
  • Does the diet sound too good to be true?
  • Does the diet help sell a company’s product?
  • Does the diet lack valid scientific research to support its claims?
  • Does the diet give lists of “good” and “bad” foods?

If you can answer “YES” to any or all of these questions, the diet is probably a fad diet.

History of Fad Diets

Women’s Day report on Bizarre Diets in History:

  • 1727 – Avoiding Swamps
  • 1800’s – Starvation or Hysteria
  • 1820 – The Vinegar Diet
  • 1903 – Fletcherizing
  • 1925 – The Cigarette Diet
  • 1928 – The Inuit Meat-and-Fat Diet
  • Early 1930’s – Slimming Soap
  • 1954 – The Tapeworm Diet
  • 1960’s – The Sleeping Beauty Diet
  • 1961 – The Calories Don’t Count Diet
  • 1970s – The Prolinn Diet or the The Last Chance Diet
  • 1980’s – 2000’s – Breatharian Diet
  • 2000’s – The Vision Diet
  • 2000’s – Ear Stapling
  • 2000’s – The Cotton Ball Diet

Other Diets that Have Made the Rounds:

The Dukan Diet

  • Sources say royal members have followed it.
  • It has been a French Best-Seller for several years.
  • A diet with 4 stages, low in calories and high in protein.
  • Promotes lean protein, oat bran and water intake along with a daily 20-minute walk.

HCG Diet

  • Uses a hormone, (human chorionic gonadotropin) found during pregnancy, to help people lose weight & maintain weight loss.
  • 26 day treatment with 23 days of injections of HcG AND cut calorie intake to 500 Calories/day.
  • FDA-approved only for – fertility!!
  • Most report no fewer hunger pangs than those receiving a placebo and calories must continue to be low in order to lose more and maintain weight loss.

Low Carbohydrate Diets

  • Atkins Diet
  • Sugar-Busters Diet
  • South Beach Diet

soup

Cabbage Soup Diet

  • 7-day plan
  • Very few, specific foods allowed each day
  • Will lose 10-12 pounds in the week
  • Have not changed any lifestyle habits, and have lost mostly fluid
  • Soup and other allowed foods will cause gas

The Recommendations:

Assessment of weight and health risk involves using three key measures under the care of a physician or dietitian:

  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Waist circumference
  • Risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with obesity

A Healthy Weight Is Needed to:

  • Reduce your risk of disease and health problems.
  • Help you feel better physically and mentally
  • Helps you enjoy life

Choosing a Safe, Reliable Weight-Loss Plan and/or Choosing Good Health at Any Size

  • Healthy eating
    plans that reduce calories but do not forbid specific foods or food groups.
  • Tips to increase moderate-intensity physical activity.
  • Tips on healthy habits that also keep your cultural needs in mind, such as lower-fat versions of your favorite foods.
  • Slow and steady weight loss. Depending on your starting weight, experts recommend losing weight at a rate of 1/2 to 2 pounds per week. Weight loss may be faster at the start of a program.
  • Medical care if you are planning to lose weight by following a special formula diet, such as a very low-calorie diet (a program that requires careful monitoring frompeople-1230872_1280-1 a doctor).
  • A plan to keep the weight off after you have lost it.
  • Perhaps, weight loss is not the correct choice for you. Good health can be found at many sizes and choosing to live healthfully at a higher or lower weight may be the best decision.  Check out more at the University of New Hampshire.

Where to Look for Help:

  • Registered Dietitians
  • Primary Care Physicians
  • choosemyplate.gov
  • eatright.org

Author:  Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D., Ohio State University Extension, spires.53@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Daniel T. Remley, MSPH, PhD, Ohio State University Extension, remley.4@osu.edu

Sources:

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