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Are fad diets just fads?

Fad diet
Posted at 4:00 PM, Sep 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-09 16:00:00-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- More than one third of adults in America are obese so it’s no surprise that right now more than one million people in the United States are on a diet. In fact, helping people lose the pounds is big business for the weight-loss industry, 20 billion dollars big! So if you fall for a fad diet, you’re not alone. But do any of them do the trick?

Dieter Nate Young told Ivanhoe, “I’ve lost 49 pounds in the past ten months or so. “

Dieter Matt Epstein told Ivanhoe, “I lost like 25 pounds and I kept it off for about a year but then it just sorta crept right back up.

That seems to be the problem with fad diets. They just don’t stick.

Nadine Pazder, Registered Dietician at Morton Plant Hospital, told Ivanhoe, “It seems like many of them are just recycling what was done before.”

But Pazder has noticed some new twists like the gluten free diet. She says that this is meant for people who are diagnosed with celiac disease. It’s not a way to lose weight.

“Many of the gluten free products that are available tend to be higher in calories than their gluten containing counterparts,” Pazder told Ivanhoe.

Another trend is flexatarianism, which is a meal plan that includes vegetables, fruit, grains and chicken or fish. There is also the modified fast.

“In the long run I don’t know where they’re accomplishing anything because they are slowing their metabolism down during the week,” Pazder said to Ivanhoe.

According to the National Institutes of health, losing more than 3 pounds a week after the first few weeks could increase chances of developing gallstones. Also 800 calories a day, for a long time, could lead to heart problems.

Dieter Pat Fernandez says she’s tried it all. Now she says she doesn’t jiggle when she wiggles because she doesn’t use real sugar.

Fernandez told Ivanhoe, “In 3 months I lost 10 pounds. It’s the first thing that really worked.

Nate Young lost his 49 pounds thanks to prepackaged meals.

Is there a way to win the weight war? Pazder thinks the Mediterranean diet shows the best results. This consists of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, seeds, nuts, olive and canola oil, and an occasional glass of red wine.

“This seems to be a pattern that is going to have staying power,” Pazder told Ivanhoe.

So even though some fads may be fictional, there are ways to cater to the weight loss game.

According to the National Institutes of Health Research, reducing calories and increasing physical activity, you can safely shed up to two pounds a week. The NIH says most fad diets promote patterns of poor nutrition however.


BACKGROUND: Americans spend over 60 billion dollars a year dieting trying to take weight off, but that number has continued to increase over the past years. In 2010 Americans spent over 21 billion dollars on diet soda, over 19 billion dollars were spent at health clubs, over 3 billion dollars were spent at weight loss centers, almost 6 million dollars were spent on bariatric surgery, almost 3 billion dollars were spent on meal replacements and diet pills and over 2 billion dollars were spent on low calorie or diet food. About half of Americans are on some sort of diet. This means half of the United States is trying to lose or maintain their weight. A majority of these dieters try to lose weight on their own but 90 to 95 percent of people regain the weight they lost within 1 to 5 years. (Source: http://www.fitnessforweightloss.com/diet-and-weight-loss-statistics/)

OBESITY: Since over one-third of the United States is obese, that means a lot of the country is at risk for health problems. Obese people are more likely to develop heart disease, have a stroke, be diagnosed with cancer, or develop type-2 diabetes. In 2008, 147 billion dollars a year were spent on the medical cost of obesity. Middle aged adults are the main group who are suffering from obesity. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html)

FAD DIETS: There are a few fad diets that have become very popular in the United States. The paleo diet involves eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and eating mainly seafood, lean meat and healthy fats such as olive oil. Refined sugars and grains can’t be consumed. This can be bad for the body because it cuts out whole food groups like grains and dairy which means not getting all the vitamins your body needs. The raw food diet means eating mainly fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts and limits consumption of breads, pastas, eggs, and beans. Raw meat is also allowed in moderation. In this diet you only eat raw food and don’t cook anything. This is supposed to help weight loss as well as allow your body to get all the nutrients the food offers since none will be lost through heating. This is considered bad by some nutritionists because it eliminates food groups, and also is more of a risk because of bacteria and eating raw meat. The baby food diet is when you replace meals with jars of baby food. The problem with this diet is that this is meant for babies. Adults need different nutrients. You have to give up all real food and eat this pureed form of food. Nutritional imbalances are expected and very few calories are consumed. This diet also is hard to do for a long period of time. (Source: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2014/01/24/top-fad-diets-love-them-or-leave-them and http://www.webmd.com/diet/baby-food-diet)