About Fad Diets
About Fad Diets
Andrea Giancoli (Registered Dietician ) gives expert video advice on: How many Americans are on a diet?; What is a 'fad diet'?; Why are fad diets popular? and more...
How many Americans are on a diet?
Obesity Research, which is a well-respected journal, came out in 2005 stating that about 46% of women, and about 30% of men, initiate weight loss in any given year. With some other research that I've seen, Intel Marketing Group found that 62% of people are watching what they eat, and about half of those are watching what they eat because they're trying to lose weight.
What is a 'fad diet'?
A fad diet is a diet that's usually short-lived. It promises dramatic results with very little work. It often centres around one type of food or one type of eating behavior, and often tells you that you don't have to exercise or you don't have to give up your favorite foods. It usually sounds too good to be true.
Why are fad diets popular?
Fad diets are popular because they work in the short term. People do tend to lose a significant amount of weight in the beginning of doing a fad diet. They usually gain that back, but because they lose that weight in the very beginning, they believe in it and they want to try it.
How does a fad diet become popular?
Fad diets usually become popular, because we really think in the short-term. We see that somebody lost 20 pounds very quickly, and we want to lose that 20 pounds very quickly, and we ask them about how they did it. Or we hear about a celebrity who lost 20 pounds quickly so we immediately go to that fad diet. We hear these miracle diets, these fad diets, and we think, "Wow, I can lose weight that quickly! and I'm going to try it!" We're always willing to try that next thing that comes along.
How many people maintain weight loss from a fad diet?
Most people do not keep the weight off long term after they've gone on a fad diet. Ninety to ninety-five percent of the people gain it back. And most, about two-thirds of that, is gained back within just one year.
Why don't fad diets work long term?
Fad diets don't work long-term, because they are generally structured to be a quick fix. They're almost always very restrictive in calories or restricted in certain types of foods. They're very hard to follow in the long term. And once you stop that fad diet, you usually gain the weight back.
Why are we so obsessed with fad diets?
Americans are obsessed with fad diets, because we're always looking for that next quick fix. Sixty-five percent of our population is either overweight or obese, so we're all looking to lose that weight, and when we hear about something that sounds like something different, something new, we want to try it. We want to try and get that weight off with the latest fad. What stands out is, does it sound too good to be true? If it does sound too good to be true, it most likely is too good to be true.