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Unhealthy Fad Diets: Fact or Hoax Essay

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Updated: Apr 18th, 2022

Nowadays there is a massive amount of unhealthy diets that attract those who are looking to lose some weight. Almost every single diet promises to help quickly lose weight without any complications. Many of them can in reality undermine the person’s health and cause a physical imbalance in the organism, not to mention the mental frustration when the lost weight comes back.

The American Heart Association is strongly against fad diets as they have a negative impact on the person’s health. There are also some criteria outlined by the Association for recognizing a fad diet. These criteria include the miracle foods that are said to burn fat, when it the reality, food cannot burn any fact. Advising to eat only one type of food in unreasonable quantities is also an attribute of a fad diet because eating only one type of particular vegetable or seed can cause bloating, bad breath or imbalance in nutrition. Rapid weight loss is the probably the most prevalent promise that fad diets give to those who struggle with dieting. However, quick weight loss can be very dangerous over a long time period. Lastly, diets that do not require any physical activity are also probably false as in order to lose and then maintain the weight physical activity has to be an important aspect of planning the diet (Bastin, 2004, p. 1).

Personally, I have never tried a fad diet for two reasons: I am afraid of the consequences caused by this type of dieting, and I just don’t see a point in them. These types of diets claim that the body needs to get from all the bad toxins that undermine your health, while in fact if a human body could not excrete all the toxins, every single person will require a serious and dangerous medical intervention. According to Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, “the healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak. There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better” (cited in Mohammadi, 2014, para. 3).

To illustrate the way our body organs ‘detox’ us, it is appropriate to examine how the liver breaks down alcohol. First, the liver enzymes transform alcohol into acetaldehyde and then almost immediately into carbon dioxide and water, because acetaldehyde is extremely toxic and can damage the organism. As a result, the body then gets rid of the water and carbon dioxide that were created from alcohol break down.

To sum up, the industry of fad dieting and various cleanses or detoxes is successful because the public is very susceptible to such ‘quick fixes’. In a world filled with useful and not as useful information the majority is more than happy to put the responsibility of making health choices on those who seem to understand things better, even if they are not. Many of the decisions to try fad diets and cleanses are mere consumerist decisions that were made out of pure ignorance or supposition. Moreover, some may think that the people who offer fad diets are professionals that can guard from making any kind of mistake when it comes to the weight loss, when in reality, this is far from being valid.

References

Bastin, S. (2004). Fad Diets. Web.

Mohammadi, D. (2014). You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth. So how do you get healthy? Web.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Unhealthy Fad Diets: Fact or Hoax." April 18, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/unhealthy-fad-diets-fact-or-hoax/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Unhealthy Fad Diets: Fact or Hoax'. 18 April.

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