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Reliable Weight Control Programs and Fad Diet Information


For example, the Atkins' Diet allowed 68% of the overall diet to come from fat ... Atkins. Sugar Busters. Carbohydrate Addicts Diet. The Five-Day Miracle Diet ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Reliable Weight Control Programs and Fad Diet Information

Reliable Weight Control Programs and Fad Diet
  • Pennington Biomedical Research Center
  • Division of Education

General features A Diet Plan is sound if it
  • Provides recommendations that are safe and are
    supported by scientific evidence.
  • Suggests receiving a physicians approval prior
    to initiating the plan.
  • Improves overall health and shows positive
    changes in lifestyle.

Nutrition The Diet is nutritionally sound if it
  • Meets nutritional needs.
  • Includes a variety of foods and emphasizes low
    fat foods and adequate fluids (8 glasses a day?
    64 oz).
  • Encourages eating smaller portions of nutritious
    foods but minimizes hunger or fatigue.
  • Doesnt exclude entire classes of food items.

Nutrition The Diet is nutritionally sound if it
  • Includes reasonable amounts of fiber and complex
  • Reduces caloric intake to no lower than 1000
  • At this level, one should consume fortified
    foods and/or take multi
    vitamin-mineral supplement.
  • Recommends losing in the range of 1/2 to 2 pounds
    a week.

Nutrition The Diet is nutritionally sound if it
  • Avoids requiring special or costly supplements
    and foods and
    incorporates readily obtainable foods.
  • Avoids making claims about the superiority of the
    plan or a particular
    food or supplement.
  • Considers individual food preferences.
  • Promotes reshaping food habits and lifestyle to
    maintain weight loss.

Physical fitness The Diet Plan is sound if it
  • Includes suggestions for altering sedentary
  • Encourages engaging in daily aerobic activities
    that last at least half an hour.
  • Recommends physical activities that are safe and
    considers special health concerns.

Prior to Starting the Plan If any of the
following are true, the individual should seek
advice from a physician
  • He or she has existing health problems, such as
    heart disease or hypertension
  • He or she plans to lose weight as quickly as
  • He or she is over 40 years of age for men or 50
    years of age for women and plans to perform
    substantially increased physical activity

Social needs
  • Provides practical suggestions for modifying
    food-related attitudes and behaviors
  • Educates about the need to set realistic weight
    loss goals
  • Includes techniques to monitor progress
  • such as recording waist-hip circumferences,
    frequent weighing

Social needs
  • Builds positive self-esteem
  • Provides strategies for coping with setbacks,
    difficult situations, and non-supportive people
  • Offers opportunities for group support

  • Fad Diets

How to recognize a fad diet
  • 1. They promote quick weight loss.
  • 2. They limit food selections and dictate
    specific rituals, such as eating
    only fruit for breakfast or cabbage soup every
  • 3. They use testimonials from famous people and
    tie the diet to
    well-known cities, such as Beverly Hills
    and New York.
  • 4. They bill themselves as cure-alls. The diet
    claims to work for everyone, whatever the type of
    obesity or the persons specific strengths or

How to recognize a fad diet
  • 5. They often recommend expensive supplements.
  • 6. No attempts are made to change eating habits
    permanently. Dieters follow the diet until the
    desired weight is reached and then revert to old
    eating habits.
  • 7. They are generally critical and skeptical
    about the scientific
    community. They suggest that physicians and
    registered dietitians do not really want people
    to lose weight, encouraging people to look
    outside the medical establishment for correct

Types of Fad Diets Overview
  • Macronutrient Restrictions
  • Low or Restricted-Carbohydrate Approaches
  • Low-Fat Approaches
  • Novelty Diets

Types of Fad Diets Low or Restricted
Carbohydrate Approaches
  • Most common form of fad diet
  • The brain requires glucose for normal
    functioning, so when encountered with a very
    low-carbohydrate intake, it initially signals the
    liver to produce the needed glucose it isnt
  • The source of carbons to make this glucose is
    mostly tissue proteins.
  • This leads to protein tissue loss, as well as
    urinary losses of essential ions, such as

How it works
Types of Fad Diets Low or Restricted
Carbohydrate Approaches
  • Since body carbohydrates are lost which hold on
    to 4 times its weight in water, the dieter loses
    weight very rapidly via the loss of carbohydrates
    and fluids.
  • Low carbohydrate diets primarily work in the
    short run because they limit food intake.
  • Because individuals tire of the limited food
    choices, this leads to reduced eating in general.
  • However, when a normal diet is resumed, body
    carbohydrates and fluids are restored and the
    weight is regained.

Problems With Low or Restricted Carbohydrate
  • The plan does not include fruits, vegetables,
    and whole grains that nutrition experts point out
    are important components of a healthy diet.
  • Low-carbohydrate diet is not intended for
    long-term usage (no more than 4-6 weeks).
  • The plan includes excessive intake of animal
  • Individuals on this plan experience reduced
    exercise capacity due to poor glycogen stores in
    the muscle.

Problems With Low or Restricted Carbohydrate
  • A primary concern with this type of plan is the
    risk for metabolic
    dehydration, a type of dehydration which has
    nothing to do with what one eats or drinks.
  • Metabolic dehydration occurs when the body uses
    its own stores of carbohydrates and protein, both
    of which are stored with water.
  • This is the initial weight loss observed in low
    carbohydrate plans.
  • This form of weight loss is extremely stressful
    on the body and forces the
    brain to alter its metabolism.

Problems With Low or Restricted Carbohydrate
  • According to previous research findings, losing
    weight on these types of diets can lead to such
    serious health problems such as kidney stress,
    liver disorders, and gout.
  • These diets also increase the risk for
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Several types of cancer

Recent Finds
  • Researchers at the University of Kentucky
    analyzed a weeks worth of menus from people
    following the Atkins Diet and reported that the
    diet contained 59 fat and provided significantly
    fewer servings of grains, vegetables, and fruit
    than recommended by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.
  • A study recently reported in the American Journal
    of Kidney Disease found that very
    low-carbohydrate diets deliver a markedly high
    acid load to the kidneys that increases the risk
    for kidney stone formation and the potential for
    bone loss contributing to osteoporosis.

Recent Finds From the American Heart Association
  • The American Heart Association (AHA) issued a
    report in 2001 about the health consequences of
    high protein diets.
  • According to the AHA, restricting carbohydrate
    levels, while consuming large amounts of
    protein-rich foods that are high in fat, can
    increase the risk of heart disease, high
    cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, and certain kinds
    of cancer.

Recent Finds From the American Heart Association
  • AHA reviewed the protein and fat content of many
    of the most popular low-carbohydrate diets,
    finding that most of these plans greatly exceeded
    the AHAs dietary guidelines of 15-20 protein
    and only 10 saturated fats daily.
  • For example, the Atkins' Diet allowed 68 of the
    overall diet to come from fat with 26 coming
    from saturated fat.

Recent Finds From The American Kidney Fund
  • In 2002, The American Kidney Fund warned that
    high-protein diets have the potential to cause
    scarring in the kidneys, which have to process
    more waste from excess protein.
  • Based on new research conducted on endurance
    runners whose kidneys were studied after being on
    a high-protein diet, AKF stated
  • We have long suspected that high-protein weight
    loss diets could have a negative effect on the
    kidneys and now we have research to support our
    suspicions. Dehydration forces the kidneys to
    work harder to clean toxins from the blood.

Recent Finds From the American Institute for
Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund
  • States that diets high in saturated fat increase
    the risk of prostate and colon cancer
  • In addition, high-protein diets tend to be low in
    protective dietary fiber, which has been linked
    to a lower risk of lung, oral, esophageal,
    stomach, and colon cancer.

Examples of Low or Restricted Carbohydrate
  • Dr. Atkins
  • Sugar Busters
  • Carbohydrate Addicts Diet
  • The Five-Day Miracle Diet
  • Protein Power
  • Enter the Zone
  • Endocrine Control Diet
  • Healthy For Life
  • The Doctors Quick Weight Loss Diet
  • Woman Doctors Diet for Women
  • Miracle Diet for Fast Weight loss
  • Calories Dont Count
  • Four Day Wonder Diet
  • The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet

Types of Fad Diets Low Fat
  • Less than 20 of energy is coming from fat,
    usually only 5-10.
  • There is limited (or elimination of) animal
    protein sources also all
    fats, nuts, and seeds.
  • Dieters eat primarily grains, fruit, and
    vegetables, which most people
    cannot do for a very long time.
  • Eventually, the individual wants some foods
    higher in fat or

Problems With Low Fat Diet Plans
  • Little satiety
  • Flatulence
  • Possibly poor mineral absorption from excess
    dietary fiber
  • Limited food choices sometimes leading to
  • The diet is so different from the typical
    American diet that many adults fail to follow

Examples of Low Fat Diet Plans
  • The Rice Diet Report
  • The Macrobiotic Diet (some versions)
  • The Pritikin Diet
  • Eat More, Weigh Less
  • The 35 Diet
  • 20/30 Fat and Fiber
  • Fat to Muscle Diet
  • T-Factor Diet
  • Fit or Fat
  • Two Day Diet
  • Complete Hip and Thigh Diet
  • The Maximum Metabolism Diet
  • The Pasta Diet
  • G-Index Diet
  • Lean Bodies
  • Outsmarting the Female Fat Cell

Types of Fad Diets Novelty Diets
  • Some novelty diets emphasize one food or food
    group and exclude almost all others.
  • The Rice Diet was designed in the 1940s to lower
    blood pressure now
    it has resurfaced as a weight-loss diet.
  • The first phase of this diet consists of eating
    only rice and fruit until you cant stand them
    any longer.
  • Another novelty diet is the Egg Diet, on which
    you eat all
    the eggs you want.

Novelty Diets Rice and Egg
  • The rationale behind these diets is that you can
    only eat eggs, fruit, or rice for just so long
    before becoming bored, in theory, reducing your
    energy intake.
  • However, it is more likely that you will abandon
    the diet entirely before losing much weight.

Novelty Diets Information
  • The most bizarre of the novelty diets proposes
    that food gets stuck
    in your body.
  • Their basis is that food gets stuck in the
    intestine, putrefies, and creates toxins, which
    invade the blood and cause disease.
  • Examples of this type of novelty diet include
    Fit for
    Life, the Beverly Hills Diet, and Eat Great, Lose

Novelty Diets Information
  • Fit for Life proposes that meat eaten with
    potatoes is not digested and that fresh fruit
    should be consumed only before noon.
  • They are gimmicks that appear controversial but
    are really designed to sell books.
  • And most importantly, there is No Research or
    Scientific Evidence backing up these claims.

Problems With Novelty Diets
  • They promote certain nutrients, foods, or
    combinations of foods as having unique, magical,
    or previously undiscovered qualities/
  • Malnutrition
  • No change in habits leading to relapse
  • Unrealistic food choices leading to possible

Examples of Novelty Diets
  • Dr. Abravenels Body Type and Lifetime
  • Fit for Life
  • Dr. Bergers Immune Power Diet
  • The Hilton Head Metabolism Diet
  • The Beverly Hills Diet
  • Dr. Debetz Champagne Diet
  • Sun Sign Diet
  • Eat to Win
  • Cabbage-Soup Diet
  • Eat Great, Lose Weight
  • The Ultrafit Diet
  • Two Day Diet
  • Paris Diet
  • Eat Right 4 Your Type
  • 3 Season Diet
  • Metabolize

  • Fad diets fall under the category of quackery,
    people taking advantage of others.
  • Usually involves a product or service that costs
    a considerable amount of money
  • Often times, those offering the product or
    service dont even realize that they are
    promoting quackery, because they were victims
  • An example would be an individual who tried the
    product and by pure coincidence it worked for
    them, so they want to sell it to all of their
    friends and family.

Quackery Tips
  • If in the near future an important aid for weight
    loss is discovered, you can feel confident that
    major journals, such as the Journal of the
    American Dietetic Association, the Journal of the
    American Medical Association, or The New England
    Journal of Medicine, will report it.
  • Usually, quackery only reduces the bank account
    however, it can lead to life-threatening results.
  • The rule of thumb on seeing a new diet aid on the
    market is that If it sounds too good to be true,
    it usually is.

Other Popular Diet
Moderate Calorie Restriction General Overview
  • Usually 1000-1800 kcal per day, with a moderate
    fat intake
  • Reasonable balance of macronutrients
  • Encourages exercise
  • May use behavioral approach
  • Acceptable if vitamin and mineral supplement is
    used and permission of family physician is granted

Examples Moderate Calorie Restriction
  • The Setpoint Diet
  • Slim Chance in a Fat World
  • Weight Watchers Diet
  • Mary Ellens Help Yourself Diet Plan
  • The Beyond Diet
  • Staying Thin
  • The Calloway Diet
  • Living Without Dieting
  • Volumetrics
  • Lose the Last 10 pounds
  • Dieting with the Duchess
  • Dieting for Dummies
  • The Wedding Dress Diet
  • Dr. Shapiros Picture Perfect Diet

Very Low Calorie Diets General Overview
  • Less than 800 kcal per day
  • Also known as protein-sparing modified fasts
  • Must be under close physician scrutiny

Very Low Calorie Diets Problems
  • Organ tissue losses- especially from the heart
  • Low blood potassium could lead to heart failure
  • Expensive to follow
  • Potential for kidney stones with rapid weight
  • Potential for Gout

Examples Of Very Low Calorie Diets
  • Ultrafast
  • Thin So Fast
  • Optifast
  • Cambridge Diet
  • HMR

Formula Diets General Overview
  • Can help people who find it easier not to eat
    whole foods while dieting to lose weight
  • Based on formulated or packaged products

Problems With Formula Diets
  • No change in habits are observed.
  • Possibly leading to increased chance of relapse
  • Expensive
  • Often leading to constipation

Pre-measured Diets General Information
  • Most food supplied in pre-measured servings takes
    much of the decision making out of the process of
  • Expensive
  • May not allow for easy sound eating later

Example Of Pre-measured Diet
  • Jenny Craig

  • http//
  • Wardlaw G, Kessel M. Perspectives in Nutrition.
    5th ed. 2002
  • http//
  • http//

Pennington Biomedical Research Center Division of
  • Heli Roy, PhD, RD
  • Shanna Lundy, BS
  • Phillip Brantley, PhD, Director