Fad Diets Continue to Wreak Havoc on Nutrition, but the Solution is Easier than You Think
The answer is that they’re each a basis for some of the weirdest fad diets around, and only a handful at that. It’s true that fad diets have existed for a long time, and no matter how often they get debunked people still fall for them left and right. It seems like we know what makes a fad diet a waste of time, and we know the various food choices we should be making, but we still fall prey.
March is National Nutrition Month, and it’s all about finding the ways to make the best food choices for the utmost nutritional benefit. Let’s look at these diets to try and figure out why we still fall prey. At Farotech, we see it all the time, so here’s a hint: it lies in the marketing.
- The Grapefruit Diet, AKA the Hollywood Diet – Grapefruit itself isn’t a bad food choice at all, in fact like its other citrus relatives, it remains a great source of Vitamin C (as well as other vitamins, calcium, and more). Problem is, for decades now it has regularly resurfaced as a magical weight-loss food, guaranteed to drop pounds when combined with a bit of protein. In reality, the weight loss only comes from how restrictive the diet is – you’re basically just starving yourself, making the diet a devious gimmick.
- The Baby Food Diet – While not necessarily a weight loss plan, this is surprisingly not a completely made up diet for the sake of a good blog. The name itself usually suffices to deter most wary folk, but brave dieters venture boldly forward into the fray. The diet’s logic can’t be blamed – babies are fed only the most essential nutrients, so a diet of baby food could only be full of good things, right? Well yeah, partially. The 5th state of matter known as baby-food glop was only created because they need to be fed that way due to their sensitivity. Also, baby food is extremely processed, giving it tons of unnecessary carbs to add to your intake.
- The Cotton Ball Diet – Finally we have the mysterious and unsettling Cotton Ball Diet. In the early 2010s the cotton ball diet went viral online, unfortunately becoming popular primarily amongst young girls in the 9 – 16 y.o. range. Finding themselves under a lot of social pressure to stay slim, girls found the cotton balls to be a tempting and even trendy way to drastically limit food intake. Usually dipped in a liquid, like a juice or soup, the cotton balls served as a carrier for food, and made you quickly feel full. The fad quickly began to be less of a diet, and resemble more of a dangerous eating disorder.
Notice any patterns? Each of these diets is marketed specifically to channel your attention to an obscure solution for an age-old problem. Everyone loves an outside-the-box idea, and when weight loss has already proven too difficult, fad diets start to look pretty promising. During National Nutrition Month, the challenge should be to redefine where we find the reward in a diet. This has everything to do with how the diet is marketed.
At Farotech, we understand that effective marketing benefits from quickly grabbing the customer’s attention, but that doesn’t mean the customer has to be deceived. The grapefruit diet targeted the curiosity for obscure foods and their benefits. The baby food diet channeled simplicity, regardless of cost. The cotton ball diet, unfortunately, targeted social norms and self-image.
This National Nutrition Month, don’t be afraid to go the extra mile in choosing the right diet, for your sake, and for the sake of countless others who are walking right alongside you. Find more helpful info at Nutrition Month’s website, and don’t fall prey to the fad!