Fad Dieting: How Bad is It?

Essay by mincollinsCollege, Undergraduate August 2009

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What is beautiful? An anorexic looking model or an everyday healthy, robust woman? The perceptions of what is beautiful are shaped by social constructions, the entertainment industry, the availability of fad diets and supplements meant to promote weight loss. The popularity of fad dieting has caused negative mental and physical health issues that must be brought to an end.

A person's diet is defined as "food and drink regularly provided or consumed", or "habitual nourishment" (Diet, 2009). When referring to fad dieting it is defined as a verb: "to eat sparingly or according to prescribed rules" (Diet, 2009). Diet fads are popular diets that are followed or consumed with enthusiasm by a large number of people.

There are many different types of fad diets on the market; each one having their own claim to help consumers lose weight. They range from the simple to the bizarre. The eight most popular diets at this time, according to the Medical News Today website are Atkins, The Zone, Vegetarian, Vegan, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Raw Food, and Mediterranean (Nordqvist, 2009).

Each of these diets have been selected because of the amount of material that have been written concerning them, their popularity, and the response they generate in regards to the website (Nordqvist, 2009). Some of the more out of the ordinary diets include the Cabbage Soup Diet, The Lemonade Diet, The Hollywood Diet, and a really popular one lately is the Acai Berry Diet. All of these diets make claims to reduce weight, but they may cause more problems than they solve.

The popularity of these diets is evident in the sheer volume of material that comes from every direction at the consumer. Each and every day there are articles in magazines with a super diet that is "guaranteed" to work. There...