Fad Diets (Diet Quackery)

Following is an article written by Tom McCullough MEd., MSS which appeared in National Bodybuilding and Fitness Magazine

Weight control is a very big issue for many Americans. At any given time 25% of and 44% of women are trying to shed some unwanted pounds. Because of this, millions of dollars are made by those who sell the latest "fad diet." Most of these diets do not work and only offer the dieter a quick fix. Some are actually harmful and contain blatant misinformation.

You may then wonder how this can be legal. Why doesn't the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) go after these people? Well the FDA is too busy to pursue every new fad diet plan. So much of the responsibility must then be given to the authors and publishers to police themselves. Of course we should all be forewarned that their only interest, in most cases, is to sell lots of books and earn lots of money, and they are very much aware that there are little or no risks involved with their schemes. Most all of these unscrupulous authors also know that making outrageous claims sells more than books than writing "eat less and exercise more." That is just way too simple to understand or believe.

So with this in mind, you might ask, "How do we recognize a fad diet?" Well, sometimes this is not as easy to do. Many of these authors use catchy titles or phrases and neat buzzwords like "breakthrough", "discovery", or "scientifically engineered." Some even offer guarantees . Before and after pictures are very common in marketing these fad diets. However, the latest trick is to use distorted or exaggerated research studies. Many of these people take small sections of information in medical journals and then bend it and shape it to sell their diet. Others even use doctors, athletes, or other seemingly credible people to endorse their diets. Do any of these tactics sound familiar? "Caveat emptor" which is a Latin phrase meaning "LET THE BUYER BEWARE."

The following are some things to ask when you are selecting your diet:

If your diet answers yes to any one of these questions, you may be looking at another worthless fad diet.

So what can one do to soundly lose those unwanted pounds of fat? My suggestion is only choose a diet that has the following characteristics:

So with weight control being such a big concern among many Americans, we should all be aware that there ARE NO QUICK FIXES. If your diet plans do not include all of the above suggestions, you may have just purchased another worthless fad diet. "Caveat emptor" LET THE BUYER BEWARE!

Elite powerlifter Tom McCullough MEd.,MSS of Excel Sport Nutrition, Inc., specializes in strength and conditioning for sport, sport nutrition, weight loss, and personal fitness, and is a consultant for the International Sport Sciences Association, a national certification agency for strength coaches and personal trainers, and also works as a full-time physical education instructor and football coach. Info: TMccull230@aol.com

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