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Encyclopedia > Food faddism

Food faddism and fad diet refer to idiosyncratic diets and eating patterns. For other uses, see FAD (disambiguation). ...

Note: the term "food fad" has an alternate positive connotation, namely, short term popularity among restaurants and consumers of an ingredient, dish, or preparation technique.



A fad diet is believed by its practitioners to improve health. It is often promoted by parties that publish books about the diet, or sell specialized ingredients or supplements that are part of the diet, despite being unconfirmed by legitimate scientific studies. A fad diet may do nothing at all, or even have an adverse result if it is nutritionally unbalanced or otherwise unhealthy. Weight loss experts such as Richard Simmons, who tried numerous diets in his youth at the cost of his health, strongly discourages them as not only unhealthy, but also counter-productive in the long term. For the scientific journal named Science, see Science (journal). ... Weight loss, in the context of medicine or health or physical fitness, is a reduction of the total body weight, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue and/or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon and other connective tissue. ... For other persons named Richard Simmons, see Richard Simmons (disambiguation). ...

Belief in fad diets by adherents is often irrational. Many individuals who adhere to fad diets will not consider recommendations made by nutritionists and dieticians[1].

There are three categories of food fads. Some food fads incorporate a combination of categories:[1]

  1. The virtue of a particular food or food group is exaggerated and purported to cure specific diseases, and is therefore incorporated as a primary constituent of an individual’s diet.
  2. Foods are eliminated from an individual’s diet because they are viewed as harmful.
  3. An emphasis is placed on eating certain foods to express a particular lifestyle.

Zen macrobiotic diets were once considered to be the most dangerous type of food faddism[1]. George Ohsawa, in his book Zen Macrobiotics, promoted a 10-stage diet to create a spiritual awakening or rebirth. The nutritional plan claimed to prevent and cure all diseases. The 10 stages of dietary restriction gradually eliminated certain foods such as animal products, fruits, and vegetables; emphasis was placed on whole-grain cereals. Each stage had a recommended percentage of each type of food group to include in the diet. By the tenth stage, cereals constituted 100% of the dietary intake. Nowadays, such extreme guidance is not found in macrobiotic diets, though. George Ohsawa (born Joichi Sakurazawa; kanji: 桜沢如一; on October 18, 1893; d. ...

Extreme faddist diets often lack the energy, suitable protein, fat-soluble vitamins, and some minerals that are essential for growing children. Parents forcing children to adhere to fad diets to the point of severe nutritional disorders is considered a form of child abuse.[2] Child abuse is the physical, sexual, or emotional maltreatment or neglect of children by parents, guardians, or others. ...

Scientific view

Many forms of food faddism are supported by pseudo-scientific claims. Fad diets claim to be scientific but do not follow the scientific method in establishing their validity. Among the scientific shortcomings of the claims made in support of fad diets: A typical 18th century phrenology chart. ...

  • not being open to revisions, whereas real science is[3].
  • observations that prompt an explanations are used as evidence of the validity of the explanation[3].

Some in the scientific community comment that food faddism is born of ignorance about basic scientific dietary facts. The evidence supporting weight loss enhanced by anything other than caloric restriction is lacking[4]. There is also a lack of evidence to support that fad diets produce sustainable weight loss. Fad diets generally ignore or refute what is known about fundamental associations between dietary pattern and human health[4].

List of fad diets

Diets commonly accused of faddism:

Some diets, like Atkins and Weight Watchers, have actually been vindicated, but may prove risky if practised without proper knowledge. book The Atkins Nutritional Approach, popularly known as the Atkins Diet or just Atkins, is a popular but controversial high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. ... A breatharian is someone who believes that food (and possibly water) are not necessary for human sustenance. ... The South Beach diet is a diet plan started by Miami, Florida-area cardiologist Arthur Agatston which emphasizes the consumption of good carbs and good fats. Dr. Agatston developed this diet for his cardiac patients based upon his study of scientific dieting research. ... The Nutrisystem Diet plan is a send you the food diet plan. ... Weight Watchers NYSE: WTW, founded in the 1960s by Jean Nidetch, is a company offering various dieting products and services to assist weight loss and maintenance. ... The Grapefruit Diet also known as the Hollywood Diet, an 18-day diet, dates to 1930 Hollywood. ... Jenny Craig, Inc. ... Macrobiotics, from the Greek macro (large, long) and bios (life), is a dietary regimen that involves eating grains as a staple food supplemented with other local foodstuffs such as vegetables and beans. ...

See also

In nutrition, the diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. ... The updated USDA food pyramid, published in 2005, is a general nutrition guide for recommended food consumption for humans. ... Measuring body weight on a scale Dieting is the practice of ingesting food in a regulated fashion to achieve a particular objective. ... Dieting myth is a common misconception of the strategies that help to achieve weight loss and then maintain a healthy weight. ... A typical 18th century phrenology chart. ... Pietro Longhi: The Charlatan, 1757 Quackery is a derogatory term used to describe questionable medical practices. ... Maintaining a healthy diet is the practice of making choices about what to eat with the intent of improving or maintaining good health. ... This 1992 food pyramid diagram can still be found on much of the food packaging in the United States The improved American food guide pyramid, informally known as the food pyramid, was a nutrition guide created by the USDA. Released in 1992, the food pyramid suggested how much of each... The USDA food pyramid as of 2005, showing the food groups according to that organization The food groups are part of a method of classification for the various foods that humans consume in their everyday lives, based on the nutritional properties of these types of foods and their location in... Cheetos The Luther Burger, a bacon cheeseburger which employs a glazed donut in place of each bun. ... Fast food is food prepared and served quickly at a fast-food restaurant or shop at low cost. ... A sugar crash is a concept in American folk medicine and refers to a feeling of tiredness which can occur after eating a large quantity of sugary foods. ...


  1. ^ a b c McBean, Lois D. M.S., R.D. and Elwood W. Speckmann Ph.D. (1974). Food faddism: a challenge to nutritionists and dietitians. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 27, 1071-1078.
  2. ^ Roberts, I.F., West, R.J., Ogilvie, D, and M J Dillon. (1979). Malnutrition in infants receiving cult diets: a form of child abuse. British Medical Journal: 1(6159): 296–298.
  3. ^ a b Carey, S (2004). A beginner's guide to the scientific method. Third Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
  4. ^ a b Katz, D.L., (2003). Pandemic obesity and the contagion of nutritional nonsense. Public Health Reviews: 31(1):33-44.

External links

  • Food Faddism Medicdirect - Comprehensive UK Health Information
  • Nutrition Quackery/Faddism Columbia College
  • How to Spot a Crazy and Ridiculous Weight Loss Method
  • FadDiet.com a humor site reviewing some of the more common fad diets
  • The Lose Weight Diet the "anti-fad" weight loss diet plan
  • cultural analysis of food faddism
  • Fad Diets

  Results from FactBites:
BIGpedia - Food - Encyclopedia and Dictionary Online (2349 words)
Food is any substance normally eaten or drunk by living organisms.
Food for livestock is fodder and traditionally comprises hay or grain.
This is underpinned by the WTO enforcement of agricultural subsidy, tariffs, import quotas and settlement of trade disputes that cannot be bilaterally resolved.
  More results at FactBites »



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