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Fad Diets. The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. Why Is America Gaining Weight?. We’re eating too much We’re getting too little physical activity. The Lure of Fad Diets. Promise of quick weight loss Less hunger Unlimited amounts of some foods. Fad Diets Are Not New.

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Fad Diets

The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service

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Why Is America Gaining Weight?

  • We’re eating too much

  • We’re getting too little physical activity

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The Lure of Fad Diets

  • Promise of quick weight loss

  • Less hunger

  • Unlimited amounts of some foods

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Fad Diets Are Not New

Many are recycled weight loss plans from the ’70s:

  • The Stillman Diet

  • Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution

  • The Scarsdale Diet

  • Airforce Diet

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Popular Fad Diets

  • Atkins

  • South Beach

  • Protein Power

  • The Hamptons Diet

  • The Zone

  • Sugar Busters

  • Dr. Phil’s Ultimate Weight Solution

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Low Carbohydrate Diets

  • Based on the myth that carbohydrates are bad and cause weight gain

    • May include unlimited portions of meat, poultry, fish, cheese, and eggs

    • Restricts fruits, many vegetables, grains and milk products

Lo Carb Ice Cream

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Are Low Carbohydrate Diets Recommended?

  • These major health organizations recommend eating more fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, not low carb diets:

    • The World Health Organization

    • National Cancer Institute

    • American Heart Association

    • American Diabetes Association

    • American Dietetic Association

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Do Low Carbohydrate Diets Work?

  • “Quick weight loss” due to fluid loss

    • Regained when carbohydrate intake resumes

  • If you eat fewer calories on any diet, you’ll lose weight

    • Very limited food choices

    • Foods often eaten in excess are prohibited

    • Use of “low carb” processed foods increases calories

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Are Low Carbohydrate Diets Harmful?

  • Deficient in important nutrients

  • High in cholesterol and saturated fat

  • Possible risk of dehydration, kidney stones, bone loss, heart disease, certain cancers, and kidney disease

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Promise quick weight loss

Cut out certain foods or food groups

Sound too good to be true

List “good” and “bad” foods

Make weight loss claims using personal testimonials and not scientific evidence

Contradict major health organizations


Beware of Fad Diets

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Fad Diets Do Not Perform Magic

  • There are no quick fixes

  • There are no foods that have special properties that cause weight gain or weight loss

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Words of the Wise

  • Remember the tortoise in The Tortoise and the Hare:

    “One step and another. I am slow but I am steady. And I am the winner !”

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Lose Weight the Healthy Way

  • Eat a variety of foods

  • Include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day

  • Eat small portions

  • Limit sugary foods

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Lose Weight the Healthy Way

  • Limit foods high in fat, especially saturated fat, and cholesterol

  • Be physically active for at least 30 minutes most days

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Points to Remember

  • Fad diets do not perform magic

  • Fad diets can be harmful

  • Calories count

  • Lifestyle changes are important

    Best advice: Become more physically active and eat smaller portions of a well-balanced diet