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Dangers of Fad Diets
I know that in the long run dieting doesn't work. However, when I hear co-workers talking about the latest diet or I hear an advertisement for a weight loss plan, I can't help but think that it just might work this time. Any suggestions?
The marketing of fad diets is everywhere... billboards, radio, TV, magazines, diet books, grocery store products and end-of-aisle promotions. The media pressure to diet has significantly increased over the past 30 years and is bombarding us like never before. And these advertisements are irresistible indeed – making offers that you simply cannot refuse. Keep in mind, however, that the individuals who promote these diets are marketing professionals, not health care professionals! They know how to target your weaknesses and play on your desires to improve your current status. Marketers want you to believe that your happiness is at the end of their diet!
For chronic dieters, starting a new diet can become almost like an addiction. The whole process provides a euphoric high that encompasses the hopes, motivation and drive to once and for all get your life on track and lose that weight. When the diet fails, the dieter blames herself and self-esteem plummets. With a deflated sense of worth, dieters look outside themselves for hope, and will commonly find promise in the next diet. Thus, the downward spiral of diet addiction continues.
As you mentioned, dieting can become a strong social tie in certain circles. Girlfriends and co-workers often bond by going on the latest diet together. Refusing to participate can leave you feeling like an outcast.
When the lure of the next fad diet comes into play, keep yourself on the right track by remembering the following key points:
Our expert, Dr. Sharon E. Griffin, holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in the areas of exercise science/physiology. She also holds a second M.S. degree in Nutrition and is a licensed nutritionist and an ACSM certified health and fitness instructor.