A practicing nutritionist called on the public not to be fooled by the so-called fad diet because of its potential health hazards to the individuals who practice the various types of fad diet.
Jennilyn Anacioco, nutritionist and dietician of the Hospital ng San Jose, said that the characteristics of fad diets are quick fix for long-term problems; missing food groups; absence of physical activity; rapid weight loss; inconsistent scientific evidence; detrimental for those with chronic diseases; maintenance issues; promote short-term changes and nutritionally inadequate.
Anacioco was one of the resource persons during the launching of the 45th celebration of the nutrition month with the theme ‘Healthy Diet Gawing Affordable for All’ which aims to promote food and nutrition security, especially affordability and ensure the right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food and be free from hunger.
She claimed that fad diets sound too good to be true, with simplistic conclusions drawn from a complex study and recommendations based on a single study.
Further, fad diets rely on recommendations based on studies published without peer review, list of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, recommendations from studies that ignore differences among individuals or groups, offer no supporting evidence apart from personal success stories, imply that food can change body chemistry, recommendations made to help sell products, recommendations on magical fat burning effects of foods such as the grapefruit diet or hidden ingredients in foods like caffeine/coffee diet or alleged fat burning substances such a green tea extract or raspberry ketones, suggest substituting everyday foods or food groups for expensive doses of supplements, expensive ingredients or special products such as the bulletproof diet or weight loss injections and recommends eating food only in particular combinations based on one’s genetic type or blood group diet.
Among the popular fad diets include Atkins diet, ketogenic diet, paleolithic diet, and intermittent fasting.
Anacioco explained that fad diets are still rampant because people are after quick results, people promoting and following fad diets are confident and perceive themselves to be more knowledgeable, powerful market campaigns through testimonies, social media influence and nutrition and dietetics practice in the country is overshadowed.
Instead of practicing fad diets, she recommended that people must consult registered nutritionists and dieticians for their nutrition assessment for proper diet prescription with considerations of preferences for suitable diet regimen without too much restrictions, observe sustainable diet with low environmental impacts and lawmakers to further strengthen the nutrition and dietetics law and make specific rules and regulations for their practice.
Anacioco asserted that fat diets are actually not advisable but what is important is for people to be able to seek the proper advice from experts to avoid their health from being compromised by false beliefs in believing into the practice of fad diets.