Fad Diets, a Danger to Physical and Mental Health

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

The concern we have for our physical appearance is almost natural, what should draw our attention and raise an alert is when our concern is excessive, because there is a risk of harming our physical and mental health for the sole fact of being accepted by others or to get more “likes” on social media.

Moreover, it is that reaching the beauty standards established by society has made people obsess in such a way that they end up feeling great discomfort and unhappiness when not meeting the supposed expectations. This excessive worry has been related more to psychological causes such as low self-esteem and low self-acceptance.

Wanting to lose weight or wanting to have a better physical appearance is not something negative, the negative is when we cannot distinguish between the alternatives to do it, which are appropriate and which are not. Therefore, due to the desire to lose weight quickly, we enter the market of Fad diets.

Fad diet “is that sneaky ad you see in the grocery store that promises to change your life right now. Diets often promise a boost in confidence, self-love, or even romantic relationships[LP1] .” According to the University of Georgia[LP2] , there are five dangers of following these diets: They are too restrictive, you could be missing essential nutrients, they can be expensive, they are not sustainable and they could actually cause weight gain.

OSU, the portal of the Oklahoma State University affirms that “miracle diets” generally have the following characteristics: Promote a quick fix, promise dramatic results, restrict or eliminate a particular food or food group, severely restrict calories, forbid or overly encourage one particular macronutrient such as protein, carbohydrates or fat, promise rapid weight loss, promote detoxification, cleansing or fasting, promote liquid meal replacements, are based on personal experiences or a single research study, have rigid and unmanageable rules.

The Oliver-Pyatt Centers shows us some figures on dieting and eating disorders[LP3] : In America, people spend more than $60 billion on dieting each year; among people aged 14 and 15 years, dieting was the strongest predictor of eventually developing an eating disorder; more than 12% of high school girls use diet pills and other substances to control their weight without permission from a doctor; and 7.8% of girls and 2.9% of boys admit to inducing vomiting or using laxatives to control their weight.

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, as well as regular physical activity, will be more effective than subjecting your body to a miracle diet for a week before summer. On the contrary, you will feel satisfaction by achieving results little by little and will increase the motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle.





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