Popular slimming programmes using special diets were recently praised by researchers to be effective and ‘carried no health threats’. This was reported in a recent issue of Nutrition Journal which showed that people not only lost weight but also received adequate nutrients.
Four commercial diet-plans were studied – Slim Fast, Atkins, WeightWatchers and Rosemary Conley’s Eat Yourself Slim diet.They praised the “effectiveness and nutritional adequacy in weight management for the general public.” Take a look at the results:
Average weight loss after eight weeks
- The study was over 8 weeks only. Can these diets be maintained long-term? Its known that once off the diet, weight-gain is the norm.
- Concern has been raised on the long-term unwanted effects of these diets, esp Atkins, South Beach, which promote a high-protein,low carb diet that causes acidicity leading to osteoporosis and kidney failure in susceptible individuals. Read more here.
- There is a risk of shortage of certain nutrients if these diets are for long-term. For instance, Atkins have been known to cause a shortage of iron, niacin and fibre, due to the lesser intake of cereals, flour and fibre-rich foods. Most diets do not recommend enough fruits and vegetables.
- Role models like Beyonce create a band of star-struck followers who are prepared to die to diet!
- These diets tell people in black-and-white simple instructions what to do; and many can identify with that.
- The promoters only highlight the positive studies and conveniently downplay the bad news.