• Denine Rogers

Nutrition Fads and Foibles

Alot of people I know has been telling me that they want to lose weight but it seems that they have been moving towards the quick weight loss schemes out there. Every day new products and diets appear most of them promising either increase energy, relief from a newly invented “illness” or quick weight loss. Authors of nutrition books are celebrated on TV talk shows, while products are “systems” are offered at inflated prices. Some recent food fads and fobiles include include megadoses of vitamins, the theory that sugars causes hyperactivity, food allergy theories and special “magic” substances that promote energy and weight loss.

Exaggerating a Valid Claim

Sometimes a valid nutritional idea becomes a fad and is overdone. When oat bran was found to play a role in limiting cholesterol, manufacturers rushed in with extravagant claims for their oat-bran products, many of which contained levels of at and sugar inconsistent with total nutritional value.

How To Decide

To separate the valuable from the fraudulent or just plain worthless, ask a few questions:

  • Is the product or treatment being promoted by someone who has something to gain from it, such as the sales of books, special foods or supplements that can’t be supplied by anyone else?

  • Are nutritional claims backed up by research in reputable medical journals, or are they supported by a trained nutritionist or a registered dietitian?

  • Does the treatment or “special diet” require eating a large amount of certain nutrients or restricting the diet to only certain foods?

  • Too Good To Be True?

There is no easy way to boost your energy and well-being or to lose weight. Food fads that seem too good to be true probably are. Food fads that seem too good to be true probably are. A basic rule of good nutrition is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all the food groups, avoiding high-fat and sugary foods. Before swallowing the claims-or the products-of talk-show guests, ask yourself the questions above. Nutrition fads may have some elements of truth but can rarely support a safe, effective and complete weight-loss or nutrition program.

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