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English135 Research Paper

2713 words - 11 pages

Dieting in America: An Unhealthy Habit

Joshua Keith Gary
DeVry University
English 135
February 24, 2012
Tara Houston

Dieting in America: An Unhealthy Habit
Every year millions of Americans make a New Year’s resolution to begin a strict diet to lose weight and be healthier. Every year, many of those same people chose a one-size-fits-all fad diet and flunk out with in just a few short months, with some calling it quits within weeks. The truth is there is no such thing as the perfect diet for all consumers, yet we still follow the media, celebrities, and coworkers down the road of the most popular fad diet that promises the quickest gains. In the end we spend billions of ...view middle of the document...

There are many more resources much like this and we are surrounded by them. Social pressure can impose heavily on our subconscious and the motivating factors to follow the general public in fad dieting rituals are broad and far reaching. Men and women alike chose all sorts of reasons to undertake a crash diet, with weddings, reunions, and interviews being prominent examples.
We really need to understand what a fad diet is and how it can be categorized. According to an article on, “If you are trying to lose weight, you may be enticed by diets that claim they can help you lose a lot of weight in a short period of time or without a lot of effort. Many of these diets are called fad or crash diets because they aren't diets that you can follow for a lifetime and you will likely gain back any weight you lost once you are off the diet” (Holly, 2011, par. 4). As soon as we hear the word diet, we get hungry. So a fad diet is above and beyond healthy eating, it is a diet that is simply not sustainable for long periods of time.
A particular concern with following fad diets is the negative effects they often produce. So much of the weight lost while following a diet is gained back in a short period once the person abandons the program (Holly, 2011). Also, dramatic changes to our caloric intake can wreak havoc on our immune systems and cause complex health issues such as Type II diabetes. There are more efficient methods of altering our current diets to reach our goals and maintain healthy weight standards. The Atkins Diet™ is a perfect example of how fad diets can fail. People report unbelievable results when on the Atkins Diet™, they can eat bacon and beef and cheese and still lose weight! It’s amazing, just cut out the carbohydrates. One of the issues behind cutting out the carbohydrates and sticking to this diet is the horrible side effects both during and after the diet. Bacon, red meat and cheese alone can fill a body with cholesterol; they are essentially artery stoppers and can lead to serious conditions such as obesity and heart disease. That said, because of the fast results on the scale, millions of people were enticed to try and continue this diet. As soon as a person ties to take themself off this diet, they begin to gain back weight instantly. Their body has lost the memory on how to process carbohydrates and they turn into sugar, thus into fat which leads to immediate weight gain. Carbohydrates are not evil; they are energy and are necessary for a healthy lifestyle. The human brain is only fueled by the sugars from carbohydrates. Fitness trainers preach the 1-2-3 method, one part fat, two parts protein and three parts carbohydrates. This one fad diet, the Atkins Diet™, successfully convinced millions of people that carbohydrates are the axis of evil and all weight gain (Eckel, 2007).
Other factors to be considered when following a fad diet are the associated costs. These diets come in...

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