Megna Nutrition Associates, Inc.

Published Articles

Published in: Metrowest Daily News
By: Camille Hendsbee, RD, LDN/Daily News Correspondent
Posted Apr. 21, 2015 at 5:05 PM

NUTRITION NOTES: Anatomy of a Fad Diet

   Maybe it’s a result of living in this fast-paced, drive-through, almost-anything-goes nation, but people are fixated on finding a magic bullet that will quickly melt their pounds away. All for no effort, please, and by the way, cost is not an issue. In regard to nutrition, this is where the fad diet comes in (or out, depending on which way you look at it).

   There have been so many different kinds of fad diets here in the United States, and it is an incredible moneymaker. If you look closely at these diets, sometimes it is the same regime or food plan presented yet again, but just under a different name. It is marketed very seductively to consumers because marketers know exactly which strings to pull. They know that emotions sell, so it’s off to the bank they go. By the time we realize the diet isn’t what it is cracked up to be, they are long gone.

   So, how can we spot a fad diet? Below are some key words you probably have seen before in those ads:

  • You can diet without having to exercise at all
  • Eat anything you want and still lose weight
  • After this plan – you’ll never need to diet again
  • Take this pill/cream/drink to block absorption of a certain nutrient
  • Rapid loss, lose 20 pounds in two weeks
  • One-size-fits-all diet works for everyone
  • Science-backed
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 100 percent safe
  • Bogus testimonials
  • Breakthrough science
  • Diets that eliminate certain foods or whole groups of foods
   So, what does someone wanting to get on a good health track do about all this? Many physicians refer their patients to someone who is licensed and registered as a dietitian. These are professionals who are specially trained and educated, qualifying them to put that "RD" or "LDN" after their name. They are also the only nutrition professionals that health care companies will reimburse for medical nutritional therapy counseling sessions, and for good reason.

   So, the next time someone by the vitamin counter or even on the Internet states that they are a nutritionist and they are not licensed and registered, use caution with the forthcoming advice.

   A wonderful physician I know once told me it is "better to learn how to walk without a cane than to have to depend on one." The truth is that great health takes time and patience, and you may fall several times only to be stronger and more determined when you get up again.    A great peaceful feeling should come to mind just knowing that a magic bullet doesn't exist. Gaining great physical and nutritional health is accomplished by balanced nutrition, exercise, patience and self-forgiveness whenever we have those fall-down days.

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