Fad Diets and their Prevalence in Society

While walking to class a couple weeks ago, my friend told me about her new 21-day diet that was guaranteed to make her loose 15 pounds or more. This was after her no carbohydrate diet ended three days in. And then it hit me; almost everyone I know has been on a fad diet at least once during their life and yet they are still unhappy with their body.

Why are “fad diets” becoming more and more the norm of the female, teenage diet? Why are we subjecting ourselves in order to achieve society’s idea of “skinny”? If these diets don’t work, then why do we continue to do them? These are the questions I hope to further investigate and analyze throughout this blog.

What are Fad Diets?


Women have been struggling with their weight for decades.

A Fad Diet is any weight loss program that promises rapid, dramatic results or allows you to eat only a select number of foods.  They all have a plan for a certain number of days, but do not tell you what to do once those days are done. This is why they never seem to work long term.

Fad diets have been around for centuries, however Lord Byron (1788-1824), can be considered the father of these diets. Horrified with fat, Byron kept himself on a series of strict, low-calorie diets. He even used cigars as appetite suppressants. The Lucky Strike cigarette company used this same idea when advertising in the 1920’s.  The company sought to attract young women who wanted to loose weight by suppressing their appetites. Although Byron’s idea of diet and fat were uncommon back then, in today’s society Byron’s ideas have become the norm.

Fad Diets and their growing popularity


Fad diets leave us feeling hungry and deprived.

We have all heard for years that the only way to loose weight is to eat healthy and exercise, so why do new diet crazes come out every week? We live in a world where there is a need for instant gratification, and these fad diets promise rapid weight loss. However, they do not promise that the weight will stay off. True weight loss takes time and requires patience.

Although many of us want to loose weight as quickly as possible, fad diets are not the answer. They can have negative effects on our health and, as Psychology Today explains, leave us heavier than we were before. In the weeks to come I will look at the most popular fad diets and offer healthy  alternative to these dramatic diet plans.




The Move to Digital Media

As the age of digital communication continues to rise, the traditional definition of journalism seems to be graying. When I think of the word journalism, I envision someone with pen and paper interviewing the witness of a crime. Today, however, the witness is the journalist. Regular citizens are now involved in both shaping and distributing hard hitting news stories.

Brian Carroll, author of Writing and Editing for Digital Media, defines journalists as those who “gather and share information, applying a discipline of verification in order to maximize the truth, minimize the harm, and to provide a fair and comprehensive account.” Everyday people are “journalists” without even knowing it, and their stories are the ones they post on social media including blogs, Twitter, and Facebook.

download (6)

Newspapers are becoming a thing of the past.

So if more and more citizens have access to become journalists on a variety of blog sites and social media, what does this mean for news papers? According to the Pew Research Journalism Project,  journalism and editorial jobs are significantly declining, while digital journalistic jobs are on the rise. In order for newspapers and other print sources to keep up they will have to make some changes. Brian and Carroll suggest gearing stories towards their audience, the elderly, or making the move from print to digital.

Digital Media: the Good and the Bad

As more and more print news sources transition into the digital world there are both pros and cons to consider. First let’s consider the benefits digital journalism provides us.

  • Instant Gratification – We all want to know what is going on, who is involved, and why it happened as soon as the event occurred. We, as society, do not have the patience to wait to see what  tomorrow’s headline in the newspaper will be. We want it now.
  • Engagement – Comment and twitter feeds allow ordinary people to get involved with the conversation. This lets citizens feel like they are contributing to the journalism process and helps articles spread. When someone decides to share on Facebook an article they saw on ABC, all of that person’s followers will see that same article on their news feed. This cycle continues and each time the number of views on that article increases.
images (6)

Digital Media makes information available at the touch of a button.

In short, digital media allows news to be seen and distributed quickly.

Now lets take a look at the negative effects of digital media

  • Quality – The quality of the article may decrease because trained journalists are not writing the  full story. Journalists are trained in ethical codes as well as checking for accuracy. . Regular citizens do not always take this into consideration and therefore inaccurate and biased stories are commonly distributed.
  • Comment Feeds – Comments on articles can spark unnecessary arguments or hurtful remarks towards a group of people. These comments can end up shadowing the article itself and decreasing its credibility.

The Digital age is upon us and whether we like it or not, print is becoming a thing of the past.