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.




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