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Fad diets can be restrictive and lack evidence from research.

Misconceptions and myths

You may have heard the saying: ‘a good diet is a sustainable diet’.

Despite this simple logic, consumers, health professionals and scientists are equally fascinated by a wide range of dietary trends, including fad diets.

Many highly restrictive diets that involve exclusion of food groups are often lacking evidence on long-term health impact and cannot be recommended as safe and sustainable.

Fad diets

Fad diets often promise a quick fix to health-related issues, from weight management to improving skin tone. But they are also often unrealistic or unsustainable, based on limited or no scientific evidence at all.

Moreover, some fad diets could be dangerous, such as the Cigarette Diet, which advertised tobacco smoking to manage weight in the 1920s.

Other diets, might not present any direct health risks, but still are very restrictive and lacking scientific foundations. For example, in the Cabbage Soup Diet, people consume large quantities of vegetables with limited amounts of other foods (eg, rice, beef or fruit).

Your task

Explore the fad diet timeline, which summarises dietary misconceptions in the past 200 years.

Share your thoughts on the different dietary trends and fads with other learners in the comments section.


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This article is from the free online course:

Food and Mood: Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition

Deakin University