Fad Diets: Lifestyle Promises and Health Challenges

  •  Jomana Khawandanah    
  •  Ihab Tewfik    


Chronic excess of dietary intake combined with reduced energy expenditure increase the positive energy balance. This transition in behaviour contributes significantly to prevalence of obesity, impairment of health, reduction in quality of life and increases health-care costs. While obesity has turned into a public health threat, with the government failing to reverse this growing trend, good number of people is undertaking fad diets with the hope to lose weight fast and easy. Furthermore, media and peers contribute to the popularity of fad diets as they put pressure to individuals who desire a certain body image, which leads to low self-esteem and perhaps eating disorders. Despite the fact that fad diets may appeal as simple way to lose weight, recent studies have shown that such diets in the long term are unsustainable and can bring adverse side effects to health. Consideration of the reviewed literature suggests that long-life changes in diet and lifestyle might be the best approaches to maintain a healthy weight in the long term. Overweight individuals should consult nutrition professions before adopting any fad diets to minimise the health risks and psychological impacts.

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