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Feature Articles: Weight Control


Be 100% Fad Free

Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist in Barton County, University of Missouri Extension



The American Dietetic Association (ADA) is encouraging us to be “fad free” in our food choices. The ADA defines a food fad as “an unreasonable or exaggerated belief that eating (or not eating) specific foods, nutrient supplements or combinations of certain foods may cure disease, convey special health benefits or offer quick weight loss.”


The thing we would all like to have is some quick easy way to lose 20 pounds that took us four years to gain. There just isn’t a pill or a quick fix out there for that. If you are able to lose weight on a fad diet, there is a good chance you will gain it right back because they are usually so strict it is impossible to stay on the diet for a long period of time.


The American Dietetic Association offers these suggestions for evaluating the quality of supplements, products or diets:


  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Be especially wary if a quick fix is offered.
  • Be wary of products that offer a guaranteed cure or promote “limited-time offers.”
  • Watch out for products that describe certain foods as “good” or “bad”. All foods can fit into a healthful diet. The key is in how often some foods are eaten and portion size.
  • Check to see if the source of the information, such as a book author, is also trying to sell a product.
  • If it is a diet, does it recommend that you should avoid certain foods or food groups?


If you really want to know if a product or diet is a sound one, check to see if it is based on science. It is based on science if it is backed up by a body of scientific research and not just one study. Check to see if scientific and professional organizations support the claims of the diet or product.


A healthful diet is one that includes a wide variety of healthful foods from all food groups. Avoid the “quick fix” plans. Instead, protect your health and seek proven long-term solutions.



Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009








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