No 'quick fix' to dieting - warn experts


Dieticians have raised concerns about the never ending stream of celebrity endorsed 'quick fix' diets, which they claim send out the wrong message on healthy eating.

The British Dietetic Association believes the diets offer conflicting nutrition and health claims that do not stand up to scientific scrutiny. It says the public deserves sound advice on how to improve health and well-being rather than being misled.

This year has already seen an unprecedented number of celebrity endorsed diets and foods, often tied in with a promise of weight loss.

It warns that the products or diets are promoted on the basis of poorly run studies, or are merely a product of the marketing departments of companies with vested interests.

It also points out that food supplements, are considered foods, not drugs and that despite the pseudo-medical claims made for their usage, they remain under the auspices of food law rather than the robust Medicines Act, which would see many supplements banned altogether.

It believes that the public has become sceptical as well as confused by the range of healthy eating messages.

Dr Wendy Doyle, the association's national spokeswoman said: 'Some of the celebrity endorsed diets are okay, but others aren't. Vanessa Feltz's is quite sensible promoting taking more exercise and reducing your calorie intake.

'But the quick fix diets aren't good. Diets like the Grapefruit, Cabbage Soup, or Protein Power all encourage not eating certain food groups, leave you lacking in carbohydrates and mean you lose out on particular nutrients, which is not sensible.

'There are no magic solutions to losing weight. The message is to eat healthily, which involves cutting down on fat, sugar and alcohol, eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and make sure you exercise.

'While the quick fix diets may help you to lose weight in the short-term you are unlikely to maintain that weight loss and that isn't good for morale.'

TV presenter Vanessa's video 'If I Can You Can' follows the regime, which helped her slim down from 24 to a size 12 by losing six stone in five months with a basic healthy eating and fat-burning aerobic plan.

She turned to exercise for the first time since her school days when her husband of 15 years, surgeon Michael Kurer, left her in November 1999.

The Grapefruit diet lasts one to two weeks, involves consuming no more than 800 calories a day and claims to enable participants to lose 12-20lb.

On the new Cabbage Soup diet, if followed correctly, dieters can lose between 10-17lbs. The Protein Power diet helps you shed pounds by limiting carbohydrates. Dieters have to calculate the proteins they need by working out their lean body mass.

The association recommends that for reliable, unbiased advice on food, nutrition and health, you should turn to a qualified professional, like a State Registered Dietitian (SRDs).

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