Publication Details

Probst, Y. & Thorne, R. L. (2009). Unveiling dietary fads and trends in weight management. Cardiology in General Practice, 7 (Feb), 16-17.


Weight management plays an important role in the risk reduction of lifestyle disease and may be adequately addressed through the diet. Fad diets are short term, often have little or no scientific substantiation and often negatively affect health outcomes. Many fad diet approaches such as Atkins, Zone, the Ornish and the Southbeach do not allow for the minimal energy needs to be met and resultantly the weight loss effects are from fluid and muscle loss rather than fat loss. When selecting an appropriate diet for weight management, a balance of all food groups and nutrients need to be considered. Of particular importance to individuals with cardiovascular risk factors is the energy balance of a diet, the allowable saturated fat and sodium intakes. Factors such as culture, food preferences, religious beliefs and lifestyle should also be addressed.