Average person will try 126 fad diets in their lifetime, poll claims

Favoured 'quick fix' methods include 5:2 and Cabbage Soup Diet

Rebecca Stamp
Wednesday 08 January 2020 13:03 GMT

The average person will try 126 fad diets over the course of their lifetime, a new poll has claimed.

A poll of 2,000 participants found that the average person will embark on at least two fad diets a year, which was then typically being abandoned after just six days.

Among the most common “quick fix” methods were revealed as the Atkins Diet, the 5:2 and the Cabbage Soup Diet, while others opted to eliminate key food groups by trying the Keto, South Beach or Juice diets.

At least 52 per cent of admitted they were really confused about which diets were sustainable, while a fifth didn’t know where to go to get reliable and truthful information.

“January tends to be the month when people embark on fad diets as a quick fix,” said Nick Marston, chairman of Love Fresh Berries, who commissioned the poll.

“We know that it isn’t a sustainable or even healthy approach. Instead, nutritionists advise that we follow evidence-based nutritional advice and look for a well-balanced diet that does not cut out any food groups.”

When asked where they go to get their information, nearly half said that they turned to Google. Another 10 per cent also said they would research what their favourite celebrity did.

Social media and self-help books are referred to by 15 per cent of people, but only 27 per cent say they would consider consulting a GP.

Worryingly, a significant amount of people said they would try more extreme dieting methods. At least 16 per cent admitted they would consider drinking up to 12 glasses of lemon juice a day to lose weight quickly.

One in twenty would even be happy to intentionally ingest a tapeworm to burn calories.

Other drastic — and unhealthy — methods respondents would consider trying include eating ice every day, drinking olive oil between meals and consuming jars of baby food.

Even though research suggests that the elimination of certain foods is not sustainable for any period of time, many are opting to cut essential food groups, believing this will encourage faster weight loss.

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Loving food topped the poll of reasons why dieters found these plans impossible to stick to while a quarter said food and drink were integral to their social life.

The poll also found that some had to abandon their diet after it clearly affected their health, with fatigue (21 per cent), weakness (29 per cent) and headaches (26 per cent) putting an end to quick weight loss plans.

Confusion about whether fruit should be eaten a limited amount, with 45 per cent believing sugar content in these items are too high.

“Concerns about sugars and carbohydrates are largely unfounded,” said Dr Emma Derbyshire, a nutritionist speaking on behalf of Love Fresh Berries. “The benefits that fruits bring in terms of micro and phytonutrients far outweigh any potential sugar concerns.”

She continued: “Such confusions are worrying and clearly further myth busting is needed to help correct these misconceptions.”


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