Fad Diets



Fad diets or lifestyle changes — where do three popular weight-reduction  plans fit in? - News | UAB


Every few years, Americans see the rise of a new fad diet that promises to deliver some health benefit so marvelous, so life-changing, that it practically forces them to jump on the bandwagon. From Slim Fast, which promises to make you, well, slim...fast, to the Raw Foods Diet which boasts ultimate health. With so many diets out there vying for consumers' attention, one has to wonder which one they should be following. Or, perhaps, should you even be following any of these diets at all? 


Most people who follow fad diets do so because they have only read (and been intrigued by) the bold claims that these diets make. Live longer? "This seems like a great diet!" Lose 30 lbs. in a month? "I'm throwing out every carb in this house." These claims may seem silly, but benefits attract. Cons...not so much. No one would go on a diet that claims miraculous weight-loss, if they realized that it would also cause severe vitamin deficiencies. Wouldn't it be wonderful if consumers could be presented with the full picture before making such a huge health decision. Your task is to choose a popular diet that makes at least one bold claim, and outline the pros and cons associated with this diet. From this, you will create an unbiased presentation of these facts. Will these diets live up to the hype?


Do Fad Diets Work? – Skydiving Blog by Augusto Bartelle


1) Students will work with a partner to choose a fad diet of their choice

2) Each group will research/gather basic facts (pros and cons) about their chosen diet

2) From the research that is gathered, each group will present their findings in a creative way (i.e. PowerPoint).


Fad Diets: Why They Don't Work - Mather Hospital


1. Each group of two will use the internet to search out some of the most popular fad diets and the claims that they make. The group will then decide upon one specific diet that they plan to research in more depth.

2. Upon choosing one specific fad diet, each group will need to gather facts about this diet. These facts must include:

     1) A brief overview of what the diet is

     2)  Benefits - i.e. bold claims, proven health benefits, types of food allowed, etc.

     3) Cons - i.e. adverse health effects, restricted foods, etc.

3. Once all facts have been collected, each group will need to decide how they want to (creatively) present their findings (i.e. PowerPoint, Google Slides). Facts should be bullet-pointed as opposed to written out in paragraphs.

*Imagine that you are actually preparing to present your findings to consumers. Paragraphs will lose your audience very quickly.


4. Each group will give a 5-7 minute presentation of their findings before the class. After the presentation, the class will determine whether or not the diet just presented is worth the hype.

5. Helpful Research Links:

     1) 2019 Fad Diets: https://www.ndtv.com/health/health-2019-from-keto-diet-to-intermittent-fasting-heres-a-list-of-most-popular-fad-diets-from-the-p-2154777

     2) 2020 Fad Diets: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifercohen/2020/01/23/hottest-diets-of-2020/?sh=985e6405b35b

     3) 2021 Fad Diets: https://youbars.com/blogs/news/top-10-diet-trends-for-2021













Group  chooses an appropriate fad diet

Group does not choose a specific diet Group chooses a specific diet, though the diet may not constitute a "fad" diet Group chooses one specific diet, but may also focus on other diets Group chooses one specific diet and focuses research on that diet  


Group gathers all necessary facts

Group is missing most or all significant facts Group has some facts, but they are either irrelevant to the research question or unable to sufficiently answer it  Group has sufficient facts, though one or two may be inaccurate or need more clarification Group has documented all facts, including all necessary information that is relevant to the research question  



Group lacks clarity in delivery of  presentation; presentation is not well organized. Group has an organized presentation, but the delivery of it needs significant improvement Group has an organized presentation and clear delivery of it. Presentation time may be slightly too short or too long Group has an organized presentation, delivers it well, and stays within the allotted timeframe  



Congratulations! You have uncovered the truth about fad diets.

By the end of this lesson, students should have a better understanding of fad diets and the lure behind them. More importantly, students should have a greater ability to look beyond the enticing claims of these diets to make an informed decision on whether or not these diets worth following or, perhaps, even safe to do so. 


1) After researching a few of the common fad diets in America, what did you discover? Are all of these diets scams or are some, indeed, profitable?

2. Based off of your own research, what advice would you give someone wanting to engage in one of these fad diets?