Fad Diet as a Topic for Academic Studies

Topic Description

As a form of food, a fad diet is an extremely restrictive and peculiar regimen that obese or overweight individuals take with the expectation of reducing weight rapidly without performing any type strenuous exercise. The absence of scientific findings to support the use of fat diet in reducing weight elicits conflicting views among people. Proponents of fad diet do not explain the mechanism of weight loss; instead, they concentrate on marketing their fad diet products to gain profit (Edelman, 2017). In contrast, opponents of fad diet hold that there is no easy way of reducing weight by merely eating fad diet. Opponents of fad diet further argue that fad diet is not only unhealthful but also harmful to the body for it causes loss of water, muscle wasting, and deficiency of critical nutrients in the body (Edelman, 2017). As a reflection, comparison of the opposing views on the use of fad diet in reducing weight among overweight individuals indicates that it is not only an ineffective strategy but also more harmful than the absence of dieting.

Research Questions

The following research questions enhance the development of the ideas describing fad diet:

  1. What are the components of fad diets that overweight individuals use in decreasing weight?
  2. How effective are fad diets in reducing weight among overweight individuals?
  3. What is the scientific basis of using fad diets in losing weight among overweight individuals?
  4. How effective are fad diets when compared to healthy diets and physical activity in reducing weight?
  5. Are fad diets more dangerous for overweight individuals than not dieting at all?

Purpose

A reflection on the purpose of research shows that the use of fad diets in losing weight is an important topic, which requires further research because there are insufficient findings to settle the raging debate. In this view, empirical research is necessary to provide the scientific basis for their use or disuse among overweight individuals. The issue of weight loss affects me because I have family members, relatives, and friends who use fad diets in reducing and managing their weights, but they have not been successful. By writing about the use of fad diets in reducing weight, I would come up with findings that form the basis of evidence-based decisions. I want to advise readers on whether fad diets are effective in reducing weight or harmful to their health. Based on preliminary findings, I want individuals, families, fitness centers, the health care system, and media to discourage fad diets because they are not only ineffective but also harmful to their health.

Preliminary Research

Preliminary findings indicate that fad diets are not only ineffective and sustainable in weight loss, but they are also harmful to the health of individuals (Khawandanah & Tewfik, 2016; Nouvenne, 2014). The following are summaries of two academic articles that discourage the use of fad diets in the management and reduction of weight among individuals:

Khawandanah, J., & Tewfik, I. (2016). Fad diets: Lifestyle promises and health challenges. Journal of Food Research, 5(6), 80-94.

In the article, authors mainly argue that fad diets provide temporary and unsustainable weight loss with adverse health effects on individuals. Although the temporary weight loss gives a perception that fad diets work, individuals restore their weights shortly and suffer from adverse effects. As key research questions, the article examines the major causes of fad dieting and its adverse effects. The article indicates that the causes of fad dieting are social pressure from peers and media. The negative effects of fad diets are dehydration and muscle wasting instead of metabolism of fats in the body. Foundational examples are Duka diet, Atkins diet, a high-protein diet, and a low-protein diet. Duka diet is a ketogenic food that increases utilization of ketones and causes hyperuricemia, while Atkins diet has high-protein and high-fat contents, which increase cholesterol levels in the blood and predisposes individuals to coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis.

Nouvenne, A., Ticinesi, A., Morelli, I., Guida, L., Borghi, L., & Meschi, T. (2014). Fad diets and their effect on urinary stone formation. Translational Andrology and Urology, 3(3), 303-312. Web.

The main argument of the article is that fad diets have negative effects on health because they precipitate the formation of urinary stones. As research questions, the article aimed to determine how high-protein diets and low-protein diets affect the formation of ketone bodies. High-protein diet meant to substitute the use of carbohydrates increases metabolism of proteins and uses ketones in the production of energy. Consequently, ketones accumulate in the body and increase pressure on the kidneys to excrete them, resulting in the formation of ketone bodies. Foundational examples are Dukan diet and Atkins diet with high and low protein contents respectively. Dukan diet causes the formation of kidney stones, whereas Atkin diet has the protective effect against the formation of ketone bodies in the kidney.

Audience

My target readers are obese and overweight individuals, healthcare providers, families, policymakers, and media. These readers need to understand the negative effects of fad diets and stop using them or discourage users at family, health care, societal, and policy levels. Since obesity is a serious health issue, these readers are motivated to manage and control it in the population. Individuals, families, and media have an overwhelming influence on the use of fad diets for they have can disseminate information regarding healthy lifestyles, whereas healthcare providers and policymakers have the power to formulate guidelines concerning weight loss interventions. To appeal to the diverse audience, the outline of my research should comprise introduction, empirical findings, and conclusion.

Narrow Focus

The narrow focus of the study is that fad diets are not safe and effective in the reduction of weight among individuals. The adverse effects of fad diets, such as dehydration, muscle wasting, the formation of ketone bodies, and increased cholesterol level, make them inappropriate for weight loss. Therefore, a preliminary thesis is that fad diets have more adverse effects on health than not dieting for the weight loss is temporary.

References

Edelman, C. (2017). Health promotion throughout the life span (9th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Khawandanah, J., & Tewfik, I. (2016). Fad diets: Lifestyle promises and health challenges. Journal of Food Research, 5(6), 80-94. Web.

Nouvenne, A., Ticinesi, A., Morelli, I., Guida, L., Borghi, L., & Meschi, T. (2014). Fad diets and their effect on urinary stone formation. Translational Andrology and Urology, 3(3), 303-312. Web.