As it has been shown, fad diets are adopted by people who are looking for short-term outcomes and may not be aware of the possible dangerous effects of such a way of losing weight. Therefore, a perspective may be suggested to regard these people as victims of incomplete or inaccurate information (Rokosz, 2014). Various solutions have been proposed to address the needs of these people. Most solutions are associated with normal practices advised to those who are trying to lose weight. These solutions include consuming healthier food with healthier consumption patterns (Katz & Meller, 2014), paying more attentions to the nutrition characteristics of consumed food, and engaging in different types of physical activities (Khawandanah & Tewfik, 2016). However, widely proposed solutions fail to recognize a crucial aspect of the fad diets problem: people who adopt them adopt them exactly because they are unwilling to resort to more conventional and scientifically justified ways of losing weight. There may be a plenty of reasons for the unwillingness. For example, people may experience a lack of free time or energy to exercise or to plan their diets with appropriate scrutiny (Mozaffarian, 2016). Also, it should not be disregarded that many people simply find it too hard to commit to healthier lifestyles, which is why they opt for the easier way of fad diets.
With this perspective in mind, a unique solution should be proposed. Since it has been demonstrated that fad diets are associated with serious health risks (see Dangers of Fad Diets), proposed solutions should not only focus on recommending alternatives to those who want to lose weight but also incorporate measures to divert them from the harmful practice of fad diets. First of all, it is needed to conduct a public awareness campaign to convey to audiences the information about the negative effects of fad diets. Also, the same campaign should include information about healthy lifestyles and ways of losing weight that are scientifically confirmed and safer than fad diets.
The emphasis in this campaign should be put on explaining that conventional ways of losing weight are not as challenging as they are widely seen. Healthy lifestyles are sets of habits that may be difficult to adopt at first, but they are ultimately fulfilling, satisfying, and take little or no effort to maintain. The need for such an emphasis is that, according to the premise above, people who resort to fad diets do so because they are unwilling to adopt healthier lifestyles. Explaining them what healthy lifestyles are, why they are beneficial, and how they can be adopted without extensive difficulties and sacrifices will help potential victims of fad diets choose the right way for addressing their health needs and goals. The proposed solution is informational as well as educational: the information outlined above should be also included in patient education materials, especially those delivered to patients with obesity.
For the solution to be implemented, the effort of health care providers and educators is required. Professionals should design an awareness campaign and patient education materials. Further, the information should be disseminated with the use of mass media and medical facilities that run patient education programs. The assistance of nursing care providers will be particularly important. Upon implementation, it is expected that more people will become aware of the dangers of fad diets, and the popularity of this practice will decrease. At the same time, what is likely to increase is the demand for healthy lifestyle training, which is why public relations practitioners who will conduct the campaign and health care providers who will run patient education programs should be prepared to help reached individuals with guidance and instructions.
Although there is a large body of scientific literature addressing the issues of benefits that certain dietary practices provide to individuals, there is still a debate on universally beneficial diets. Some scholars have concluded that the most appropriate diet to promote positive health outcomes has not been identified and is not likely to be definitively identified in the future (Pagoto & Appelhans, 2013). However, this conclusion does not take away from the importance of proper nutrition. Neither does it lessen the significance of addressing dietary dangers; moreover, this perspective suggests that there may not be universally beneficial diets, but there are most likely harmful ones. The proposed educational solution will help decrease the number of people who are likely to adopt fad diets, thus contributing to reducing health risks associated with unhealthy nutrition practices. Also, along with the information on the dangers of fad diets, healthy lifestyle information will be delivered, which is capable of protecting people from adverse effects of dietary behaviors that may harm their health. In terms of resources, the proposed solution is quite cost-effective in comparison with more full-scale clinical interventions
Despite technological and scientific advancements, the modern world still presents serious health challenges to individuals, and one of the main reasons for that is human behavior. Any successful treatment requires a person to adopt certain behaviors or alter existing ones, and this may be hard. People who want to lose weight are offered a vast array of techniques and approaches today; nevertheless, they sometimes chose options that are risky or even harmful for their health, and the choice is simply due to the perceived difficulties of adopting healthy lifestyles.
One of such options has been explored above. It is confirmed that fad diets are dangerous, which is why health care providers should strive to prevent people from adopting them. The proposed solution is an awareness and patient education campaign to persuade audiences to refuse fad diets and adopt healthier practices whose perceived difficulty is often overinflated.
Katz, D., & Meller, S. (2014). Can we say what diet is best for health? Annual Review of Public Health, 35(1), 83-103.
Khawandanah, J., & Tewfik, I. (2016). Fad diets: Lifestyle promises and health challenges. Journal of Food Research, 5(6), 80-94.
Mozaffarian, D. (2016). Dietary and policy priorities for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity: A comprehensive review. Circulation, 133(1), 187-225.
Pagoto, S., & Appelhans, B. (2013). A call for an end to the diet debates. JAMA, 310(7), 687-688.
Rokosz, L. (2014). Pitfalls of fad diets and weight loss drugs. Advances in Obesity, Weight Management & Control, 1(1), 1-5.