FAD DIETS: what is true about fad WHAT IS TRUE ABOUT FAD?

Main Article Content

Marina Taus
Elsa Veronica Mignini
Debora Busni
Daniele Fumelli
Arianna Vignini
Giulia Nicolai
Albano Nicolai


weight loss;, diet;, fad diets;, paleo diet;, blood type diet;, detox diet;, dietetic pattern;, weight management;, low carb diet;


Balanced, hypocaloric diet in association to a more active lifestyle and/or bariatric surgery are the only solutions that really work against the alarming increase in overweight and obesity rates. However, overweight patients often relay on alternative, naive strategies and methods in attempt to fix their condition quickly.

Fad diets are defined as weight loss strategies that promise quick results, usually promoted as not requiring physical exercise or efforts and focusing on totally unbalanced meal plans.

One of the most appealing method of fad diets is the drastic reduction of carbohydrate intake, which can be acceptable but has also its “dark side”.

Modifying the proportion of nutrient percentages in favor of protein intake or remarking hypothetical effects on body detoxification are typical approaches of those who promote fad diets. While some data are available on the first strategy, the scientific literature does not recognize the necessity of the body to be “detoxified” nor the existence of special meal plans/food able to do that.

Trying to lose weight following a fad diets determine not only achieving a temporary result but also falling into nutritional deficiency and other health risks.

Proper, balanced nutrition and physical activity are costless, effective and sustainable in the long term and should be strongly recommended to obese and overweight.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 269 | PDF Downloads 72


1. Chooi YC, Ding C, Magkos F. The epidemiology of obesity. Metabolism - Clinical and Experimental 2019; 92: 6 -10
2. Ashtary-Larky D, Ghanavati M, Lamuchi-Deli N, et al. Rapid weight loss vs slow weight loss: which is more effective on metabolic risk factors?. Int J Endocrinol Metab. 2017; 15(3): e13249
3. Ferraro Zm, Patterson S, Chaput JP. Unhealthy weight control practices: culprits and clinical recommendations. Clinical medicine insights. Endocrinology and diabetes 2015; 17(8): 7-11
4. U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 7th ed.; Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, USA, 2010
5. Ludwig DS, Ebbeling CB. The Carbohydrate-Insulin Model of Obesity: Beyond "Calories In, Calories Out”. JAMA Intern Med 2018; 178(8): 1098-1103
6. Ebbeling CB, Feldman HA, Wong JMW, Steltz SK, Luwig DS. Effects of a low carbohydrate diet on energy expenditure during weight loss maintenance: randomized trial BMJ 2018; 363: k4583
7. Astrup A, Raben A, Geiker N.The role of higher protein diets in weight control and obesity-related comorbidities. Int J Obes 2015; 39(5) 721-6
8. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182 reviewed on: 28/08/2019
9. Pitt CE, Cutting through the Paleo hype: The evidence for the Paleolithic diet, Aust Fam Physician. 2016; 45(1):35-8
10. Whalen KA, Judd S, McCullough ML, Flanders WD, Hartman TJ, Bostick RM. Paleolithic and Mediterranean Diet Pattern Scores Are Inversely Associated with All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in Adults. J Nutr 2017; 147(4): 612-620
11. Liu B, Zhang Y, Wang R, et al. Western diet feeding influences gut microbiota profiles in apoE knockout mice. Lipids Health Dis. 2018; 17(1):159
12. Agus A, Denizot J, Thevenot J, et al. Western diet induces a shift in microbiota composition enhancing susceptibility to Adherent-Invasive E. coli infection and intestinal inflammation. Sci Rep 2016; 6 19032. 8
13. Zopf Y, RelJic D, Dieterich W. Dietary Effects on Microbiota-New Trends with Gluten-Free or Paleo Diet. Med Sci 2018; 6(4) 92
14. Wahls TL, Chenard CA, Snetselaar LG. Review of Two Popular Eating Plans within the Multiple Sclerosis Community: Low Saturated Fat and Modified Paleolithic. Nutrients 2019; 11(2) 352
15. Seidelmann, SB, Claggett B, Cheng S, et al. Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality: a prospective cohort study and meta-analysis. Lancet Public Health 2018; 3(9): 419-428
16. https://dadamo.com/txt/index.pl?1001 reviewed on: 30/08/2019
17. Wang J, Garcia-N, Bailo B, et al. ABO genotype, 'blood-type' diet and cardiometabolic risk factors. PLoS One 2014; 9(1):e84749.
18. Wang J, Jamnik J, Garcia Bailo B, Nielsen Dem Jenkins DJA, El-Sohemy A. ABO Genotype Does Not Modify the Association between the “Blood-Type” Diet and Biomarkers of Cardiometabolic Disease in Overweight Adults. J Nutr 2018; 148(4):518-525
19. Klein Av, Kiat H. Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management: a critical review. J Hum Nutr Diet 2015; 28(6): 675-86
20. Mehrandish R, Rahimian A, Shahriary A. Heavy metals detoxification: a review of herbal compounds for chelation therapy in heavy metal toxicity. J Herbmed Pharmacol 2019; 8(2):69-77
21. Engel MG, Kern HJ, Brenna JT, Mitmesser SH. Micronutrient Gaps in Three Commercial Weight-Loss Diet Plans. Nutrients 2018;10(1): 108.
22. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements (NIH-ODS) DRI Tables: Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Elements; Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Vitamins. https://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx reviewed on: 05/09/2019
23. Calton, J.B. Prevalence of micronutrient deficiency in popular diet plans.J. Int. Soc. Sports Nutr. 2010; 10; 7-24
24. Yannakoulia M, Poulimeneas D, Mamalaki E, Anastasiou CA. Dietary modifications for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Metabolism 2019; 92:153-162
25. Huo R, Du T, Xu Y, et al. Effects of Mediterranean-style diet on glycemic control, weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors among type 2 diabetes individuals: a meta-analysis. Eur J Clin Nutr 2015; 69(11):1200–8
26. Pan B, Wu Y, Yang Q, et al. The impact of major dietary patterns on glycemic control, cardiovascular risk factors and weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes: A network meta-analysis J Evid Based Med 2019;12(1):29–39
27. Salas-Salvadó J, Diaz Lopez A, Ruiz Canela M, et al. Effect of a lifestyle intervention program with energy-restricted Mediterranean diet and exercise on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors: One-year results of the PREDIMED-Plus trial. Diabetes Care 2019;42(5):777–788