Besides the obvious question for the diet industry – How can you live with yourselves making 60 billion dollars a year selling a product that hardly ever works? – I have some other questions for the diets I’m seeing advertised. Of course, health is complicated, multi-dimensional, not an obligation, barometer of worthiness, completely within our control or guaranteed under any circumstances. And I would never tell anyone else what to eat or what path to health they should choose – these are just my questions base on the health and weight loss claims that the diet industry is so fond of making.
NutriSystem and Jenny Craig: With all of this talk about how the healthiest thing is to eat farm to table/slow food/food as close to whole as possible, why are you suggesting to fat people that we should eat meals that are highly processed, frozen, and packaged in plastic bags to be microwaved back to warmth?
Medifast, your plan of five shakes a day and one lean protein and vegetable meal not only replaces almost all food with reconstituted soy protein, but it puts people at a caloric level that is less than what has been used to study starvation, and is so low fat that women may stop menstruating and lose their hair. Your “health coaches” become “health coaches” by buying into your multi-level marketing program to resell the product (I personally know someone who was an unemployed social psychologist one day and a health coach the next.) Explain again how this is a good idea?
Slimfast: You want us to believe that replacing two-thirds of our food with a drink that has a laxative effect and a ton of sugar will bring greater health. Are you serious?
The Cabbage Soup Diet: Just one of your 7 days says “Eat as many as eight bananas and drink as many glasses of skim milk as you would like on this day, along with your soup.” What the fuck?
Alli Diet Pills: Your side effects include uncontrolled anal seepage, spontaneous bowel movements, and life-threatening liver damage and your information suggests that people should wear dark pants, all for 4 pounds more weight lost A YEAR than those who didn’t take Alli (and it sounds like a fair amount of that weight leaks out their asses.) What the actual fuck?
Weight Watchers: When your study showed that your average participant lost around 10 pounds in six months and kept off half of that for two years, your chief scientist – Karen Miller-Kovach – said: “It’s nice to see this validation of what we’ve been doing.” If you are so comfortable with those numbers, why doesn’t your advertising say “Join Weight Watchers and maybe lose 5 pounds in two years” with before and after pictures of people who have lost 5 pounds?
Maybe if I asked representatives from these diets they would have answers – but then I have to ask if it matters what those answers are, when the diets don’t have any evidence that they lead to significant long-term weight loss or health benefits? So my last question is “Why in the world would I give you my money?”
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