It is evident that the principal reasons why people to begin using fad diets are, the desire to achieve visible effects in a short period of time, and the lack of education about the potential side-effects of maintaining a low-fat, low-calorie diet in the long term. These two factors keep people from attempting to develop a healthier lifestyle and dietary preferences.
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To solve the problem, the healthcare services, in collaboration with the government, need to begin educating the populace about the real consequences of switching to a fad diet and launch a campaign advertising healthy weight management and a physically active lifestyle to the people. Unlike fad diets, healthy weight management does not offer an instant solution to weight problems.
Rather than promise unrealistic results in a short time through the complete elimination of a particular category of foods, or categorization of certain products as “bad” or “evil,” a healthy approach to weight management involves a personalized dietary approach, which balances the needs of the body.
The core difference between fad diets and healthy nutrition is that the latter does not offer the one true way of losing weight, and instead preaches moderation in all, as well as an individual approach to each person and their unique physiological and genetic make-up. According to Marion Nestle, a Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at the New York University, the central idea of healthy nutrition can be summarized in just a few words: “eat less, move more, eat lots of fruits and vegetables”, with the added remark about consuming fewer junk foods (Fitzgerald, 2015, p.8).
While some of the fad diets do have a positive impact on health, the way they are presented to the public means that people often drop them after achieving the desired result and return to their previous lifestyle, which almost always results in rapid weight gain, potentially causing more severe increase than before the diet.
In contrast, healthy weight management is a lifestyle, which implies that the person finds a suitable diet that brings slower results, but is more natural and substitutes the old nutrition easier.
But, if there are so many benefits of healthy weight management, why do people choose other, less effective, and more detrimental measures instead? First of all, a healthy approach to losing weight does not sugarcoat its methods and gives more realistic estimates for results. Consequently, its message of a better, healthier body in several months looks less appealing than the unrealistic promises of a slim waist after two weeks. Additionally, healthy eating seems like much more of an undertaking, scaring away people.
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Thus, it is very important to provide the people with adequate information about all of their options, so they would make educated decisions when developing their diet on their own, or with their physician. A useful tool in the doctor’s arsenal is the Healthy Eating Index. The latest version of this index, HEI-2005, allows health care providers to assess the diets of their patients for quality, according to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines, and make recommendations that will lead to a healthier, more satisfying lifestyle (Guenther, Reedy, & Krebs-Smith, 2008).
The best way to achieve this result is by exposing people to the idea of healthy eating from their early childhood, making sure that they receive the maximum health benefits from this approach (Cooke, 2007).
Ultimately, by following a healthy weight management system, the users will feel much more content with their lives, and the chances of a relapse into an unhealthy lifestyle are smaller, which means the positive effects will last much longer.
Choosing healthy weight management approach would not only help reduce mass without endangering one’s health, but would also improve the people’s general well-being by providing them with all the vitamins and minerals their body needs, and consequently help them avoid a lot of severe health issues.
Together with physical exercise, healthy eating lowers the risks of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and, as already mentioned, obesity.
Healthy eating is achieved by restructuring one’s meals to provide the body with all the nutrients it needs, including proteins, essential fats, fluid, vitamins, and the number of calories required for one’s organism. Rather than excluding fats entirely, this approach seeks to decrease the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which increases the risks of heart disease and is found in saturated fats, and increase the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) found in fruit, vegetables, and grains and has the reverse effect.
This approach is also cost-effective, as it doesn’t require the dieting person to switch to any specialized products or medicine, and through moderation saves them money.
In addition to physical well-being, healthy weight management is also directly responsible for improved mental health, as it is often advised to people suffering from depression and melancholy.
Fad diets offer an appealing promise of easy results with little effort, but the results they provide are often short-lasting and are plagued with side-effects that a person can spend a long time resolving. Healthy Weight Management is not just an alternative to fad diets. By definition, it is the entryway to a healthy lifestyle and provides numerous benefits.
It may seem that it is much more obligating and restricting at first, but this impression is mostly the result of a comparison to the bloated promises of the fad diets. Rather than just a solution to weight problems, healthy eating should be sought out as a lifestyle and is the key to a healthy, happy life.
Cooke, L. (2007). The importance of exposure for healthy eating in childhood: A review. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics J Hum Nutr Diet, 20(4), 294-301. Web.
Fitzgerald, M. (2015). Diet Cults: The Surprising Fallacy at the Core of Nutrition Fads and a Guide to Healthy Eating for the Rest of Us (1st ed.). Cambridge, UK: Pegasus.
Guenther, P. M., Reedy, J., & Krebs-Smith, S. M. (2008). Development of the Healthy Eating Index-2005. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108(11), 1896-1901. Web.