It’s January and that is a very intense time for everyone interested in diets and weight loss. This leads us to the topic of fad diets, which, at least here in Sweden, seems to grip the collective consciousness in a very short space of time through both mainstream media and social media.
Sweden is probably quite interesting from the dieting perspective because it’s a small and fairly homogenous country, which means that fad diets, or indeed any kind of trend, spreads very quickly. There is also a rather anxious mind-set, especially in urban areas, which means that people are more inclined to listen to outside “experts” as opposed to trusting their own knowledge and experience.
2013 and 2014 was really dominated by the 5:2 diet, although there was a definite drop during 2014. Before that we had LCHF, GI, Atkins, and lord knows what else. I have written quite a bit about the limitations of dieting, so I will not go into more detail about that, but diets have come and gone for many decades now.
There are many people around the world right now who are seriously trying their best to launch the next diet wonderland, and then make hay while the sun shines. There are many ways of doing this, but sound research has not been one of them, although having a physician as the “inventor” definitely helps. Another good thing to have on-board is a well known celebrity who can go public with some miraculous results.
Ideally, there should also be a kind of magic molecule involved, something new and glitzy, which more or less solves the weight loss mystery. Every now and then, it can also be effective to re-launch a previous diet with a more shiny exterior this time around, such as fasting (5:2), high protein, or something else which has worked in the past.
Since the 5:2 diet slowly faded away last year, I am wondering what the next big diet wonderland is going to be. Personally, I am hoping we get a more balanced way of eating (and exercising) in the future that will make dieting redundant, but this is not very realistic for quite some time yet. If you have a good idea what the next miracle diet is going to be then let me know. Whatever the next big thing is going to be, it is unlikely to be determined by science, and instead by clever and determined marketing and media campaigns.