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fad diet

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The word fad, according to The shorter Oxford English dictionary, is derived from fiddle-faddle, an adjective meaning ‘trifling’ or ‘fussy’. When used as an expletive, fiddle-faddle means ‘Nonsense!’ or ‘Bosh!’. This is an apt description of many of the fad diets on the market.

Fad diets are those which tend to promote only one type of food. They are usually heavily marketed by people with a vested interest in the food. Exorbitant claims are often linked to the diet about its life-enhancing powers, or its weight-reducing properties. Some fad diets do result in weight loss. This can usually be attributed to a reduced energy intake due to boredom with eating one type of food, rather than to any special properties of the diet. A classic example is the man who lost a great deal of weight on a ‘potato diet’. He could eat as much potato, jacketed, boiled, even roasted, as he liked. Unfortunately for him, he did not like potatoes, and his limited intake accounted for a large weight loss.

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