Obesity is an epidemic all throughout the country as more than two in three adults are considered to be overweight or obese. Consequently, many try to adopt fad diets because they promote fast results, but new research shows this is not the case.
A team of scientists from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School have published a study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine discussing celiac disease and gluten-free dietary trends between 2009 and 2014. They found that a whopping 60% of people adhering to this type of diet do not have celiac disease, so their dietary habits are ineffective.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes an extreme sensitivity to gluten. Gluten is a mixture of two proteins that is found in many breads, pastas, and grains. Suffering from this disorder can include problems with the digestive and musculoskeletal systems, and can be extremely painful.
The research team analyzed samples from 22,278 individuals. Each person underwent a blood test for celiac disease and answered questions about previous diagnosis of the disease and dietary trends.
Their results were consistent with nationwide statistics. They found that there were only 106 people in the sample who suffered from the disease, and 213 people were gluten-free despite not suffering from celiac’s. Nationwide, about 2.7 million Americans avoid gluten, while only 1.76 million actually have gluten sensitivity.
Dietitian Judi Adams explains to USA Today that because some people choose the diet when they do not have any systems of gluten intolerance, these diets are not working. Considering the fact that these fad diets are becoming trendy, people are using them for all the wrong reasons and actually gain weight on the program.
Adams says, “Some people choose the diet because of a non-celiac gluten sensitivity or irritable bowel syndrome, but the people who are using it as a cleansing diet or calorie-controlled diet are using it as a fad diet, and as we all know fad diets do not work long-term.”
This false information leads many dieters to eat what they want under the premise of it being healthy. In fact 90% of U.S. households regularly indulge in a sweet, frozen treat, but according to nutritionist Rachel Begun, these desserts are just that — desserts. As reported in USA Today, she breaks it down by saying “A gluten-free cookie is still a cookie, not a health food.”
Unfortunately, fad diets are becoming all too commonplace. Dieters across the world have been following the trends under the promises of becoming leaner and more toned and for short-term weight losses.
To help dieters understand the uselessness of these diets, an obesity doctor and health researcher have paired together in an effort to dispel some of these rumors.
Yoni Freedhoff and Kevin Hall have published an easy to read graphic in The Lancet that shows the true futility of paleo, low-carb, and gluten free diets. Their results are shocking, as all three diets give the same weak results and amount to only a few pounds of weight loss in the long run.
Their graphic says it all. In comparing the low-fat, low-carb, and Mediterranean diet, a dieter will be able to see a a steep drop in weight within the first six months. But then, the weight slowly comes back and plateaus. Once the dieters reach the two-year mark, their results are pretty much the same, as there was only a four pound weight loss difference between low-carb dieters and low-fat dieters.
Additionally, the graph shows how dieters are unable to cope with their energy intake. The overall trend is that they cannot handle such a steep drop in calories, so they slowly eat more until their energy levels plateaus and mirrors their weight loss.
“Crowning a diet king because it delivers a clinically meaningless difference in bodyweight fuels diet hype, not diet help,” write the authors. “It’s high time we started helping.”