“Dietary Hodgepodge is Fascinating and Flawed”
Many diets have caught on without any scientific support and have influenced the nutritional landscape for millions of Americans. Seventy percent of American adults are overweight and more than 35% are obese. But, many trending diet plans have been nothing more than fads. Here are a few of them. The Beverly Hills Diet, published in 1981, sold over 1 million copies. The diet
was endorsed by actors and entertainers, including Englebert Humperdinck and Linda Gray. Its creator, Judy Mazel (1943-2007)—who had no science or nutrition training—opened a diet clinic in Beverly Hills to promote the diet that had helped her lose more than 70 pounds. The diet promises a weight loss of 10-15 pounds after 5 weeks on a fruit-based diet. Following this period, carbohydrates, fat, and protein are slowly reintroduced according to strict rules: Fruit must always be eaten alone; protein may be combined with fat, but not carbohydrates; carbohydrates must not be combined with protein; and beer counts as carbs, wine as fruit, but champagne is “neutral” and can be consumed at any time. The diet was strongly criticized in a 1981 JAMA article by Drs Gabe Mirkin and Ronald Shore for its lack of scientific and nutritional grounding and for Mazel’s theory that weight gain is caused by undigested food that gets “stuck” in the body.