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Diet Fads Today : Is There Potential For Humans

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Lauren Betancourt
Professor Stapell/Evolution & Human Health
July 7, 2015
Diet Fads Today: Is There Potential for Humans to Actually Stick with the Idea of Ancestral Eating and Re-Adapt to this Lifestyle?
ABSTRACT Fad diets are all the craze; originally referred to as “idiosyncratic diets and eating patterns,” they are those popular diets of our culture that promote quick and easy weight loss, especially for those of us that have no time or interest in changing our entire lifestyles and eating habits to just improve our health. What many people like about fad diets is that they are just the quick and easy means of losing weight—it’s what’s on the outside that counts, right? One trend that has been gaining a lot of widespread attention
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INTRODUCTION Fascination with health and dieting has been around for hundreds of years; with changing times, come changing ideas on foods, health, and nutrition. For example, the food pyramid has changed several times since the early 20th century. The USDA has revised its recommendations more than several times since 1917. Originally, the nutrition guide, established in 1916, was based on five food groups. During the Great Depression, the number of food groups increased to twelve, as fruits and vegetables were broken down into more specific categories, each with their own daily recommendations, to serve as a “purchase guide” that would be able to accommodate a much poorer country. In the mid-20th century, food groups decreased from twelve to seven, and then to four—milk, proteins, grains, and fruits/vegetables. These groups stayed the same until the 1970s, when the food pyramid was first introduced, separating fruits from vegetables, and also including some sort of intake of fats and oils. For at least 30 years, this had been the standard recommendation until “My Plate” was recently introduced. As research continues to search for the “perfect” diet for humans, the USDA’s newest model offers guidelines that are aimed at improving ones overall health—but clearly, guidelines have constantly changed over time.
In terms of food faddism, since the early 19th century,
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