To Fast or Not to Fast? Essay

2308 Words 10 Pages
To Fast or Not to Fast?

Introduction

"Rapid weight loss", "quick and easy weight loss", "preventative", "therapeutic" and "low cost"; with these guarantees, who would not want to attempt a seemingly unchallenging fasting diet!? According to a report on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) web site, as of 1995, tens of millions of Americans are dieting at any given time, in the process spending more than $33 billion annually on weight-reduction products. Are you playing the weight loss game? Here I will identify weight-loss programs advertised on the internet, discuss their claims to success, highlight specific fallacious claims, and report on findings of both the FDA and various medical studies.

What’s on the Web?
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To qualify for the very low-calorie plan, a client must be at least 30 percent above ideal body weight and have a relatively stable medical history. However, the 860 calorie-per-day program is open to all clients.

The Medifast program, in collaboration with both the Shape Up America and Wellness Center of Alaska web sites, makes a number of intriguing claims. The first web site claims that average weight loss is three to five pounds per week. You "must rely on Medifast products during the weight-loss phase", says Shape Up America, and then you will see that the low-calorie level of the program promotes fast weight loss.

"Start now, lose 25 lbs. in Six Weeks", reads the heading of the Wellness Center of Alaska Medifast information page. (http://www.alaska.net/~medifast/) Using Medifast, the company claims that they have created "a unique R.N. supervised weight loss and maintenance program suited for individuals who do not have the time to visit a weight loss center weekly..."; in bold print, the claim reads on: "You can reach your goal weight without ever leaving your home!" The supposed benefits of this plan include: no groceries or additional foods to buy, high energy and rapid weight loss. In addition, The Wellness Center of Alaska reports that the program provides the essential protein needed to ensure the preservation of

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