Each year, the British Dietetic Association sifts through recent hyped up, nonsensical and celebrity-endorsed eating plans to make a list of the year’s five worst fad diets (or the “top five dodgy celeb diets to avoid” next year, as the BDA puts it). In 2011, the “blood-type diet” and the “baby food diet” both made the list, with the Dukan Diet taking top place — an anti-honor it received again this year.
Worst Celebrity / Fad Diets of 2012
1. The Dukan Diet – A complicated and protein-heavy diet, the Dukan plan comes in four phases and is designed to promote rapid weight loss. It works on restricting calories, cutting our food groups and portion control. But there is “little solid science” behind the diet, according to the BDA, which calls it “so confusing, time consuming, very rigid and, in our opinion, so very hard to sustain.”
2. The KEN (Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition) Diet – Also known as the “feeding tube diet,” the KEN diet involves ten day cycles of eating nothing at all, while a liquid nutritional formula is dripped directly into the stomach via plastic feeding tube. The BDA explains:
“While on the KEN, dieters can go about their lives as normal but must carry the pump and liquid in a bag or backpack and hang it by their bed at night. They are allowed to unhook themselves from the pump for one hour a day and can drink water, tea, coffee (with no milk, sugar or sweeteners) or sugar-free herb teas with the tube in.”
I am hard-pressed to believe anyone ever actually thought this diet was a good idea — and so is the BDA, which writes:
“You KEN not be serious! It is shocking that people are electing to have naso-gastric (NG) tubes inserted in order to lose weight, usually reserved to sick or chronically ill people. Not only that but one of the side effects is having to take laxatives because this diet provides absolutely no fibre! Nice touch!
3. ‘Party Girl’ IV Drip Diet — Oh, good, two diets involving the food consumption habits of an invalid this year! The IV Drip diet — not to be confused with our KEN feeding tube diet above — is allegedly enjoyed by Rihanna and Simon Cowell and involves injecting a solution of vitamins and minerals. It’s not so much a diet as a … hangover cure? A reimagining of the vitamin B shots popular last century? Regardless, there’s little evidence that these sorts of drips can effectively deliver nutrients to people, says the BDA. And it could come with side effects such as dizziness, infection, inflammation of the veins and even anaphylactic shock.
4. The Drunkorexia Diet — Last year’s #2 worst diet fad has slipped down to #4 this year. The ‘drunkorexia’ or ‘alcorexia’ diet is another apocryphal diet plan — according to the BDA it involves cutting calories throughout the day or week and banking them for alcohol consumption later. I guess you could call that a diet, but it sounds to me more like anorexia with a little alcoholism mixed in. Or college.
5. The 6 Weeks to OMG Diet – If you knew nothing about this diet other than its name, wouldn’t you already hate it? And it doesn’t get any better the more you learn — apparently ‘getting to OMG’ involves sitting in cold baths to encourage your body to burn stored fat, ditching fruit and exercising first thing in the morning. ”OMG indeed! Six weeks of hell and isolation more like it,” writes the BMA. “Seriously, who has the time, let alone the energy to follow this diet? … And what about the other 46 weeks of the year?”