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Just Say, “NON!”

I'm a pacifist. I know nothing about military tactics or strategies. But I think a "pre-emptive" strike against the new Diet Book that is about to HIT THE GROUND RUNNING in America, may be in order. Of course I'm being metaphorical, and I am not really suggesting a smear campaign of any kind -but I was moved by the article in The N.Y. Times by Elaine Sciolino where she discusses a new Diet Book from France that is about to explode into the American bookstores.

The article clearly spells out obvious flaws in the French doctor's plan, and it was refreshing to read Ms Sciolino's insightful questioning about the claims of this diet's efficacy, for example:

"This is just another one of those diets invented by a charismatic individual who makes a lot of promises and has loads of testimonials but is not based on any scientific data whatsoever." Frank Sacks.
“France's governmental National Agency for Food, Environmental and Work Health Safety has identified it as one of the 15 most imbalanced and potentially risky diets."
"British Dietetic Association branded it one of the five worst diets of 2011, and are calling it the Do-Can't Diet."

The article also questions the doctor's training in the field of nutrition and how he found his way there from neurology by helping a patient lose weight by eating meat

meat

A healthy diet of all meat!

only. And VOILA the patient lost a gob of weight and a NOUVEAU Diet Doctor Phenom. was born in France and will soon be arriving in The States.

Now I know we are all veterans of Diet Crazes by now, and can hopefully hold our own and remember this is just another fad diet that won't work. But what concerns me is the underlying reason why people feel so desperate to lose weight that they will inevitably try this diet on for size - just like the Pritikin, Atkin, Grapefruit, and South Dakota Nebraska Diets. (O.K., I made that last one up.)

The big beautiful body of research in nutrition and health indisputably supports the fact that Diets Don't Work, and yet Ms Sciolino was able to cite examples of people that tried and loved this new diet. Here is one example mentioned in the article:

A woman gained some weight on a trip. When she returned, her mother commented on her having gained weight. The woman was sad and angry that her mom commented on her body instead of asking her how she was, or telling her she had missed her. The woman's response was to get rid of the awful extra weight by embarking on this diet and TA DA she took off 14 pounds in three weeks.

Er-Um- she gained some of it back -.big surprise -but is thinking of doing another round of it despite the fact that she has kidney problems.

Quite frankly, I wish the woman would have looked at her mother, arms akimbo and said, " I haven't seen you in how long? And all you can say is I've gained weight??? Au Revoir Maman -Taxi!!!"

But that is a scene in Dr. Deah's Hollywood, and unfortunately, more of us than not will take the criticism about our bodies to heart and do something drastic to alter ourselves for other's approval. (Although perhaps after the first ten days of the diet this woman would be so grumpy from self-deprivation that she will confront her mom!)

Returning to reality, it was a welcome change to read about a diet in the newspaper where the author does not tout the diet as a good way to go. She does forewarn us of the sad, inevitable truth that the PR machine will shift into full gear and soon - narwhals anyone? (Reference to older blog about the Narwhal Factor). Everywhere we go we will be bombarded with come hither requests to try this new diet.

Some of us will be able to ignore the hype, having been down that road so many times already, others will be focusing on health and fighting size discrimination as proactive approaches to thwart future DDI's (Desperate Diet Interventions) from infecting our popular culture and our kitchens -and well - my hope is that those most susceptible will not take the bait, choose to examine their motivation for why they are so desperate for a quick fix to their supposed "weight problem" and just say, "NON!"?