Skip to Content

Healthy Teenage Girls at Risk for Eating Disorders and Permanent Damage from Fad Diets


Body image is so important for teenage girls that they are often willing to try almost every fad diet, even if they are healthy and well within the recommended weight range for her height.

Way too many teenage girls are experimenting with fad diets, not only leading to eating disorders but also causing permanent cellular damage.

The Fad Diet Study

The study involved 480 girls between the ages of 14 to 17. All of the girls had participated in at least one fad diet.. When the girls were tested they all showed signs of chronic and severe undernourishment. The undernourishment was not seen in a smaller group who had only tried a fad diet for a few days or had never dieted.

The Fad Diet Study Results

Some of the teenage girls showed a significant lack of specific nutrients needed for a growing body, including protein, calcium and hemoglobin which is necessary for transporting oxygen in the blood.

The calcium levels in some of the girls were also very low. During the teenage years, the amount of calcium consumed sets the stage for the calcium level for the rest of their lives. If calcium consumption is too low, it may result in early development of osteoporosis.