There was an alarming story in last week’s papers about the findings of a Department of Health report on eating habits. The UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey found that teenage girls “are condemning themselves to a lifetime of ill health by eating less than three servings of fruit and vegetables every day” said one newspaper. “They are also shunning meat, depriving themselves of essential nutrients … and eating far too much saturated fat.”
Later in the same edition, the paper continued its week-long promotion of this summer’s latest fad, the Dukan Diet. This revolutionary new idea (which seems remarkably similar to the Atkins Diet, only more hardcore), encourages rapid weight loss by cutting out all fruit and vegetables and eating only low-fat meat, fish, eggs and dairy. This primary, “attack” phase lasts between one and 10 days, until target weight is reached. “Many people can expect to lose as much as 7lb in five days”, it is claimed, as if this were in some way good.
Dukan Diet side effects
Dr Pierre Dukan, the French dietician whose book has sold more than 10 million copies around the world, recently lost a libel action against another doctor who called him a “fraud” and claimed that his diet carried “grave risks”, so I feel relatively relaxed about saying that this is horrific chocolate slim cena. Nothing should make a person lose half a stone in less than a week except for being quite ill, which funnily enough is how this “attack phase” will make you feel. Drawbacks include flu-like symptoms, bad headaches, nausea, lethargy and inability to concentrate, as well as bad breath, a metallic taste in the mouth and a powerful odour to the urine.
Apparently, “You should welcome [these] as proof of success.” In the longer term, high protein diets are linked to gout, and cutting out the vitamins that are found in fruit and vegetables can cause problems with bones, teeth, skin, hair and pregnancy. Rapid weight loss is also continually proven hardly ever to last – and usually to result in net weight gain.
Later phases of the Dukan Diet
Later phases of the Dukan Diet involve reintroducing vegetables, and you’re also allowed the odd spoonful of oat bran to combat the seemingly inevitable constipation. None the less, it has been criticised by the food safety agency in France, and the British Dietetic Association has called it one of the Top Five Worst Diets of 2011. The Atkins Diet is similar, but allows its victims to eat any meat and dairy products, putting them at risk of eating far too much saturated fat – by which sin, you’ll remember, Britain’s teenage girls are condemning themselves to a lifetime of ill health.
Teenage girls have a lot to learn
Teenage girls have a lot to learn and remember in that lightning transition phase from little angel to cause-of-all-ills, so you can understand why they’re confused by all these mixed messages. Trust me: you can bang on all you like about reacquainting yourself with vegetables and drinking iced water until it comes out of your ears, but the one thing that teenagers will hear is “get thin quick by giving up anything nutritious”. Honestly, do you know any adults who are maintaining an ideal weight after sensibly following one of these diets long term, or do you know several people who occasionally eat nothing but cheese for a week and then treat themselves to a doughnut for being so good? If adults find it impossible to carry off weight loss in a controlled and healthy way, then allowing these weird fad diets near confused and vulnerable teenagers is almost criminally irresponsible.
If I could talk to all the teenage girls in Britain, I’d like to tell them that they’re being conned. They’re told that they’re too fat, and too thin, and eating all wrong and burdening the National Health Service. And then they’re sold a diet that will make them feel poorly and miserable as quickly and surely as it makes some Frenchman rich.
Almost any diet, followed to the letter, will make a person lose weight. But what’s the likelihood of following a diet like this indefinitely when you’re constipated, smelly, exhausted and nauseous, and you can’t even have a sandwich or look forward to a vitamin? Considerably slimmer than a dieter’s bum. Cut out the middle man, and the oat bran and the gout, and save yourself the money and the stress. And as an additional bonus, you won’t even have to pong.