Most Famous Fad Diets

Many popular fad diets meet the criteria of being dramatically different. In addition to the Beverly Hills Fruit Diet,other recent innovations are the Pritikin Longevity Program, the Cambridge Diet, the Scarsdale Diet, the Last Chance Diet, and the latest promotion, starch blockers.

Cambridge Diet

The Cambridge Diet, a revised version of the Metracalformula introduced in 1959, was devised by Dr. Alan Howard of Cambridge University, England. It is an outgrowth of his work with extremely low-calorie formulas for weight loss. The powdered formula comes in a can which costs $19.00 and lasts about one week. For the first three weeks an individual consumes only formula, one cup per meal, which daily provides 330 calories and 33 g of high quality protein. It comes in a variety of flavors including Hearty Chicken Soup and Double Dutch Chocolate Drink. After three weeks, a maintenance diet is followed for one week consisting of one meal per day and two servings of formula. Instructions are given that the formula diet is intended to be temporary. 

The problem with this and other formula diets is that it does not educate the individual in good and poor eating habits. Followers of the program will never learn what food habits caused the weight problem and how to change them. Also, sudden and radical changes in diet such as a formula can be dangerous for individuals with undiagnosed diabetes, GI troubles, liver or kidney diseases, anemia, or some heart conditions. Ketosis is a common occurrence with extremely low calorie regimens. The American Dietetic Association released a statement to the media on August 19 "that the 330 Calorie-A-Day diet is not a common sense approach to weight loss and should not be undertaken without strict monitoring by a medical professional."