Humans didn’t always associate slenderness with attractiveness, but for the last several centuries, it seems as though we’ve settled on this particular view. As a result, the demand for dieting has been steadily increasing since the 18th century. Diet publications on the matter date back to 1724 and the first ‘popular’ diet was recorded in 1863, when William Banting, an English undertaker, dubbed his diet with his last name (we’re banting, baby! No more sugar, butter or beer!) and began passing out informational booklets on it (it was still in publication as of 2007).
While dieting generally leads to the desired effect of weight-loss, it can also carry a heavy cost, depending on how far one is willing to go to shed the pounds. The 20th century saw scammers begin to take advantage of people’s desperation, “inventing” all kinds of “magic” pills, tonics, and elixirs or coming up with claims about everyday products they were hawking in order to pump profits. Thankfully, we live in a much more transparent society today, and there are enough experts in the health and nutrition field for us to get accurate answers regarding the assortment of dietary options available. When we consult with those in-the-know, it’s clear that some of these fad diets are better than others, and it’s a wonder how some of the ones that are so obviously detrimental to your health are still practiced by many.
From carb-restrictive regimens like the Atkins and Paleo diets to programs pushing for the addition of specific foods into your diet, like Japan’s Morning Banana diet or the Mediterranean diet, people around the world rely on programs that are easier to follow and provide more benefits than trying on your own. While there are some interesting diet fads that are tried universally, we stumbled upon interesting diets like the “Air Diet” in France and the “Tapeworm Diet” in Hong Kong.
Check out the slideshow to learn more, and if you’re looking to lose weight, we recommend consulting with a dietitian and/or nutritionist, as well as your doctor, before attempting to jump onboard any of these fads.