Every year has its fads. 2001 was the year of head-to-toe denim, frosted lip gloss… and eating low-carb. 2003 brought us fedoras, hoop earrings, and the famous South Beach Diet. Along with fashion and music, food has its fads, too. And while some of these fads focus on the fun and fashionable things people are eating (unicorn bread, anyone?) many of the trends that develop focus on weight loss.
This phenomenon isn’t anything new; strange diet solutions have been a thing since the early 20th century, when being thin started to come into fashion. You would gawk at some of the ridiculous diet trends your parents probably tried. What did 2018 add to the fad diet timeline?
When it comes to weight loss, people are willing to try all kinds of wild tactics, just so long as they’re promised that the tricks are “healthy.” The wellness industry knows this very well — and has come up with some wacky and weird diet solutions this year. A diet that cures depression? A cake made of chia seeds? All they need is the approval of one doctor, an industry-funded study, or a willing celebrity to endorse their trend and voila! People are almost always eager to try for themselves. Until, of course, other doctors and health experts warn them not to.
The results promised by these regimens and products begin at weight loss — but with the rise of body positivity and other movements, the industry has begun to promise so much more. Some of them claim to improve gut health, de-bloat, de-stress, eliminate anxiety, or even balance your hormones. The results certainly sound miraculous. Some of these treatments and products even claim to elongate your life. But the health risks posed by some fads could actually end up doing the opposite. Here are the most popular trends of the year (and a little advice on whether or not you should try them).