Fallicious Fad Diets
Overview: Fallacies in Fad Diets!
Firstly, “fallacy” is to be defined as an incorrect statement or argument that results in misconception, often with the intent of deception. Fallacious logic is present when a baseless, inconsistent claim is made about an issue.
In the subject of fad diets and their claims to “quick and effective weight-loss”, many loopholes and fallacies are present.
Converse Fallacy by Accident or Hasty Generalization
A common generalization is that specific food groups will make you fat.
Let’s take low-carb diets as an example. It is true that carbohydrates, which are present in rice and noodles, could potentially be stored fat in your body. As such, the diets conclude that since some people who eat carbohydrates put on weight, therefore all consumption of carbohydrates will make you fat. However, this is only under the circumstance when carbohydrates are consumed in excess, and the need for regular exercise is neglected. Some carbohydrates are actually important sources of nutrients and vitamins. Cutting down dramatically on them could lead to a deficiency in certain essential nutrients, and as a result, affect your general well-being. This misconception has led to the conception of controlled-carbohydrates fad diets.
The occurrence of weight loss, in actual fact, boils down to the total calorie intake of an individual. As such, by cutting down on specific food gro ups when following the guidelines of fad diets, you might not be losing weight, but depriving your body of essential nutrients.
With the promotion of such diets, is the promotion of these misconceptions. The credibility of these diets are then thrown into doubt, as it is apparent that these diets have ingrained this misconception into the minds of many in society. Their irrational conclusions and gaping loopholes can be discovered with some research, and thus, we can conclude that they contain many logical fallacies.
Many fad diets also base their success on fallacious logic that revolves around insufficient statistics. For example, many diets are advertised based on a small population of dieters, who did lose weight from undergoing a particular diet. This leads many to believe that that diet has a 100% success rate. This is fallacious, as this small percentage of the population is not representative of the majority, or the entire population of dieters for that particular diet. Hence as they are built on just a few “success stories”, fad diets and their perceived effectiveness is fallacious logic at best.
Lastly, many of these diets claim that their diets will provide you the necessary quick fix to get slim within a matter of days. This sounds too good to be true. And often enough, it is.
Many diets involve individuals making extreme alterations in their diets for a short duration of time. During this period, much weight will be lost, usually due to the strict limitations of food intake of fad diets. However, once this period of "starvation" is over, it is common for people to revert back to their original diets. Thus, all weight lost during the diet will be regained almost immediately.
Although it does provide momentary weight loss, it is not the permanent solution that many are looking for. Thus, many who were taken in by the fad diets' ideas of a "quick fix" soon realize that they had been fooled. They are now caught in a vicious cycle, alternating between fad dieting and their normal diet, unable to find a physical condition that satisfied them, as despite all their efforts, they had not lost much weight. Thus, there is a logical fallacy.