Assignment 2 NUTR 221 Evaluation of a Fad Diet (40 pts)


The Obesity crisis in the US has created a huge industry related to weight loss. Strategies and “solutions” range from commercial weight loss programs, any type of weight loss diets, diet pills and dietary supplements to the more invasive bariatric surgery.


The purpose of this assignment is to develop the skills to recognize a fad diet. A fad diet is a diet that promises quick weight loss through what is usually an unhealthy and unbalanced diet. In addition, you will also explore the non-dieting movement based on promoting healthy behavior change.  Complete the answers on this worksheet, convert the file to a PDF and submit to the D2L Assignment folder.


Note: You may not use one of the following diets for this assignment as each one represents a healthy eating plan (not a fad diet).  DO NOT USE: DASH Diet, Mediterranean Diet, Vegetarian or Vegan Diet, Flexitarian Diet, TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) Diet, MIND Diet, Volumetrics Diet, or Weight Watcher’s Diet. These are not considered fad diets.



Part 1   Select one “fad weight loss diet” and use the following criteria to evaluate the diet.


1)  List the name of the fad weight loss diet you selected and why you chose to analyze that particular fad diet. (3 pts)






2) A fad diet limits food selection to a few food groups or promotes specific “rules” related to eating times or food combinations.


  1. Does this diet have a specific menu or list of foods to include or avoid? Provide an overview of the diet’s food choices. (3 pts)







  1. Are there any specific guidelines that must be followed while on the diet? If so, give examples. This could include preparation, number of meals, time to eat, foods to avoid. (3 pts)






3) A fad diet promotes rapid weight loss of more than 1-2 lbs./week and is generally less than 1200 kcals per day.


  1. What is the rate of weight loss that this diet promises to achieve? If not able to determine what do you think the rate would be? (2 pts)



  1. Are you able to determine the estimated kcals per day? If not able to determine what do you think the number of Kcals would be? (2 pts)




4) A fad often promises that you will not need to do any exercise in order to lose weight.


  1. Does the diet mention the need to exercise as part of the diet plan? Explain why is it important to commit to physical activity while dieting? (2 pts)







5) Some fad diets recommend that you purchase special foods, weight loss patches, expensive supplements or other products in addition to following the diet.


  1. Can you find any commercial products that are recommended to use with this diet? If so, what is the cost of these additional items? (You may need to review several websites to see what is being offered.) Provide examples. (3pts)







6)  Many fad diets do not recommend making changes in activity or eating habits (behavior modification) or may recommend an eating pattern that is unrealistic or offers no other support beyond a book on the diet.


  1. Does this diet mention maintenance or strategies on how to be successful beyond the weight loss period? Explain (For example, what strategies are given for the 1-year post weight loss period) (3 pts)






7)  Most fad diets are not based on science or may claim to have a scientific discovery that appears to be based on research. Others are based on anecdotal reports from celebrities or weight loss “experts”.


  • Does the diet make any claims of a scientific breakthrough or use spokespersons that promote the diet? Explain. (3 pts)



8)    Find one research article or one professional website that informs consumers about the pros and cons regarding this fad diet.  Some suggested websites are,,  and (6 pts)


  1. Summarize the article or website’s analysis of the fad diet and provide a citation (APA).








Part II   Another viewpoint is that it may be better for individuals to focus on healthy behaviors rather than continually going on a diet and regaining weight. This is considered the “non-dieting” approach to achieving a health weight.


Go to   to learn more about the Health at Every Size movement and how it might be relevant to individuals struggling with body acceptance or an eating disorder.


  1. Identify two of the principles that you felt you could adopt in your everyday life and explain why they were relevant to you. (5 pts)







Part III   Self-Reflection


  • How has this assignment helped you to develop critical thinking skills in evaluating weight loss diets or changed your perspective on dieting? Provide two examples and explain how each has changed your viewpoint. (5pts)



Complete the answers on this worksheet, convert the file to a PDF and submit to the D2L Assignment folder. If you do not submit as a PDF, you will lose 2 pts on the assignment.