Photo from flickr.com: Charlotte Astrid
Australian dieticians slammed Anne Hathaway’s “dried oatmeal paste” diet, which she said helped her shed 11 kilos for her role as a waif in the forthcoming film treatment of the musical Les Miserables.
Bernadette Aquino, head dietitian at Auburn Hospital, warned that extreme diets can lead to malnutrition and major organ damage. “Because the nutritional status of the body is so low, other organs can be affected,” she said. “These include liver and kidney damage and heart problems, the brain can also be affected.”
Research from the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that people who dangerously cut back calories hold a greater risk for inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and possibly cancer.
Dieting doesn’t just result in lower body fat. “Extreme dieting can lead to muscle loss, this means that the body is not receiving enough nutrients to make energy, therefore the body will supplement by metabolising existing muscle,” Ms Aquino said.
The first symptoms extreme dieters may experience are, a loss of energy and mood changes. As they cut calories, the body will have less food to turn into energy. The brain needs a suitable supply of glucose (sugar) to function. When dieters restrict themselves too much, the levels of sugar in your blood will drop, leading to fatigue and irritability.
According to the Better Health Channel: 45 per cent of women and 23 per cent of men in the healthy weight range think they are overweight and about 20 per cent of women who are underweight think that they are overweight and are dieting.
Sarah Johnson, 19, said, “I take Duromine. Sometimes I know that my body can’t handle it, so I don’t take it regularly but when I do take it, I can go two days without eating.” Sarah has lost 20 kilos in four months.
“Diet pills are not to be taken without doctors’ supervision,” Ms Aquino said. “They can be very harmful; without the guidance of a doctor your body could gain a dependency on the diet pills.”
The side effects of this pill are: difficulty breathing, chest pain, fainting and swelling of the lower limbs.
Extreme diet examples:
The Master Cleanse – 10-day water fast, drinking “lemonade” concocted from water, lemon or lime juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Used by Beyoncé to lose weight for her role in Dreamgirls the movie.
The Grapefruit Diet – also known as the “Hollywood” or “Mayo” diet. The diet entails eating four meals a day that each include grapefruit and a total of 800-1,000 calories a day.
The Three-Day Diet – the three-day diet consists of a very low-calorie diet for three days.
Cabbage Soup Diet – also known as the “Russian peasant diet”, the “Sacred Heart diet” and “TJ miracle soup diet”, this diet involves eating low-calorie cabbage soup for seven days.
The Tapeworm Diet – one of the most dangerous diets. A tapeworm will live in the body for up to 10 weeks, then prescribed medication will kill it. This diet encourages poor eating habits and people will often put the weight back on after the worm is removed. – Venus Landero