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Oct 04

How Dieting Has Created America’s Newest Subculture

Obesity is certainly a rapidly growing health crisis in the United States, and many corporations, media forums, and organizations are dedicated to fighting this nation-wide epidemic. Television shows such as “The Biggest Loser,” “Shaq’s Big Challenge,” and “Fat March” have even turned weight loss into a public competition. Not only is the obese population of America on a mission to shed those pounds, but it seems as though most people, whether they are 5 pounds or 50 pounds overweight, are eager to slim down, tone up, and achieve the body of their dreams. Americans spend over 4 billion dollars a year on diet pills, appetite suppressants, and fat diet plans. Over time, this diet craze has created a new increasingly popular subculture in America: diet culture.

WHY IS DIETING SO POPULAR?

The market is flooded with images of perfectly sculpted bodies, airbrushed figures, and flawless features. From magazine ads to cosmetics packaging, Americans are constantly told by the media that perfection is obtainable. In addition, increasing health threats aided by obesity puts more pressure on Americans to lose weight and avoid these health threats. A combination of these pressures forces people to spend hundreds of dollars on quick-fix diets to lose weight and improve their health as quickly as possible with minimal effort.

DIET PILLS

It seems as though there are hundreds, if not thousands, of diet pills on the market. Every diet pill claims to be the best and claims that you can effortlessly shed the pounds once and for all. Every diet pill works differently, but there are four main types of diet pills on the market: those that suppress appetite with an amphetamine-like effect, a second type of appetite suppressant which triggers your brain to desire to eat less, a third which prevents the absorption of fats into your body, and fourth are detox pills which aid in digestion and food processing. Many diet pills can be extremely unsafe and hazardous to your health, and always require research before purchasing. So how do you know which diet pill to choose? Always look at a full list of ingredients and research any unfamiliar products in the pill. Also, don’t be fooled by ‘all natural’ diet pills – just because the pill is made from all natural products does not necessarily mean it’s completely safe. Always consult a physician before purchasing a new diet pill, and always ask for him or her for recommendations. If the product sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

FAD DIETS

Much like diet pills, fad diets are everywhere. From Atkins to the Grapefruit Diet, fad diets have covered an entire spectrum of weight management. Everyone wants a diet that is easy and doesn’t interfere with their daily lives, but also they want one that works. Too often do people start a fad diet and end up gaining back the weight that they lost, if not more, after stopping the diet plan. So how do you choose the right diet for you? Sometimes, simply watching your calorie intake and increasing your activity can prove effective. If that doesn’t work, look for diets that allow you to eat foods that are nutrient-rich and lean. Diets that make you starve yourself are never a good idea, and most of those diets are the ones that will cause you to gain excess weight back after you stop the diet.

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