The Role of Dieting in Society Today
The preoccupation of modern society with appearance is reflected in part by the preponderance of Americans who engage in dieting behaviors. Despite the nutritional and fitness literature which pervades society today, 33% of the American population continues to be overweight (Bates, 1997). The USDA recommendation for a low-fat, high-complex-carbohydrate diet over the years has seemingly not been effective, since the proportion of overweight Americans has increased. Many frustrated Americans have in turn looked beyond the high-carb, low fat diet to other less conventional measures (http.//web.usatoday.com/life/health/lhs641.htm). Dietary fads have sprouted over the years to meet this need for a novel approach to weight loss. Such programs deviate from the traditional dietary advice to consume 55% of calories from carbohydrates, 30% from fat, and 15% from protein. One alternative approach to weight loss that has received considerable attention is the high-protein diet. This type of diet and its underlying theories will be examined, as well as the validity of its weight-loss claims.
High Protein Diets: Theories and Claims
The basic premise of all high-protein diets is that weight loss occurs from an increase in protein and a decrease in carbohydrates in dietary composition . What differentiates high-protein diets today from earlier ones in the 1970's is the assertion that loading up on carbohydrates results in loading up of pounds (Albatross, 1997). High-carbohydrate diets are postulated to disrupt hormonal balance by stimulating insulin production, which in turn promotes glucose to be stored as fat in the body. Information on three variation...
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