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June 1983

Survey of Very-Low-Calorie Weight Reduction Diets: I. Novelty Diets

Author Affiliations

Southwestern Metabolism and Diabetes Center St Francis Hospital 6585 S Yale Tulsa, Ok 74136; Wichita Falls, Tex

Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(6):1195-1198. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350060119019

In recent years, a substantial number of diet counselors have developed diet regimens promising rapid weight loss with subsequent renewed health and vigor. Many of these dietary programs are based on total daily calorie levels containing fewer than 1,000 calories/day. This review examines some of the current popular very-low-calorie weight loss programs in relationship to their content and efficacy.

Novelty diets rely on the belief that certain foods, nutrients, or other substances have unique, previously undiscovered, or magical properties to facilitate weight loss. Emphasis is frequently placed on eating specific food combinations. The "strawberry and cream diet," "bananas and skim milk diet," "pumpkin-carrot diet," "hot-dog diet," "egg and orange diet," "steak and tomato diet," and the "grapefruit or magic Mayo diet" (no relationship to Mayo Clinic) allow limited food choices.13 These diets imply that their particular food combination will selectively oxidize body fat, inhibit voluntary food intake, remove toxic