Fad diets in the US

(VOVWORLD)Obesity, a major health issue in the US, leads to numerous diseases. While many industrialized countries are in a similar situation, obesity rates in the US are the highest in the world. In this week’s “Culture Rendezvous”, we’ll talk to Andrew Diatroptoff of California about American fad diets and why Americans gain so much weight. 

Hello, Andrew! Welcome to VOV24/7’s Culture Rendezvous! Tell us what fad diets are all about.

A fad diet often begins with an America journal stating that some specific ingredient or mineral or nutrient is really good for you. The paleo diet is basically grains, greens, protein, and chicken. The vegan diet has no meat, no dairy, and no eggs, just vegetables and different forms of protein. So a fad diet is something that reflects the culture of the moment, everyone is doing it, and the whole point of it is to be healthy.

Are there many kinds of fad diet?

Yes. There are many fad diets: vegan, paleo, etc. There are many recipes with the idea of using basic ingredients. I think a big thing in America, at least in California, is the kale smoothie. People try to eat a lot of vegetables and a very easy way is slurping them through a straw very quickly. They have a smoothie of kale or pineapple.

Fad diets in the US - ảnh 1 There are many fad diets: vegan, paleo, plant-based, ketogenic, etc

Why do Americans diet so much?

Because Americans tend to get fat from a lot of Western foods. They like to diet. They like get-rich-quick schemes. The idea is: “If I do it for a month or two months, I’ll lose 40 pounds”. I would say it’s just bad eating habits in general. It has a lot to do with diet, but I say it has more to do with exercise. Because Americans don’t move around very much. We go everywhere in our cars. That’s our main mode of transportation. You can look at other European countries like France or England. Those countries are not as obese and it’s not the level that America is because when they go around, they walk around. That’s the natural form of exercise. Americans have three meals a day but you never elevate your heart rate to burn those calories. I think that’s the big reason. You even have the “drive through”. A drive through is a place where you can arrive your car past the side of the restaurant and they will give you your food.  It’s very lazy.  

Have you ever dieted?

I dieted one time but it was more to help my friend, who wanted to lose some weight. I tried to influence him and help him in his process of losing weight. I decided to come along on his journey of vegetarianism. I didn’t eat any meat, mostly emphasized healthy foods like kale smoothies, butter, fruits, grains, sandwiches with avocado, pizza without the meat. The thing is you can find ways to be on a diet but still eat healthily.

Who is responsible for one’s diet in the US?

A dietician. A dietician is medically licensed to give you dietary advice in the US. They will tell you something like: “OK you can eat these foods. These foods are best for this specific ailment”. They help you with portion control. I don’t have one, but some people do. 

Thank you, Andrew, for the talk!