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Beware of dangerous fad diets

Posted at 8:58 AM, Nov 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 17:34:58-05

Low carb, high protein, clean eating, and deleting sugar: fad diets are nothing new. But with the holidays approaching, we all want a quick fix to shed the extra pounds we put on after those family meals. But as 13 Consumer Advocate Tricia Kean reports, some of these trendy diets can lead to dangerous and potentially deadly disorders.

"It started off as healthy but slowly, really turned into me being obsessed with it and it really went downhill really quickly," says dieter, Mackenzie Foy.

Dangerous diet trends are all over social media. 16-year-old Mackenzie and her friends were all trying fad diets. Her mother, Deborah, didn't worry about her because she appeared to be eating healthy, until her appearance drastically changed.

"I remember being in the dressing room with her, and it just hit me... Like, this isn't healthy anymore," says Deborah.

After Mackenzie's mom made an emergency appointment at the pediatrician, Mackenzie was immediately admitted to the hospital. When Mackenzie finally reached a healthy weight, she was released from the hospital and that's when the real recovery began.

"It's always going to be a daily decision. Reaching a point of finally getting to a point of intuitive eating stage. Let the body tell us what it needs, when it needs, how much it needs," says Jennifer Trevino.

She is a registered dietitian with The Food Connection on West Flamingo, near Hualapai. Jennifer says the trends of increasing a specific food group like meat or protein are causing a breakdown in overall health.

"It's eliminating a lot of nutrients that you need, that can lead to malnourishment of the whole body. Every cell in your body needs all the macronutrients and micronutrients to survive," says Jennifer.

Laurie Jablonski has seen her weight yo-yo her whole life. 

"There was many, many, many, many diets and I was diagnosed with anorexia," says Laurie.

"That's why seeking out help will make sure that you're getting the right nutrients all the time. Plus, it's also very trying and psychological, trying to fight these urges to diet and feel a certain way and look a certain way," says Jennifer.

She says people need to know, diets don't work long-term. They fail 95 percent of the time and we spend 60 billion dollars a year on dieting. So it's important to have a recovery plan, including a healthy relationship with food.

"We can't say, I can have everything. I can not have that chocolate; because that's all your brain is going to obsess over. So everything is on the table... Everything in moderation. That's where we have to be," says Jennifer.

So what should we do? The FDA recommends maintaining a balanced diet for weight loss, and the general rule is to see your doctor before starting any diet. As for Laurie, she's happy to report she's on her way to a healthier life.

"I need to come first and I need to take care of myself, so I can take care of my family," says Laurie.