Slimfast Case Study

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SlimFast is a weight loss program that promises to help dedicated followers lose weight in three steps by reducing the amount of calories consumed. The first step encourages the replacement of two meals each day with replacement shakes, smoothies, or nutrition bars. The second step is to eat three 100 calorie snacks in between meals to curb hunger. The third step is to eat a 500 calorie meal for dinner. This plan offers its followers the ability to eat six times each day, while still losing weight and allegedly has over fifty clinical studies backing its effectiveness (How the SlimFast Plan Works in 3 Easy Steps, n.d.). While the creators of SlimFast claim to have over fifty clinical studies to prove the effectiveness of their product, the …show more content…
Natalie Stein, an assistant professor with the Program for Public Health at Michigan State University, says that by replacing certain meals with shakes and other designated replacement snacks, users of the SlimFast products are limiting their consumption of foods containing important nutrients. In fact, the SlimFast diet does not even meet the dietary guidelines, laid out by the United States Department of Agriculture (Stein, 2015).
The human body can only produce twelve of the twenty amino acids. This means that the other eight must be consumed through a healthy and balanced diet. The SlimFast diet may provide the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals, but does not meet the recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy. Stein goes on to say that these foods may reduce the risk of certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Not getting these nutrients because of a diet is basically a form of malnutrition that is very unhealthy and can lead to serious health
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An article on usnews.com states that many experts are concerned with dieters getting just 1,200 calories per day (Slim-Fast Diet, n.d.). According to the dietary guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a sedentary male between the ages of 19 and 30 years old should consume 2,400 to 2,600 calories per day and females with the same activity level and same age should consume 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day (Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, 2010). The SlimFast diet, like most diets, recommends at least some physical exercise in addition to dieting. This means the SlimFast diet plan provides under half the recommended calories for a moderately active person and well under half the recommended calories for an active person. This undernutrition can lead to the breaking down of muscles for the body to use as fuel. The loss of muscle weight could appear to dieters to be an accomplishment, but it is actually just the degradation of their body. Aside from posing some health risks due to the lack of dietary diversity, the SlimFast diet also provide little to no advantage for long term weight loss. In a study comparing low-carbohydrate diets and low-fat/low-calorie diets, it was actually found that while the low-calorie diets provided more significant weight loss after six months than low-carbohydrate diets, the difference in weight loss was much less

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