May 27, 2024

BENGALURU EXPRESS

Truth Triumphs

International No Diet Day: A Balanced Approach to Nutrition

Bengaluru, May 5: Dieting has turned into a trend. Numerous individuals, driven by misguided advice, opt for quick-fix diets that often result in hospitalization rather than weight loss. While following a diet is important, it is crucial to adhere to recommendations from a qualified dietitian or physician, rather than relying on information from unverified sources like WhatsApp or hearsay.

International No Diet Day, observed on May 6th annually, encourages individuals to embrace a healthy relationship with food and their bodies. Dr Sanjana Premlal, Consultant Dietician at Kinder Hospital said, “It serves as a reminder to focus on balanced nutrition rather than restrictive dieting practices. For many people, diet plans are short term measures. They turn to diet plans in pursuit of weight loss, influenced by societal ideals of beauty and body image. International No Diet Day promotes body positivity and self-acceptance, challenging harmful diet culture norms.”

Wrong diet can lead to hospitalisation
Dr Sanjana Premlal said, “People often end up hospitalized due to wrong diet plans for several reasons. One of the common scenarios is severe malnutrition resulting from extreme calorie restriction or a lack of essential nutrients in the diet, which can lead to organ dysfunction, electrolyte imbalances, and even life-threatening conditions such as cardiac arrhythmias or kidney failure. Fad diets tend to eliminate essential food groups, resulting in adverse symptoms like dehydration, weakness, nausea, constipation, and inadequate intake of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, severely restricting nutrients may mean missing out on the protective health benefits of a well-rounded diet, raising questions about the safety and long-term effectiveness of fad diets and highlighting the importance of adopting a balanced eating plan.”

Eating disorders
Moreover, individuals may develop eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, characterized by dangerous patterns of food restriction, binging, and purging. “These disorders can have serious physical and psychological consequences, often requiring medical intervention and hospitalization for stabilization and treatment. In some cases, excessive exercise combined with inadequate nutrition can also lead to injuries, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances, necessitating medical care. Overall, hospitalization due to wrong diet plans emphasizes the importance of seeking guidance from qualified healthcare professionals and adopting balanced, sustainable approaches to nutrition and weight management”, she said.

Negative effects
Following a wrong diet plan, particularly one fixated on intense calorie restriction, can have negative effects on both physical and mental health, laying the groundwork for harmful consequences such as body dissatisfaction, lower self-esteem, eating disorders, muscle loss, impaired bone health, heart disease, and hormonal imbalances. “When considering the potential consequences of adopting a misguided diet plan, the ketogenic diet (KD) serves as a relevant example. While the KD has gained attention for its reported benefits, it also poses significant risks when followed long-term, including hepatic steatosis, kidney stones, hypoproteinemia, and vitamin deficiency. Understanding the effects of stopping the KD is crucial to grasp its long-term impact on health”, she added.

Overall health
Dr Sanjana Premlal said, “To summarize, the toll of following a misguided diet plan extends beyond physical appearance, affecting overall health and well-being. Prioritizing a balanced approach to nutrition tailored to individual needs and lifestyles is essential for maximum health benefits.”

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