The ongoing obsession with weight-loss drives people towards trendy methods intended to achieve the ideal physique or number on the scale, no matter the extremities. Individuals between the ages of twelve to nineteen are caught up in the movement of fad diets, most popular being juice cleansing, a short, restrictive diet that appeals to those who wish to shed pounds with little effort (Axe). Fundamentally, the threatening phenomenon results in costs that outweigh the short-term benefits obtained via risky means.
Primarily, the growing struggle of weight control among teenagers is a cultivated issue in America today, creating an epidemic that calls for awareness and change. Morgan Chojnaki, a doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Kentucky’s Pediatric High BMI Clinic, writes of how obesity has become an accepted normality in the United States, in which “more than 18% of American adolescents from ages twelve to nineteen are considered obese.” Instead of a structured diet, most adolescents turn to diets such as the liquid detox, convinced they guarantee rapid results and instant gratification through healthy means (Axe).
Based on research conducted by Professor Hosen Kiat, the Director of Cardiac Imaging Research at UCLA, adolescents are being deceived that detox diets are flawless; it has been clinically proven that “detox diets are only short-term solutions to the long-term problem of obesity and the struggle of managing fluctuating weight.” Many individuals have taken on the challenge since the creation of detox diets because they claim to result in appealing outcomes and neglect all the negatives. Participants of detox diets, “the positive claims unconsciously outnumber the potential dangers.” For instance, weight-loss and elimination of toxins are results; however, information on such diets fail to inform eager teenagers that the weight being lost is water weight and the toxins eliminated are those that the body already naturally disposes (Kiat). Moreover, Boston University’s School of Medicine’s statistics reflects the yo-yo effect: “98% of people who lose weight on a diet gain it back within five years while 90% gain back more than they lost” (Axe). Being a go-to option, the advertised versus the true purposes of juicing are synonymous to the misunderstanding of genuine weight-loss.
Juice cleanses have been associated with the placebo effect over the years. Many adolescents who have experienced the unpleasant or painful fasting period have claimed to feel sickly, but convince themselves that it is the feeling of being healthy (Bjarnadóttir). Dr. Robin Berzin, a medical doctor who founded Parsley Healthy, acknowledges that juices should not be treated as staples, claiming that an intake of only juice deprives the body of essential nutrients needed to function, especially since “juices generally don’t contain much (if any) fat or protein, both of which stimulate your brain.” Without the sustenance, the body will break down fat and possibly tissue such as muscle for the substance to continue living (Berzin). Furthermore, juice fasting eliminates good bacteria that is needed in the intestines. By not consuming “complex carbs and fermentable plant fibers,” the body lacks “the short-chain fatty acids that nourish and protect the gut barrier and promotes bacterial digestion” (Berzin).
Temporary benefits for future consequences: teenage adolescents are jumping on the prospects, and the scientific community is flashing warnings to be wary. There are various dangers which have already been discovered, and yet not enough research has been done to identify all of those dangers. Advertisements appear to be filled with misinformation, as seen when compared to the information coming from scientific research. Scientists are calling adolescents to educate themselves on these diets before participating in them, and that the pursuance of a balanced, routinely diet ultimately beats any fad diet which exists.