Trendy diets! High protein, no carbs, forget the sugar... Can they spiral out of control?

Posted at 7:40 PM, Oct 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 10:11:44-04

Fad diets are nothing new. We all want the quick fix to lose the weight fast. For some, these trendy diets can lead to dangerous and potentially deadly disorders.

Low carb, high protein, clean eating, and deleting sugar are all new diet trends. Some of these are eliminating or adding a specific food group, and it could be doing more harm than good.

"It started off as healthy, but slowly (it) really turned into me being obsessed with it and it really went downhill really quickly," said 16-year-old Mackenzie Foy. 

Today, teens are all over social media and so are the dangerous diet trends. Mackenzie and her friends were all trying the latest and greatest died fads. 

However, Mackenzie's mother, Deborah, never worried 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," Deborah said. "Like, this isn’t healthy anymore." 

After Deborah made an emergency appointment for Mackenzie at the pediatrician, the teen was immediately admitted to the hospital. After getting her up to a healthy weight, she was released from the hospital and that’s when the real recovery began.

"Eating disorders can be incredibly isolating illnesses," says Clinical Psychologist Kristine Vazzano. "The environment alone doesn't cause eating disorders, but it certainly perpetuates it and sometimes can be that tipping point."

Vazzano and her business partner, Nutritionist Patrizia Jesue, opened the Center for Eating Disorders Assessment, Recovery and Support Group, also known as CEDARS. The center offers psychological therapy, meal support classes, art and yoga and it's all under one roof.

"We kind of look at ourselves as a community, and so our patients will come in and they talk to each other and we really try to make this a safe place," Vazzano said. 

Eating disorders don’t just affect teens, CEDARS is seeing adults dealing with the issue more now than ever. The trends of increasing a specific food group like meat or protein are causing a breakdown in overall health. 

"Some of the health effects of that are kidney issues, urology issues because the body just can’t process all the protein that we are thinking we need to consume," says Nutritionist Patrizia Jesue.  

Laurie Jablonski of Warren has seen her weight yo-yo her whole life. She is in recovery and a patient at CEDARS.

"There was many, many, many, many diets," Jablonski said. "And I was diagnosed with anorexia."

For adults like Jablonski, there aren't many resources.

"There’s not a lot of resources for adult clients, further, they can’t go away to treatment; they have families, they have jobs." Jesue said. 

Jesue added that people need to know that diets don’t work, they have a 95 percent fail rate and we spend $60 billion a year on dieting.

At CEDARS, they work with patients on an overall recovery plan and their psychological relationship with food.

"There’s no right or wrong food," Jesue said. "We neutralize all the foods so that broccoli isn’t on a pedestal and cake is demonized," 

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 Jablonski, she is 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," she said.