'Diet tribes' spread trends and fads

- Whether Atkins or paleo, intermittent fasting or Whole-30, high-protein or ketogenic, Mediterranean, vegan, gluten-free, low-carb, or no-carb, most of us learn of the diet fad of the moment from someone either struggling to abide by it or praising its results.

In this age of hyper and constant communication, diets — like all other information — likely proliferate faster than ever before.

In its annual food and health survey, the International Food Information Council Foundation found that the number of American adults following a diet in 2018 rose from 14 percent to 36 percent from a year ago.

But diet fads have also existed for decades.

"We're seeing a little bit of a twist on this," said Rachel Lustgarten, a nutritionist.

If we have in fact reached peak diet or at least a new diet peak on the way to peak diet, Lustgarten said that she believes so-called diet tribes — groups and communities touting and enforcing their diet of choice — deserve much of the credit and/or blame.

"People banding together and supporting each other in making healthy behavior changes—this is a good thing," she said.

Unless one chooses a one-size-fits-all diet not appropriate for their body — or anybody's body.

But the number of different diets receiving the CrossFit treatment from their supporting diet tribes in the world today might mean there's now a maybe-appropriate diet for everyone.

"There are more opportunities for people to find something that might work for them," Lustgarten said.

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