Aspects of the "Low-Carb" Craze -- Part 1 of 4
By Carol T. Culhane, P.H.Ec. MBA
mania n. excessive enthusiasm (for thing, for doing); eager pursuit or admiration
Low-Carb Diet Defined
Low-carbohydrate diets designed for weight reduction require the elimination from the diet of all calorie-bearing carbohydrate save for 50 to 100g per day. Put into perspective:*
Various market research results report that as much as 20% of the American population is on a low-carb diet, as are an undetermined number of Canadians. Given the restrictive requirements of a true weight-reduction, fat-burning, low-carb diet, it is highly unlikely that 20% of the American population is sufficiently disciplined to follow the regime. It is inconceivable that they themselves, their friends and family members tolerate the negative side effects of the diet Ð reference being especially made to the bad breath associated with ketosis, a physiological condition which can easily arise from low-carb intake. Unless, of course, this truly is a mania we are witnessing.
Digging into the
It appears that the meaning of a genuine low-carb, weight reduction diet is misunderstood by several stakeholders, particularly market researchers, survey participants, the media, food manufacturers and the public. Yet to be clarified is: how a researcher defined 'low carb' - both food and diet - at the outset of a market survey; in what manner participants themselves identify and classify sources of carbohydrate; if this interpretation is consistent with the definition (if there is one) in use by the researcher; and the amount of carbohydrate participants consume on a daily basis. Without this clarification, survey results cannot be relied upon to reflect consumer attitudes, purchase behaviour and product usage.
The Bigger Question
É. yet to asked, heard and addressed is "What is the underlying and desperate need (read: mania) that motivates legions of vulnerable people to defy, attempt to defy or hope to defy, the way human beings have eaten since the dawn of civilization?" FF
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