Diets Never Last

Jun 30, 2004

By George Anderson

Ninety-five percent of those who go on a diet fail in the attempt, which may help explain why “new” plans to lose weight seem to appear out of nowhere on an almost daily basis.

For that reason alone, Wachovia analyst Jonathan Feeney would urge caution to investors seeking to get rich jumping on the low-carb diet bandwagon.

In a note to investors earlier in the week, Mr. Feeney wrote, “Peaks of diet fads are usually reached when enough people have tried and failed to lose weight.”

He cautioned that evidence from a number of sources suggests that may already be happening with respect to those following Atkins, South Beach and other programs that restrict
carbohydrates. “Low-carb diet adoption rates in the U.S. are slowing, ” he wrote.

If Mr. Feeney is correct and the popularity of low-carb diets has peaked, it doesn’t mean they are gone for good. According to a CBS Market Watch report, Mr. Feeney put
together a list of 17 different low-car diet plans dating back to 1862 including the “Eskimo-Style Meat-Only Diet” (meat, fat, coffee and water) to the “South Beach Diet.”

Moderator’s Comment: Do manufacturers and retailers need to develop an “exit strategy” should the cautions about the
popularity of low-carb diets prove to be true?

Jonathan Feeney isn’t the first to raise this caution about the low-carb diet fad losing steam.
George Anderson – Moderator

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