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Could new diet craze put young girls in danger?

2nd July 2012

Weight loss and eating disorder experts have raised concerns over a new self-published diet book.

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The ebook, Six Weeks To OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends, encourages people to soak in ice-cold baths, give up fruit and drink black coffee before exercise.

It has been written by British sports scientist and personal trainer Paul Khanna, under the pen name of Venice A Fulton, and has knocked the Dukan Diet from the top of the bestseller list and secured the author a seven-figure book deal in the US.

However, critics fear it targets impressionable teenagers and could trigger more eating disorders.

Deanne Jade of the National Centre for Eating Disorders, said: “This diet uses psychology against vulnerable young people and will encourage unhealthy competition to lose weight.”

She warned that sitting in ice-cold baths can seriously damage the immune system and said drinking black coffee stimulates the adrenal system, leaching minerals and vitamins from the body and damaging the thyroid.

GP and weight loss expert Dr Ian Campbell said he was concerned the book was encouraging extreme behaviour.

“Teens are very vulnerable to diet fads, especially quirky ones like this,” he said. “The advice is hypothetically correct but in reality will have little effect on weight loss and some of the advice like taking ice cold baths can be very dangerous. This is a cynical attempt to sell huge numbers of books and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.”

The author has denied specifically targeting teenagers and said he would discourage under-16s, or those still growing, from dieting.

 

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