5:2 diet

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The 5:2 diet, or fast diet, is a fad diet which stipulates calorie restriction for two days a week and eating an unmoderated amount for the other five days.[1][2][3] A form of intermittent fasting,[4] it originated and became popular in the UK, then spread to the rest of Europe and to the US.[5]

Proponents of the diet claim it causes weight loss and has some beneficial effects on health;[6] however as with other fad diets these claims are not supported by high-quality evidence.[6]

Description[edit]

The diet specifies a low calorie consumption (sometimes described as "fasting") for two days a week but allows unmoderated[2][1] eating for the other five days.[7] Men may eat 600 calories (2,500 kJ) on fasting days, and women 500 calories (2,100 kJ).[8]

Proponents say that fasting for only two days a week may be easier for dieters to comply with than daily calorie restriction.[7]

Evidence[edit]

In general there is a lack of research evidence on intermittent fasting, and there is only limited evidence of the 5:2 diet's safety and effectiveness.[6]

According to NHS Choices, people considering the diet should first consult a physician, as fasting can sometimes be unsafe.[6]

In the UK, the tabloid press has reported on research claiming the 5:2 diet could reduce the risk of breast cancer; however according to the NHS the evidence being considered formed an inadequate basis for making such statements.[9]

Reception[edit]

The diet became popular in the UK after[5] the BBC2 television Horizon documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer [10] written and presented by Michael Mosley was broadcast on 6 August 2012 and many books on the diet quickly became bestsellers, soon after.[11]

Dieticians and the UK National Health Service have categorized it as a fad diet.[3][12][13]

A news item in the Canadian Medical Association Journal expressed concern that promotional material for the diet showed people eating high-calorie food such as hamburgers and chips, and that this could encourage binge eating since the implication was that "if you fast two days a week, you can devour as much junk as your gullet can swallow during the remaining five days".[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Emma Young, New Scientist (2 January 2013). "Hunger games: The new science of fasting". Thomasville Times Enterprise. Retrieved 3 January 2013. ...I am allowed to eat whatever I want on the five non-fast days. 
  2. ^ a b Mosley, Michael. "The 5:2 diet: can it help you lose weight and live longer?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 September 2012. With this regimen you eat what you want five days a week... 
  3. ^ a b "How to diet". Live Well - NHS Choices. UK National Health Service. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Emma Young, New Scientist (2 January 2013). "Hunger games: The new science of fasting". Thomasville Times Enterprise. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "The UK's Hot New 5:2 Diet Craze Hits The U.S. - Weight Loss Miracle?". Forbes. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d "News analysis: Does the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet work?". Health News. UK National Health Service - NHS Choices. May 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2016. Champions of the 5:2 diet claim that other than helping people lose weight, 5:2 diet can bring other significant health benefits ...  Studied cited in analysis: Int J Obes (Lond), 2010 Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 2012
  7. ^ a b Mosley, Michael. "The 5:2 diet: can it help you lose weight and live longer?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "The 5:2 diet - Can starving yourself twice a week make you live longer?". Yahoo! Lifestyle. 7 September 2012. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Could 5:2 diet play a role in preventing breast cancer?". NHS Choices. 17 June 2016. 
  10. ^ Mosley, Michael (5 September 2012). "Eat, Fast & Live Longer". Horizon. Episode 49x03. BBC. 2. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Stone, Philip (22 February 2013). "Public appetite for fasting grows: four intermittent fasting titles earn bestseller status; Mary Berry beats Paul Hollywood in a baking battle; and children's sales slump due to a calendar quirk". The Bookseller: 17. 
  12. ^ Trueland J (2013). "Fast and effective?". Nursing Standard (Pictorial). 28 (16): 26–27. doi:10.7748/ns2013.12.28.16.26.s28. 
  13. ^ Healy A (11 June 2013). "Dietitians warn against fad diets". Irish Times. 
  14. ^ Collier R (2013). "Intermittent fasting: the science of going without". CMAJ. 185 (9): E363–4. PMC 3680567Freely accessible. PMID 23569168. doi:10.1503/cmaj.109-4451. 

Further reading[edit]