Scarsdale diet

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Cover of The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet

The Scarsdale diet is a diet designed for weight loss created in the 1970s by Herman Tarnower, named for the town in New York where he practiced cardiology, described in the book The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet plus Dr. Tarnower's Lifetime Keep-Slim Program, which Tarnower wrote with an author of self-help books, Sam Sinclair Baker.[1] While Harding le Riche praised it as "quite satisfactory and well-balanced" (although adding "like most diets, it's too difficult for most people to stay on"[2]) it is often seen as a fad diet.

The diet is similar to the Atkins Diet in calling for high protein and low fat and low carbohydrates, but also emphasizes fruits and vegetables.[2] The diet's high fat ratio may increase the risk of heart disease.[3] People following the diet can lose much weight at first, but this loss is generally not sustained any better than with normal calorie restriction.[3]

The book was originally published in 1978[4] and received an unexpected boost in popular sales when its author, Herman Tarnower, was murdered in 1980 by his jilted lover.[1]


  1. ^ a b Anthony Haden-Guest for New York Magazine. March 31, 1980 The Headmistress and the Diet Doctor
  2. ^ a b Swartz, Jacqueline (March 15, 1982). "The sense and nonsense of the best-selling diet books.". Canadian Medical Association Journal (Canadian Medical Association) 126: 696–701. PMID 7066828. 
  3. ^ a b Alters S, Schiff W (22 February 2012). Chapter 10: Body Weight and Its Management. Essential Concepts for Healthy Living (Sixth ed.) (Jones & Bartlett Publishers). p. 327. ISBN 978-1-4496-3062-1. 
  4. ^ Herman Tarnower and Sam Sinclair Baker. The complete Scarsdale medical diet plus Dr. Tarnower's lifetime keep-slim program. Rawson, Wade Publishers; 1st edition (1978) ISBN 9780892560783