Water diet probably the most dangerous ever, health experts warn

By on
Nutritionists warn that people in the Pacific are at risk of obesity on a Western diet
Nutritionists warn that people in the Pacific are at risk of obesity on a Western diet Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

Nutritionists have expressed concerns over the water diet, which involves attempting to lose weight by only taking water and no food for days or even weeks. The diet fad is possibly the worst of the worst, health experts have warned.

The holidays are filled with parties and food, and it is no surprise that diet tricks surfaced. On social media, the water diet trend has become so popular with thousands of people posting hashtag #waterfast to show their progress and encourage others to do the same.

Some Twitter users say the water diet has not only helped weight loss, it also made their skin look amazing and resulted in the "best sleep of my life.” Others said their pimples were gone and that they are mentally focused.

But health experts are quick to warn that it could be the most dangerous diet ever. Some argue that the diet takes the trend for cleansing way too far, and that it is not a special kind of diet but is actually a form of starvation. The diet is said to be more dangerous for people who are slender.

Eating disorder expert Joanne Labiner likened the diet trend to anorexia. She said it is something that has to be avoided, particularly at a time when people consider slimming down as the world is about to welcome a new year.

Labiner argued that water fasting could be bad for the organs. “That's why people with anorexia can die of a heart attack- their body feeds on their heart,” NZ Herald reports her as saying. She explained that the human body tries to prevent fat storage from being used up when it thinks it is in an emergency. So it instead feeds on the muscle.

Dr Jason Fung, a kidney specialist and author of a book called “The Complete Guide to Fasting,” said that the short-term fasting could work but only for certain people. He suggested that water fasting is appropriate for clients who have Type 2 diabetes or are obese, but emphasised that it must be started under a doctor’s supervision.

Fung said that the water diet can be done but in a safe way. "I don't think it's the safest thing to do, but if you're obese, it's not the most dangerous thing, either,” he said. He added that the longer a person fasts, the more risks he takes.