7 questions on fad diets

Midweek quiz

Another week, another diet study. Scientists in Denmark say the best way to keep weight off after losing it is to make a habit of eating high protein, low glycaemic index foods. It's the latest in a long line of recommendations on diet and healthy eating. How much do you know about it?

Teen contemplating a snack of celery

1.) Multiple Choice Question

Among the most famous diets of the 21st Century is the Atkins diet. Does this fit the high protein, low GI bill recommended by the Danish scientists?

Atkins diet book
  1. Yes
  2. No

2.) Multiple Choice Question

It's Thanksgiving in the United States. But which holiday favourite - in its unadorned state - has the lowest GI ranking (so digested more slowly)?

Thanksgiving feast
  1. Yams
  2. Sweet potatoes
  3. Mashed potato
  4. Corn on the cob

3.) Multiple Choice Question

F-Plan, Cabbage Soup, the Zone, Miami Beach... "It diets" come and go. The latest is the Dukan, on which dieters can eat only three foods for the first week. Which ISN'T allowed?

Prawns - a staple of the Dukan diet
  1. Meat
  2. Fish
  3. Spinach
  4. Eggs

4.) Multiple Choice Question

But the Dukan is far from the only fad diet to cut out entire food groups. Gwyneth Paltrow has recently developed osteopenia, a condition associated with a diet low in what?

  1. Iron
  2. Vitamin Bs
  3. Calcium


BMI - body mass index - uses weight in relation to height to calculate an individual's healthy weigh range. But it's a blunt tool, showing up muscular types as overweight as muscle is heavier than fat. Click the > button, below right, to continue

1970s weight-watcher

5.) Multiple Choice Question

Instead, better indicators of future weight-related health problems are waist and hip measurements. Which body shape is said to be healthier?

Apple and pear
  1. Apple (fat stored around the midrif)
  2. Pear (fat stored around the hips)

6.) Multiple Choice Question

What and how much you eat is only part of it. Walking is the easiest way to get more active, but how have our walking habits changed since the mid-1980s?

Walking in snow in cold snap
  1. 10% increase in distances walked
  2. 20% decrease
  3. 50% decrease

7.) Multiple Choice Question

"Eat less. Move more." So said which actor when asked, in amazement, how he/she managed to lose weight gained for a role?

  1. Minnie Driver
  2. Russell Crowe
    Russell Crowe
  3. Christian Bale
    Christian Bale
  4. Renee Zellweger
    Rene Zellweger


  1. It doesn't, as the emphasis is largely on protein. The GI index applies to foods with carbohydrates - grains, fruit and vegetables. Foods with low GI ratings are digested more slowly, which decreases or delays hunger pangs.
  2. It's yams - although not when dripping with butter or maple syrup or other such festive adornments - with a GI rating of 51. Sweet potato and corn on the cob are also given a tick in GI terms.
  3. Spinach is forbidden in the first week, but vegetables are allowed on alternate days after that. Meat is a cornerstone of the diet, but only in its plainest forms - bacon and sausages are OUT.
  4. It's calcium. Osteopenia is a thinning of the bones that can be a forerunner to osteoporosis. The actress follows a strict diet low in the dairy foods that are rich sources of the bone-building mineral.
  5. Pears are healthier than apples (body shape, that is, not the actual fruit). People with well padded middles are more at risk of heart disease and diabetes. See the BMI information page below.
  6. Government figures show a drop of at least 20% in milage covered since the mid-80s. See links below for BBC Health's page on What's the right activity for me?
  7. It's Minnie Driver, who gained 20 pounds for her breakthrough role in Circle of Friends in 1995, and then lost it to play the svelte love interest in 1997's Good Will Hunting.

Your Score

0 - 3 : Few nibbles of chocolate

4 - 6 : Segment of chocolate

7 - 7 : Tiny square of chocolate

See BBC Food and Health links below for more on these answers. For past quizzes including our weekly news quiz, 7 days 7 questions, expand the grey drop-down below - also available on the Magazine page (and scroll down). You can also do this quiz on your mobile device.

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