Slim Fast® And Weight Loss Essay

3545 words - 14 pages

Slim-Fast® and Weight Loss

A Little History Lesson

According to Good Housekeeping, the liquid diet drink trend began in the early 1930’s, with “Dr. Stoll’s Diet-Aid, the Natural Reducing Food.” This low-calorie product, a combination of milk chocolate, starch, whole wheat, and bran, mixed with water to create drinks that replaced breakfast and lunch (http://homearts.com/gh/health/07nutrb2.htm). Since then, numerous liquid products and other diet-aid derivatives have entered the market promising to shed weight and encouraging healthy lifestyles. A leading brand name on today’s market that makes such claims is Slim-Fast®.

The Slim-Fast® Mission Statement

“The Slim-Fast® Foods Company is dedicated to the advancement of nutrition for good health” (http://www.slimfast.com/company/company.asp). The company is “committed to the development of wholesome and balanced nutritional products to aid in weight management and improved health” (http://www.slimfast.com/company/company.asp). Slim-Fast® offers a full line of ready-to-drink shakes, powders, Ultra Slim-Fast® Nutritional Snack Bars, Slim-Fast® Breakfast and Lunch Bars, and Slim-Fast® Meal On-the-Go Bars to assist in weight loss, weight maintenance, and the development of healthy eating habits.

Some General Terms: What does that mean?

Body mass index (BMI) refers to the percentage of body fat; it is the weight of an individual divided by their squared height. A BMI between 24 and 30 is considered overweight for women, a BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight for men, and a BMI greater than 30 is considered obese for both sexes (Kaplan, Sallis, and Patterson, page 397).

Exercise is a subset of physical activity that involves bodily movement but is planned, structured, and done repetitively to improve and maintain one or more components of fitness (Kaplan, Sallis, and Patterson, page 369).

Body weight = body fat + lean body mass

Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the rate at which calories are burned when a person sitting quietly at rest (Kaplan, Sallis, and Patterson, page 415).

Common Views of Weight

Crawford and Campbell (1999) found that common definitions of weight differ drastically from medically accepted BMI values. In this study, 1342 participants (666 men and 676 women) completed surveys in which they defined ideal weight and the term ‘overweight.’ The average BMI value that women considered ideal was 22.7 and the average ideal BMI value for men was 24.9. Medically, a BMI value of 25 is considered overweight. In the study, however, women defined an average BMI value of 23.7 as overweight and men defined an average BMI value of 26.1 as overweight. The BMI values for ideal weight and overweight increased in both sexes with the participants’ ages and current weights.

In summary, men and women often do not have realistic images of their ideal weight and/or being overweight. This fact can create a...

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