The Pritikin Program Essay

1239 words - 5 pages

With the average weight of Americans continuously rising, fad diets seem to appear everywhere, each claiming that their participants will lose weight faster with their healthier option; however, diets are not at all, what they claim to be and without caution, they too will cause health problems. From high-fat, low-calorie, very low-fat, high protein, and everything else in between these trendy diets seem to cause enough confusion that they make sense, even if the dieter has no idea what he will be cutting from his diet or how any of the restrictions and requirements will affect his health overtime. Therefore, if careful research and close monitoring does not take place, diets like The Pritikin Program can be detrimental to a dieter’s health.
In the 1970s, an inventor who had fought the odds of his own high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease began to test his theory that a lifestyle makeover would reverse and/or correct cardiovascular disease in his patients. The man’s name was Nathan Pritikin. Pritikin’s self-induced passion for a healthier lifestyle led him to create The Pritikin Program that he introduced to the public through multiple books and media presentations. In leading media, including 60 Minutes, he was among the first worldwide to assert that diet and exercise, not drugs and surgery, should be the first line of defense against cardiovascular disease (Monte & Pritikin, 1987). In 1975, Pritikin opened the Pritikin Longevity Center to advocate the entire lifestyle change that each patient would need to undergo, as well as give them around the clock care and support while they attempt to reduce or eradicate diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and heart disease from their lives. Months before Pritikin’s own death at the age of 69, The National Institute of Health released a study linking lowered cholesterol to a decreased risk of heart disease and Pritikin and his program gained positive support for their efforts. Consequently, The Pritikin Program’s basis lies on the reduction of heart disease and its links and does not specify weight loss as its main concern, but the course of action it takes may hold different benefits for different people.
Subsequently, The Pritikin Program is a diet that is very low fat, low-sodium, high-fiber diet and that urges the use of exercise to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease (Sullivan & Samuel, 2006). The Pritikin Program also claims to improve virtually all modifiable risk factors for heart disease, Prevent and control Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, the Metabolic Syndrome, and several cancers; and promote healthy, long-term weight loss (Killoran, 2013). These advocacies and claims contribute to the lifestyle change necessary for participation in the program, which includes a very low fat, very high complex carbohydrate diet that is mostly associated with the reversal and/or prevention of cardiovascular disease, not weight loss. The Pritikin Program and Longevity Center strive to inhibit...

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