Pros and cons of dieting

People diet for a variety of reasons including health benefits and moral beliefs.

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People diet for a variety of reasons including health benefits and moral beliefs.

In today’s society the word diet is thrown around frequently. Although the word simply means the kinds of food a person, animal, or human habitually eats, diets are usually affiliated with restriction, but how does this restriction help?

Dr. Samantha Apel, a clinical psychologist and functional medicine provider, keeps her interest in the topic not just in her profession, but in her personal life as well. Apel maintains a plant-based diet for several reasons. The first she mentions are the health benefits, “It reduces the risk of all chronic disease, helps improve mental health, and makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight,” she states. In addition, a plant-based diet not only decreases the amount of animals treated inhumanely but also, “reduces the pollution created by factory farming animals,” Apel states while sharing her educated insight on the topic.

Being conscious of the food you put into your body is not only limited to adults. Sophomore Alina Bernal-Clark has made an effort to improve the quality of food she eats by becoming vegan. Though this may seem extreme for a high-school student, she stated, “It is always very tempting to break my vegan diet; however, I never regret sticking to it after seeing positive results.” For her, positive results include an improvement in digestion and overall well-being. “I find that a plant based diet benefits my body the most,” Bernal-Clark stated.

As well as the benefits diets can cause, they have also been criticized for promoting a bad “health image.” Many companies have created their business on the basis of losing weight as the main goal. Even the brand names themselves include this idea to attract people, for example “Weight Watchers” and “LoseIT!” This idea of dieting specifically to lose weight has contributed to society influencing people to look a certain way. Though some aspects of dieting could potentially create a negative impact, if balanced and not too restrictive, diets have been proven to improve the lives of many people.

People start different diets for a variety of reasons. Whether it is to prevent or manage a disease or condition or maintain a healthy weight, a person’s diet can make a huge impact. In addition, people can maintain a specific dietary regimen because of their personal morals.  For example, it is common for vegetarians and vegans to believe we as people should not harm or consume animals. Taking everything into consideration, if not overbearing, a diet can provide many benefits to an individual.