Sometimes it's fun to reflect on what's changed in the past couple of decades and wonder why old trends were ever considered a "thing" in the first place. (After all, how many times have you looked at your old high school prom photos only to hide your face in confusion and embarrassment from your "once-fashionable" wardrobe?) There's no doubt that the past 40 years have made significant progress, but they have also brought a line of wacky health fads.
The Huffington Post complied a list of the top 1o craziest health trends of the past 40 years and why they need to be left behind. Check it out!
1. Waist training
- The Idea: If you've been on Instagram in the past year, you've probably seen celebrities like the Kardashians snapping selfies in their waist trainers. These corset-like contraptions take a cue from Victorian times and claim to reshape your waist and kick-start fat loss in your stomach. You begin with 2-to-4-hour sessions and gradually build to round-the-clock wear.
- The Problem: Makers of the garment say it strengthens your core, but like the back-support belts worn by people who lift heavy things for a living, it's more likely to leave your muscles weaker in the long run, says Michael Roizen, MD, chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic. "It's not training — it's deconditioning," he says. "And your stomach will go back to its original shape as soon as you take it off."
- The Lesson: If you want a tighter, stronger stomach, actual abdominal exercises are your best bet. Try this routine (no crunches!) to get started.
>> Nowadays, people are talking about that crazy wrap thing... what's that all about? Click here to get the wrap on body wraps.
2. Raw milk
- The Idea: Fans of raw milk, also known as "real" milk, say that skipping the pasteurization process makes for greater anti-microbial and immune-boosting properties.
- The Problem: Pasteurization kills potentially harmful pathogens that come from contamination or sick cows, which is why the U.S. government banned raw milk from being sold or distributed across state lines in 1987. Individual states had the final say on whether it could be sold within their borders though. Eight more states have given it the OK within the past 11 years, bringing the total tally of states where you can buy raw milk to 30, with several others allowing cowshare agreements, where you chip in for a cow's care and get a portion of its unpasteurized milk in return. There were 81 outbreaks associated with non-pasteurized milk between 2007 and 2012 (a 4-fold increase over 1993 to 2006), resulting in 979 illnesses and 73 hospitalizations. (Potential culprits that are nixed by pasteurization: salmonella, E coli and campylobacter, the ingestion of which has been linked, though rarely, to Guillain-Barré syndrome or temporary paralysis.)
- The Lesson: If you're after the beneficial bacteria that pasteurization destroys, there are less dangerous ways to get it, Roizen says. Try probiotic-rich yogurt or kefir instead.
- The Idea: These battery-operated devices deliver nicotine, enticing flavors (piña colada, coffee, cherry, bubblegum and more), and other chemicals but no tobacco, so they're often marketed as a safe way to quit smoking.
- The Problem: There was no difference in quit rates among smokers who tried e-cigarettes and those who didn't try them in a 2014 study in JAMA Internal Medicine. And two recent studies, one in the New England Journal of Medicine and the other in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, found that many e-cigarettes still produce the carcinogenic compound formaldehyde, though in lower levels than regular cigarettes do. There's also evidence that the chemicals used to create those alluring flavors could cause respiratory irritation in some cases.
- The Lesson: Smoking is bad, but we don't know yet if e-cigarettes are much better. In the meantime, if you want to quit smoking, check out for resources that can help.
4. The KE Diet
- The Idea: File this under the "They're doing what?!" health trend of 2012 — the KE Diet had followers getting small feeding tubes inserted into their noses to deliver a low-calorie solution with the promise of quick weight loss.
- The Problem: Aside from the extreme nature of inserting a tube into your nose, you're consuming way too few calories and putting your body into a state of ketosis, where it relies on your fat stores for fuel to keep going, says Rebecca Scritchfield, RD, the founder of Capitol Nutrition Group in Washington, D.C. And while there are some circumstances where weight-loss via feeding tube may be medically recommended, "this is not for someone who's trying to lose weight to fit into a dress or bathing suit," Louise Aronne, MD, director of the Weight Management Center at Weill Cornell Medical Center says.
- The Lesson: Do not resort to feeding tubes to drop a little extra weight.
Want to read more about these crazy trends? Click here to read the original article by The Huffington Post.
5. Toning Shoes
- The Idea: The shoes claimed to turn up the burn on your leg muscles and scorch more calories by simulating walking barefoot or walking on uneven surfaces. The same amount of exercise but better results? No surprise that this trend was hugely popular.
- The Problem: "It’s bunk," says Glenn Gaesser, PhD, a professor of exercise science and health promotion and the director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University. "The energy expenditure that might be increased by wearing these shoes is trivial compared to the amount you'd need to lose weight." They're no more effective than regular sneakers, according to a 2010 study funded by the American Council on Exercise. Skechers had to fork over $40 million to the Federal Trade Commission in 2012 for the misleading advertising on their popular Shape-Up shoes, which promised weight loss and stronger legs, butts and abs.
- The Lesson: If wearing toning shoes inspires you to get up and move more, that's great. But, sorry to say, you're not getting a better workout than you would in your regular sneaks.