Whatever Happened To The Beverly Hills Diet?

The 1981 best-selling book "The Beverly Hills Diet" is sometimes called the first fad diet. According to The New York Times, the diet was created by Judy Mazel, an aspiring actress who in the 1970s worked with a nutritionist to develop her own weight-loss plan. After a lifelong struggle with her weight, Mazel lost 78 pounds using the methods later outlined in her book.

The plan was seriously strict and called for eating mothing but a selection of fruits in specific order for the first ten days. Mazel's belief was that fruit enzymes make hard-to-digest foods less fattening. And one of the main ideas behind the diet was that it mattered not what food was eaten, but when and in what combination. Authors of an article in The Journal of the American Medical Association said the Beverly Hills Diet was full of "inaccuracies" that could harm people's health. Dr. Gabe Mirkin of the University of Maryland and Dr. Ronald Shore of Johns Hopkins University were skeptical of Ms. Mazel's theory, noting that, "enzymes in fruit do nothing to help break down food in the stomach and intestines" (via The New York Times). In addition, they wrote that eating great amounts of fruit could lead to diarrhea, fever, muscle weakness, and circulation problems.

These days, you don't find many people discussing the Beverly Hills diet. Which makes us wonder, whatever happened to the one of the most popular diets of the '80s?

The diet has had a makeover, but it is based on the same premise

As it turns out, it's gone through a touch of rebranding. Per WebMD, "The New Beverly Hills Diet" is a twist on the old diet plan. And even though some of the rules have relaxed (barely), fruit is still very much the favored cuisine. The made-over Beverly Hills diet requires followers to have a fruit-based diet for the first 35 days. After that, there are hard-to-follow restrictions over what to pair with carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

So, does the revised plan work? "While the principle of food combining for weight loss has been around for a while, there is no science to support it," says dietitian Yvette Quantz, a sports and lifestyle nutritionist, tells Very Well Health. Adding, "If you lose weight on the New Beverly Hills diet, it is because you are taking in less calories, not because of how you are combining your foods." 

It appears that the Beverly Hills Diet, much like jazzercise and Aqua Net, peaked in the '80s only to fade into obscurity. And given the concerns health professionals have continuously raised about it, that's probably for the best.