Entries in fads (2)


'Smoking' Alcohol and the Sobering Risks of Ingestion Fads YORK) -- Drinkers who have grown bored with drinking alcohol in liquid form, or who are hoping to skip the calories, have found a way to “smoke” their favorite spirits.

Vaporizing alcohol in either dry ice or through a specially made device has taken the Internet by storm, even if it is not readily available at your local watering hole. Multiple videos show young people as they inhale alcohol in an effort to get drunk faster.

Broderic Allen of Dallas, 25, made headlines last week when he said “smoking” alcohol helped him lose weight by allowing him to ingest it without the empty calories. Allen, who started to inhale alcohol after seeing his friends try it, said he didn’t believe he was putting his health at risk.

“It’s just a label, when you say, ‘Smoking alcohol,’” Allen told ABC News. “I looked it up before I tried it and there have been no studies being done to determine if it’s bad for the lungs.”

But even without official studies, experts warn that “smoking” alcohol and similar alcohol-ingestion fads can be dangerous.

Dr. Brett Roth, medical director of the North Texas Poison Center in Dallas, said there have been a number of alcohol fads in the past decade, from “drinking” liquor through the eyeballs to alcohol enemas, or “butt chugging,” that started as a joke, but led to sobering consequences.

“There’s a novelty in danger that attracts people who want to do things a little differently or add a little excitement,” said Roth, adding that he knew of one death by poisoning from an alcohol enema. “Young people are attracted [to these fads] in that way.”

Roth concedes there is no definitive data to explain how breathing alcohol vapor is bad for your health, but he points out that the alcohol goes straight into the bloodstream through the lungs. The upshot is that alcohol travels directly to the brain instead of first passing through the stomach lining or liver, as in a drink.

“People need to realize this will knock them out very quickly,” Roth said. “It’s much different [than drinking alcohol.]"

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Fat-Fighting Fads Through the Ages

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- In his book, Letter on Corpulence, William Banting describes his struggle with obesity and his successful weight loss with a version of the Atkins diet made popular in the '70s.

"The items from which I was advised to abstain as much as possible were: bread, butter, milk, sugar, beer and potatoes, which had been the main (and I thought, innocent) elements of my existence," Banting wrote.
The book was published in 1864.

The Library of Congress dug up Banting's book and a host of magazine advertisements from the 1940s and '50s in a joint effort with Weight Watchers to find lessons in past weight loss campaigns that can be used to address the ongoing obesity epidemic.

Roughly one-third of adult men and women in the U.S. are obese, according to a Jan. 14 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. And half of American adults are at risk for developing diabetes or pre-diabetes by 2020 if they don't lose weight.

"We certainly have a dual challenge going on here, in that we see the obesity numbers and then, after a lag of six years, we see an influx of type 2 diabetes," said Ann Albright, Ph.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's diabetes translation division.

Albright joined a panel of experts, which included Karen Miller-Kovach, chief scientific officer at Weight Watchers International, at the Library of Congress in Washington Wednesday.

"Without understanding the history of weight loss, it's difficult to move forward," Miller-Kovach said.

Ads for "bile beans" and bath salts that could transform fat into "strength-giving blood and muscle" show companies have been marketing fad diets and bogus weight loss products for decades.

"We're always looking for a magic bullet," said Lisa Cimperman, a registered dietician at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. "We don't want to do the work."

An ad for the Graybar Stimulator -- developed in the '20s and "a bargain in health" for only $59.50 -- shows people have always been willing to spend money on a quick fix.

"There's a perceived value. We think: 'If it's expensive, it must work,'" said Cimperman. "It's easier to spend money on a product than it is to go for a run."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio