Cycles of attention to fad diets and internet search trends by Google trends

Jasilaine Andrade Passos Paulo Roberto Vasconcellos-Silva Ligia Amparo da Silva Santos About the authors


This work aimed at identifying, describing and analyzing news content associated with Google search cycles linked to eight types of diet: ketogenic; moon; protein; soup; detox; points; paleo; and Dukan. They were selected because they were pointed out by Google Trends® (GT) as the most often associated with the term “diet”. The content of sites linked to the highest search peaks was pointed out by Google News®. The volume of search attempts for diets was estimated by the GT with region filters (Brazil) and theme (Health) considering the period from 01/01/2012 to 01/01/2017. Results: hits portray ephemeral cycles, with hundreds of peaks and declining interest in the eight fad diets. The emphasis is on guidelines for quick weight loss in favor of optimal health as a proxy for an esthetic ideal. The scale of the risks associated with the more restrictive diets is often quoted and validated by expert information. The exposure and influence of the opinion of celebrities reporting their dietary experiences stand out. Contrary to the ideal of moderation, variety, and balance, fad diets portray the pressure for food self-control as a resource for building an idealized body typified by celebrity images.

Key words
Fad diets; Social media; Consumer health information; Internet

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