By LARRY WOODY
A recent TV expose of weight-loss fads was a real shocker: they don't work!
The only thing most of them lighten is your wallet.
Well, to be fair, some of the programs will take off weight if followed precisely. Take the popular Bean-Sprout Diet, for example:
Boil one (1) average-sized bean sprout in a pot of water.
For breakfast eat the bean sprout.
For lunch drink the water.
For supper lick the pot.
If you'll adhere strictly to the Bean-Sprout Diet for several weeks, you'll lose so much weight that your casket will be light as a feather.
Most reputable doctors caution against going on such crash diets. (The term "crash diet" comes from the fact if a patient stays on one long enough, he'll become so weak that he can't control his automobile and will eventually crash while driving to the store to buy another bean sprout.)
Disreputable doctors have been known to lend their names to various fat-frauds. We frequently see such advertisements as "Doctor Doofuss's Miracle-Weight Loss Regime and Aluminum-Siding Installation."
When you check into it you'll discover "Doctor Doofuss" is not, well, technically a doctor....at least not of the medical variety. He holds a doctorial degree in Poultry Science.
Another ruse: He had his name legally changed from "Fred Doofuss" to "Doctor Doofuss."
Or he's a famous basketball player, like Doctor J.
In these days of vanity and self-absorption, everybody wants to look trim. By "trim" I mean like those hollow-eyed, malnourished models in fashion magazines whom are starved -- literally -- for attention.
This national pursuit of malnourishment makes desperate, calorie-challenged tubbies easy prey for the fat-quacks and their hunger-game scams.
Celebrities are particularly renowned for paying big bucks to starve themselves. One program, that's popular in Hollywood circles, is the Deserted Island Diet. For $50,000 the celebrity is dropped off on a deserted island and left for one month. There's nothing to eat on the island except old coconut hulls and an occasional caterpillar.
After a month on the island, the trimmed-down celebrity is ready to return to Tinseltown and audition for a role in the new Doogie Howser movie.
The Deserted Island Diet is a spinoff of the old Stranded in the Desert Diet, in which the dropped-off patient was guaranteed to not only lose weight but to also get a suntan.
There were some unfortunate side-effects to the Desert-Stranded Diet, and it was discontinued after Roseanne Barr suffered a sun-stroke, became disoriented, and married a camel. (The marriage was annulled after the camel cooled off and came to his senses.)
The main reason why we, as a nation, are having trouble seeing our collective toes is because we're lazy. We don't get any exercise. (Lifting the TV remote control and opening the refrigerator door doesn't count.)
How lazy are we? There's a new automotive device that beeps a warning when we're about to back into something. That's what it's come to -- we're too lazy to turn our heads.
So we sit around pigging out and letting machines do all the work for us, until we eventually get so lard-challenged that we're shamed into going on some sort of crazy "miracle" diet.
Instead of crash-dieting we might try exercising. But -- like having to turn our heads to see what's behind us -- working out requires, well, work. It's much easier to just listen for the beep.