Some of you may be too young to remember, but this diet was all the craze back in the late 1980s and early 1990s ... that's when the whole 'eat an oatbran muffin, lower your cholesterol and lose weight' thing came into fashion (before they realized you'd have to eat about 50 oatbran muffins a day for the oatbran in them to have any effect at all cholesterol) ... that's when all the "Low Fat" labelling on packages of food began. As I recall it got so carried away that they labelled stuff (like veggies) which never had fat in it to begin with, in order to increase its marketability.
I think the low fat thing started to go out the window when people began to realize that in order for things, which need a bit of fat to taste good, to continue to taste good, manufacturers had to load them with sugar. And for some mysterious reason, eating all this low fat, sugar laden stuff, people weren't losing weight. (Weight Watchers went that route for a while with their meals).
And then ... along came Atkins and the low carb, high protein diet.
If I had to predict, I would have guessed that it was the "low protein" diet's turn ... after all we've already done the low fat thing. But I guess you just never know where dieting is going to go next.
The Omnivores Dilemma does a good job at explaining the USA's inability to come to terms with obesity and diet fads.
The most intriguing part was the point about gourmet meaning tradition. We don't have the tradition of other cultures and therefore we are at the mercy of "specialists" who come out with new fads every couple of years.
These diet plans are cash cows because of our life styles. I work with people who sit down to have a meal with their family once a year, if that.
Real food, cooked well, eaten in moderation, in a relaxed setting, with loved ones is all one needs. How novel is that?