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Ridiculous Diet of the Week?: Ayds Reducing Diet Plan

October 19, 2011

It’s already been an incredibly long week, and I’m basically exhausted and ready for it to be over, so I decided to just revert back to my old-style for this week of posting ridiculousness that I find relating to weight/diet/exercise.

And thus here we have an absurd diet plan from the 1970s entitled the “Ayds Reducing Diet Plan.” Oh what a tragic name. And what a tragic concept. Apparently, it is an “appetite suppressant chocolate” that you eat preceding any healthy meal (also goes splendidly with a hot drink, apparently). “Appetite suppressant chocolate” sounds like a delicious idea, but “The active ingredient was originally benzocaine,[1] presumably to reduce the sense of taste to reduce eating, later changed in the candy as reported by The New York Times to phenylpropanolamine.” That does not sound like such a delicious or healthy idea at all, actually. In fact, The NY Times (1982) reported that the active ingredient in AYDS was phenylpropanolamine – a substance the FDA has now ruled “not recognized as safe”.

But, safety? An issue that people care about when it comes to losing weight? Nah. Really, the NAME of the diet is what actually did them in. The appetite suppressant candy was highly successful in the 70s and early 80s and then…sales plummeted in the mid-’80s. Can anyone guess why oh why? The first sentence on the Wikipedia page is “Not to be confused with AIDS.” Oh god. How unfortunate is this?! The sales pitch included lines like “Why take diet pills when you can enjoy Ayds?” As one commenter on a site lauding the product stated about the disappearance of her favorite diet: “The Ayds Reducing Plan as it was called was taken off the market at the advent of the killer disease. Since AIDs causes you to lose massive amounts of weight it really wasn’t appropriate for a diet plan to have the same sounding name.”

Enough said.

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