All The Ridiculous Diet & Wellness Fads That Were Huge This Year

Photographed by Mike Garten.
Some people say that "cancel culture" — figuratively cancelling a person or trend when we don't agree with it — is wrong because we need to learn from our past mistakes. But when it comes to the wellness world, there are certain fads that probably should be cancelled, because they're potentially dangerous to our health.
Of course, health is an incredibly individualized thing. Some people are drawn to unconventional health treatments for legitimate reasons, like feeling disbelieved by doctors or lacking access to affordable healthcare, for example. But the problem is, when so many people get on board with a specific trend, we often end up trusting it as gospel. And that's not always a good thing, because these trends aren't always harmless.
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In 2018, there was no shortage of bizarre health trends that blew up on the internet. Ahead of the new year, here are the ones that we'd be perfectly find leaving in 2019. Or, to put it in very 2018 terms: "Thank you, next."
1 of 6

Vitamin IV drips.

Lots of high-profile wellness-obsessed celebrities, like Kendall Jenner and Lisa Rinna, turn to vitamin IV drips when they're dealing with a cold or trying to get through a hangover. These vitamin IV drips aren't really that magical, and they usually contain a mixture of saline solution, magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, and vitamin C that can help with dehydration. But since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate these mixtures, and they're not always administered by trained health professionals, there's always a risk that you could end up with some serious health complications ranging from infections to blood clots. So, this particular health shortcut is probably not worth it.
2 of 6

Appetite-suppression lollipops.

This summer, Kim Kardashian posted a sponsored photo to her Instagram featuring Flat Tummy lollipops that promise to suppress your appetite for hours. Not only is the claim that a lollipop will destroy your appetite and lead to weight loss extreme, but it's pretty irresponsible of celebrities to promote weight-loss products on their social media accounts — especially sketchy ones like this that aren't approved by the FDA.
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3 of 6

Colonics and enemas.

Goop aficionados are super into colonics, procedures that irrigate your colon with gallons of water, because they believe they'll help your body "detox." But here's the thing: your liver, kidney, stool, and urine naturally remove toxins and waste from your body. "The colon itself is a very dynamic, wonderful organ, that does its job naturally, and doesn’t need assistance," Rabia De Latour, MD, gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health told Refinery29. Colonics are not medically necessary and they could actually lead to injuries or electrolyte imbalances, and the same goes for at-home enemas you can buy OTC, she said.
4 of 6

"Clean" eating.

Sorry, but there's no such thing as "clean" eating, despite the fact that so many people use this term to describe their diets. "Clean" is a subjective term that often gets misconstrued. When you say that a food is "clean," it implies that other foods are "dirty," shameful, and bad for you. This can lead to labelling certain foods as morally "good" or "bad," and make you fear certain foods, which harms your relationship to food overall. So, if you see a "clean eating plan," keep in mind that it's probably a restrictive diet in sheep's clothing.
5 of 6

Activated charcoal.

From toothpastes to juices, activated charcoal is everywhere, despite having no real health benefits. Activated charcoal is just charcoal that's been reheated and oxidized, and while it can be used to treat overdoses of drugs or chemicals, it's not going to detoxify your body. If anything, it could screw with medications that you take (even birth control pills), because it binds to substances in your gastrointestinal system and prevents your stomach from absorbing them.
6 of 6

Trendy supplements.

It's easy to understand the appeal of supplements: you take a little pill that's allegedly packed with lots of important nutrients that will solve all of your health problems. But the thing we often forget about is that the FDA isn't "authorized" to review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market, a FDA representative told Refinery29. That means it's on supplement companies to make sure that they evaluate the safety of their ingredients and label them appropriately. Ideally, all supplement companies would do this, but that doesn't always happen, so you have to do your research before popping a dietary supplement.
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