In a world obsessed with body image, it’s no surprise to hear there is yet another diet fad making waves as the latest way to shift excess pounds fast.
The lollipop diet – developed by the Canadian company, Power Pops – involves sucking on three sugar-free, ‘appetite-suppressing’ lollies a day. These are available in a wide range of flavours, such as apple pie, cheesecake and cappuccino and are claimed to boost energy.
Most importantly, the lollipops contain three key ingredients claimed to aid weight-loss:
- Hoodia – a plant extract from South Africa used by indigenous people to survive in the desert.
- Citrimax – also known as HCA which comes from the garcinia camboya plant.
- Guarana – a natural source of caffeine.
Despite the growing popularity of this diet trend, nutritional experts are skeptical that it works.
A particular concern is the plant extract, hoodia, which is not scientifically proven to aid weight-loss when ingested. Furthermore, even HCA has come under fire for being ineffective.
We spoke to Nottingham Nutrition Coach, Susan Hart who said: “All the research suggests these ingredients at best do not do what they claim and at worst, could be harmful”.
She adds: “In 2007 you could find a new flavoured diet drink called Coolwater – Trim (containing HCA) on the shelves of major supermarkets, after it was reported in 2003 that the Garcinia Cambogia plant could suppress your appetite for up to 24 hours.
“Interestingly, Coolwater-Trim has now been discontinued because there was no proof that it was better than ordinary water for making you feel temporarily full.”
In addition to the ineffectiveness of the lollipop diet, there is concern that people may start using the lollipops as a replacement for three balanced, healthy meals a day.
Although Power Pops recommends sucking on the 10-calorie lollipops before a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner, it is likely some people may use them to suppress their appetite completely.
Susan says: “We are all looking for a quick fix, and what could be nicer than sucking on a lollipop three times a day before each healthy meal?
“If this ‘diet’ does succeed, it will not be because of the lollipops, but the three healthy balanced meals a day.”