Slim Fast encourages shedding pounds (and inches) as fast as possible.

Slim Fast encourages shedding pounds (and inches) as fast as possible.

Who has time to be healthy?

Not that the Slim Fast plan was ever a nutritious, rational option (in what world is ONE meal a day a good idea?), but their newest tagline just kills me.

“Slim Fast! Who has time to slim slowly?”

Awesome. Wonderful. Great thinking, Slim Fast! Because really, nothing could improve the ever-growing rates of obesity, eating disorders, and overall jacked up attitudes regarding food and body image like promoting a quick-fix diet solution!

Just to bring us back down to Earth (I’m sorry, I know how fun the magical, unicorn-filled fantasy world of easy, instant weight loss can be), here are some facts about slimming down too fast. According to WebMD, possible serious risks of dropping pounds too quickly include:

* Gallstones, which occur in 12% to 25% of people losing large amounts of weight over several months.

* Dehydration, which can be avoided by drinking plenty of fluids.

* Malnutrition, usually from not eating enough protein for weeks at a time.

* Electrolyte imbalances, which rarely can be life threatening.

Oh wait, there’s more! Though not as glamorous, crash dieters can also expect headaches, irritability (duh, who wouldn’t be irritable eating those dumb bars all day?), fatigue, dizziness, constipation, menstrual irregularities, hair loss, and muscle loss.

Now before the big bosses at Slim Fast send me a strongly-worded cease and desist letter, I should of course mention that their ad does claim to be “clinically proven.” But if you happen to pause the video on that alluring frame, you can read the teeny tiny print at the bottom of the screen that states, “Losing more than 30 pounds is not recommended. Exercise 30 minutes daily. Individual results may vary.”

I’m going to assume they ran out of space to include the part about gallstones.

The point is, it’s 2011. Let’s once and for all stop falling for these gimmicks and realize “nutrition” bars and shakes do not comprise a meal plan. Crash diets, no matter how “clinically proven,” are dangerous, deceptive, and in the end, totally ineffective.

And besides, this comedian is totally not funny.

— Michelle Konstantinovsky is a student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and an avid admirer of shiny objects and preteen entertainment. It would be nice if you visited her website: www.michellekmedia.com. Also, she may learn to use Twitter more effectively if you follow her @michelley415.