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Ranking the rankest of fad diets

June 9, 2008 |  4:15 pm

Diet500

Grapefruit diet. The cabbage soup diet. The coffee diet.

In an effort that can only be characterized as part public service and part entrepreneurial enterprise, one website has positioned itself as a diet myth-buster site -- sort of a snopes.com for dieters. And the site even has a "Myth-O-Meter" index, ranking various diets, from worst to best.

"SkinnyMyths.com," says the company in an email, "tracks online buzz about fad diets using online news data," and combines that information with blogosphere data and a qualitative score of the diet's quality from a team of nutritional experts, to produce the Myth-O-Meter index. "For example," it continues, "the Red Bull Diet may force somebody to lose weight, and received buzz in one month, but it receives a [score of] one because it is very unhealthy to build a well-rounded nutrition program around it. Others like the Boiled Egg Diet receive eight out of 10 because of its more sensible ingredients."

For the record, these diets have been linked to various celebrities, but only on the rumor level.

This month’s winners, or losers, depending on how you look at it:

(From worst to best)

1. Red Bull Diet

2. Protein Separation Diet

3. Coffee Boost Diet

4. British Facial Analysis Diet

5. Adderall Diet

6. White Food Diet

7. Martha's Vineyard Detox

8. Boiled Egg Diet

9. Tea Diet

10. Master Cleanse Diet

--Janet Cromley

Photo: Eric Boyd / Los Angeles Times

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