I was reminded of that cycle when a dear uncle posted verbatim on our family mailing list a diet (forgive me for not linking to it: I don't want to spread it any further; if you are interested, follow the Google link at the end of this article) that purports to have been:
developed for employees and dependents of General Motors, Inc. and is intended for their exclusive use. This program was developed in conjunction with a grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. It was field tested at the Johns Hopkins Research Centre and was approved for distribution by the Board of Directors, General Motors Corp.What gives it away (besides the fact that FDA doesn't fund clinical trials, let alone development of nutrition programs; that Johns Hopkins is so big that it has more than one research center but definitely no "centre"; that the board of GM is not going to approve every Human Resources program) is its language:
It will also improve your attitudes and emotions because of its cleansing systematic effects. The effectiveness of this seven day plan is that the food eaten burn more calories than they give to the body in caloric value. This plan can be used as often as you like without any fear of complications. It is designed to flush your system of impurities and give you a feeling of well being."Cleansing", "Impurities", etc. reflect a yogic tradition. This sounds like a made-in-India hoax. Sure enough, a Google search for "general motors diet" reveals that the links are all Indian. There is not a single General Motors, USDA, FDA or Johns Hopkins link in the mix.
What astonished me is that a great many of the links are actually posts by people on the 3rd or 4th day of the diet! People, this is a fake! It's a hoax. Don't try it at home.
I looked on Snopes, but apparently the hoax is big in India, not in the US, so it hasn't made it to Snopes. So, consider this a public interest blog post.