General Motors Diet is a Hoax

Years ago, in the early days of the Internet, we used to read newsgroups. Newsgroups were essentially topical collections of blogs, except that the original poster had no control over comments. Every fall, the new folks would come online. This meant months of stale jokes, urban myths and all manner of hoaxes. Over a few months, they would get "internet sense". From December to July, the newsgroups would be relatively clean. And in August, the cycle would start again.

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.

41 comments:

  1. your sound logical.. because i also tried to find this diet programme in general motors site.. but was not able to.. I am a clinical dietician working in a hospital.. n many of my patients ask me about following this diet. though by looking at the programe I feel that it can be a detoxification diet... but it might have health complications...
    thanks for this blog tip anyways.

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  2. this is a very interesting post. but sorry to say, the diet is not a hoax. ive completed the entire program, a vegetarian version, and it worked for me, meaning, i lost weight, i had more energy, etc. now, im a severe chronic asthmatic, i was just in the ER yesterday after a 3 day stay, and i can tell you, when i did this detox, my asthma improved greatly. now bout the rest of it, the whole FDA, john hopkins thing, i'm not sure of. but i do know the diet works.

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  3. i aggree with melissa. i have been trying it during my annual medicals when i need to loose weight. i do lose weight for that period but when i return to my binging it recovers to the earlier one. can some nutrietionist tell us what harm can be done by taking this diet

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  4. a version of this diet, claiming to be the original, has beef included, some made revisions to take off the beef... if the "beefed" version was indeed the original then the chances that it could've been made in india are slim.

    i honestly don't care if it's indian or not or if it really came from GM or not.

    i've tried out more than a dozen of these diet programs for a decade, i'm no dietician but i can say from experience that this 7 day detox plan, wherever the hell it came from, has sense. though it might be drastic for some people like the obese public.

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  5. You might be right about the authenticity of the origins of this diet plan... however, it actually works and is similar to other routine de-toxification diets plans. What matters is that weight loss actually happens and whether the diet was doled out from GM or other big wigs as FDA etc. etc... or wheteher it was clinically tested in John Hopkins or not, fades out in importance.

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  6. Ofcourse if u dont eat u will loose weight, the question is will u be healthy at the end of it? detoxification diets could be harmful. our body detoxifies naturally, we do not need any other detoxification from outside. just eat healthy and exercise. tht will help us think critically and stay fit.

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  7. GM diet or not it works. The weight loss and keeping it off depends on each individual's metabolism. I have freinds who finished the 1st 7 days of these diet couple of weeks ago. One lost 3 lbs and the other (male) lost 15lbs. Females generaly loose slower. I am on the 4the day of my diet and have already lost 6lbs whereas my other friends who are dieting along with me have lost 1 to 2 lbs. So it depends. As far as starving, this diet does not control how much you eat. The food you will be eating is healthy and fresh, mostly prepared at home so how can it be wrong? Granted that it does not have all food groups on any given day but it is only for 7 days that you are doing this. If you want to repeat it, give it a few weeks gap like I will. If you go back to your regular eating habbits then obviously you will gain the weight back so portion control after the diet and ristricted carbs after 6pm will be a good idea. My reason for taking this diet seriously is that I met a gentelman who I had met last year was 80 lbs. lighter. I did not recognize him at the airport. It was too funny. I think he is a bit too skinny now but that is my opinion. LOL. He lost 80 lbs in 8 months by dieting every few weeks and controlling his fried food intake along with portion control. He also switched his drinks from Scotch to Vodka with Soda. Scotch has too many calories and Vodka does't.
    So it is possible to loose the weight and keep it off but you have to control your tongue ;>}
    If you are like me who needs to see results to stay motivated, this diet will do that for you. Peopl;e loose weight but controlling what they eat and portion controll too but that is a slow process and I need to se results NOW....

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  8. how can a diet consisting of beef be an indian-made hoax? do yr homework & try the diet first. I'm on day 4 and have lost 6.6 lbs, a little hungry but motivated to do a some running :)

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  9. lol actually IMO sanity is a hoax

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  10. I lost 15 kgs in four weeks. Oops!

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  11. I agree with Shobi and others who support this diet plan . I tried this plan for 2 weeks, Though my weight lose is a slow process but I can feel there is some weight loss. What my point is: restrict ur cal intake and do yoga & exercise.Yoga will make ur body flexible and exercise will make u fit.

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  12. The diet works great... This is the third time in life I am doing this... And i completed all... it works great... I lost at least 10 pounds each time and kept it off. It is very tough I agree but it DOES WORK.

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  13. Ive lost 9 kilos since I did this diet around 4 months back. After 1 week (I lost 5 kgs then), I just changed my eating habits (and quantity) and it seems to be great. I dont have any side effects so I say its a safe diet.
    Ive started this diet again, and it feels great.
    After this weeks diet, ill go back to my normal routine of having meat only on weekends and sticking to both veges n fruits during weekdays. (which helps maintain the weight loss)

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  14. hoax or no hoax, i was able to lose 4 kilos despite the fact that i cheated slightly during the process. true enough, i have more energy and feel lighter. actually, i did this prior to the christmas season so i can indulge a bit ha ha ha. planning to repeat the cycle next year.

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  15. very soon i will start this..but one doubt .. can we able to do routine works during this program?!!?

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  16. Well-being means having normal weight. Ensure you know how to prosper! But I know, how to lose weight!

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  17. Determination is must if one wishes to lose weight. Proper diet and exercise plus phentermine will help you lose weight. Phentermine works by decreasing your appetite.Phentermine can be purchased online without prescriptions at WWW.MEDSHEAVEN.COM It is easy and convenient. WWW.MEDSHEAVEN.COM guarantees 100% product satisfaction.

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  18. I to have tried the diet and even chose it for a project in my nutrition class. I used this diet program to lose the last of my baby weight after I had my daughter and it was wonderful! It's not costly and is easy to follow. Whether it came from india, or gm or what who really cares a name is just a name. The big point here is that IT WORKS!!!

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  19. I lost a lot of weight by taking Phentermine that I ordered from WWW.MEDSHEAVEN.COM i am very satisfied!

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  20. when a person make a diet is important to have a good control with a doctor and is necessary to combine it with frequent exercises but if you want to encrease your sexual health is necessary to
    buy viagra, so your problem will solve too fast and you will notice a great and powerful sexual health.

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  21. you are right but the diet works but my concern is the diet healthy to the body or what

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  22. I am not sure of Indian origin, bcoz of the beef inclusion. But i am on it Day 2. Lost already a kg. Will get back at end of day 7 if i can.

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  23. Thanks for the heads up. I've just read something about that GM diet. I never thought it was a hoax because it was convincing to some extent. I'm actually looking for an effective diet. Well, I'm not really that fat. I just want to regulate my eating, that's all. I always eat clean foods, and I make sure that they're healthy, too. I tell my children that they should also eat clean. Recipes which promote clean and healthy living are all over the Internet, so why not go for those instead.

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  24. Thanks for the heads up. I've just read something about that GM diet. I never thought it was a hoax because it was convincing to some extent. I'm actually looking for an effective diet. Well, I'm not really that fat. I just want to regulate my eating, that's all. I always eat clean foods, and I make sure that they're healthy, too. I tell my children that they should also eat clean. Recipes which promote clean and healthy living are all over the Internet, so why not go for those instead.

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  25. i am coming to the end of day 3 on this diet and.......... i works. i have lost 5lb and i am determind to finish it off. this is not a hoax and it is in no way from india. they love their cows lol. why do people have to slag off a good thing. grow up and pick on something else.

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  26. Hi Guys,

    Gm diet works really great!!!!!!
    http://www.gmdietworks.com/

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  27. Hello there! Fellow diet nut here. Just want to post my thoughts about the GM diet. I've tried so many diets (I cannot even count) and each time, I either lose and get my old eating habits back after or just quit halfway through the diet. And then my friend introduced me to the GM diet and well, here's what I have to say:

    1. The diet works. Each time I tried it, I lost at least 10 pounds. If you are disciplined and follow it through and through, you WILL lose as much as the targeted weight loss says stated. And I don't know if others will agree with me, but I enjoy the diet. The food requirements are pretty common and they don't taste bad either. (Excludes vegetable-haters, of course. Hahaha.)

    2. I do believe it's healthy because you aren't deprived of food at all. Yes, you are limited to the kinds of food you eat each day but your body still gets the proper nutrients it needs to function. Also, I had enough energy to exercise for at least an hour each day.
    The diet also includes the person having to drink 10 glasses of water a day. I can say the excessive peeing is a hassle, but it purifies the body and makes you feel clean.

    3. Just what everybody else mentioned earlier. I highly doubt indians would promote beef if they themselves have never eaten it. And I agree ^ they love their cows. Hahaha.

    That's all. I don't want this blog to discourage those who may possibly benefit from this diet. I can honestly say this diet has helped me in so many ways. It has made me look better, boost my confidence, and control my calorie intake.

    To all those who want a diet they can enjoy, GM is definitely worth trying. :)

    P.S. I super love day 4. Bananas and milk are zee bomb.

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    Replies
    1. I tried it for 70 days ..each week i got a rest for three days so you can say i tried it 7 tyimes and l;ost 17 kgms in total..the good thing also i had back disc problem vanished completely..i did not do any sports excersise..the big question DOES IT HAVE ANY HARM ON THE BODY? IS THE BEEF SIDE ESSENTIAL?

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  28. well, i have been on this diet for 4 days and I fell amazing.. lighter ( have not weighed yet, but I am sure at least 5 pounds) my mind is so clear, I have energy, I am happy, and the main thing I love.. I AM NOT HUNGRY!!. The soup works as a great supplement. I also use a lot of liquid B12 during th day. i was a heavy wine drinker ( 3 glasses, or more per day) and just the fact that I have not have wine has made me rfeel amazing.. I thought this would be the hardest day ( bananas and milk) but I feel sooo good. made my family bacon, eggs, toast.. no cravings.. look forward to see what my total loss is, and start back up on day *.. The key for me has been to mix it up.. add lots of spices, what ever you like, to the veggies, eat variety of fruit.. I am ,oving the way I fell.. almost like it lifted me out of a depression!!!!

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  29. Alright everyone.... heres the thing. Yes this detoxification plan may be "effective" as in, weight falls off in a matter of 7 days, yet, many fail to realize that of course if you cut down your calorie intake drastically, you are going to loose weight. Another point is that many of the posts claim that there are health benefits with this diet. This may be due to the fact that you are increasing your vitamin intake and eliminating fatty foods. Of course if your daily diet is high in sugar and saturated fats, and you switch to only eating vegetables fruits and beef, you may feel like you have more energy, but this is in fact only the result of the elimination of saturated fats and sugars. So everyone, what is the conclusion? Why don't we all eliminate saturated fats and sugars, cut down our calorie intake slightly and exercise more??? This will make you feel more energetic, you will loose weight, and you don't cut out major food groups that are necessary for proper functioning. This is especially dangerous for anyone who hasn't finished growing, is involved in activities such as demanding sports, and it is totally unrealistic. I hope this changes anyones mind about this self proclaimed "diet." BE HEALTHY !!!!!

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  30. aaawww... you cannot please all of them! Other will spend time to prove you wrong... yeah... good people will come up with ideas but fools will just wait for it and disapprove! That will make them feel smart! Get a life, try the diet and see if it is India or China! Peace to all!

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  31. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabbage_soup_diet its almost a copy of it. Well,I did followed the GM for 1 week and lost around 9-11 lbs. But i stop cause worried about the long term side effect. cheers!!!

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  32. What a crappy effort to link beef and India? There is an EXTREMELY small minority in upper caste (higher class) of Hindus in India that avoid beef (which is against their holy book book anyway), other then that, beef in India, I think, is consumed more than anywhere else in the world.

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  33. FWIW, I found a wealth of honest information on this diet plan at www.gmdietreview.com.

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  34. So I'm going to cheat, I'll still eat everything on the diet through the day and night, but I think I might have toast for breakfast, I can't handle the way this diet makes me feel. I feel weak and I was a bit shaky this morning. Do you think the toast in the morning will make a difference, I've been exercising as well.

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  35. The diet is not connected to GM, but some people do lose weight with it. Go to http://gmdiet.org/ and you will find how it works. Good luck.

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  36. It's funny I stumbled upon this blog when I was actually looking to re-finance my used car to get a brand new GM but there are really interesting stuffs you got here. I like it, thanks.

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  37. babe if your going to be searching from an Indian IP address more or less, websites will mostly be indian not sure but i think so

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  38. What a tool!!! Indian HOAX... do some research !!! why would a indian diet include beef.. Seriously.. and indian links.. i mean seriously!!!! Put on ur thinking hats...

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  39. This GM Diet works.. It has worked for me..

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