The diet started on Monday in Britain when Boris Johnson unveiled a national drive to target obesity and beat coronavirus. Obesity is a major risk factor for Covid-19 and the British Prime Minister believes the strategy, which includes a ban on buy-one-get-one-free deals on unhealthy food, can help lower the risk of dying from coronavirus while taking pressure off the NHS.
The strategy is decisive and radical, and has been welcomed by many groups, including the Irish Heart Foundation, who would like to see Ireland following the UK's lead.
The problem is that it hasn't looked beyond the one-size-fits-all approach to obesity reduction - or reconsidered the age-old obesity rhetoric of blame and shame.
The 'Better Health' strategy, which involves calorie counts on menus and a ban on junk food adverts before 9pm, will no doubt help a certain cohort of people to make better choices around food.
However, it offers an egregiously simplistic answer to the complex problem of obesity, for which there is no single or simple solution.
We know much more about obesity now than we did 10 years ago. Yet even with all the new research telling us obesity is complex, governments continue to tackle the problem with the simple equation of calories in, calories out.
They don't consider genetics - and yes, some people are genetically predisposed to obesity. They don't consider socioeconomics, or the households that rely on buy-one-get-one-free deals. They don't factor in hormones, addiction or medication, or the psychological consequences of what is widely considered to be a simple physiological disorder.
In short, these national health drives fail to recognise that some people, for one reason or another, are predisposed to obesity. Nor do they recognise the people who have been calorie-counting since puberty with little to no avail.
Johnson needs to take action on obesity, but the way in which he has gone about it is unsettling. He has manipulated the obesity epidemic and rebranded it as a matter of national pride and civic duty. He has hijacked the goodwill towards the NHS with a strategy that smacks of the 'Your Country Needs You!' call during World War One.
An expert would point out that Boris shouldn't emotionalise or weaponise obesity. A cynic would suggest he's using the smokescreen of a health crisis to obfuscate a much larger one.
Either way, the 'Better Health' campaign is trying to tackle obesity with the same old tactics: shame and blame. And we should know by now that these tactics simply don't work.
We should also know what happens to people who don't follow the government programme during the pandemic. They are singled out by self-righteous social vigilantes and publicly attacked for their seeming lack of civic responsibility. And while we can justify this carry-on to a certain degree when it involves mask-wearing or foreign holidays or house parties, we can't allow obesity to fall under the same banner, nor can we allow obese people to become an easy target for our pandemic outrage.
It's worth remembering that there are plenty of people who are only too happy to exploit this opportunity: people who think obesity is a choice made by the lazy and weak-willed; people who know exactly how much money obesity costs Ireland each year (but who have much less to say about the fact that alcohol abuse costs us almost double).
Not all obesity is created equal. The person who has been overweight since childhood needs a different approach to the person who gained weight after a traumatic event.
The person who gained weight during the menopause needs a different approach to the person who gained weight after taking antidepressants. The binge eater needs a different approach to the emotional eater and so on.
To suggest that obesity can be tackled with a one-size-fits-all approach and a happy-clappy national effort is like asking an anxiety sufferer if they've tried exercise or suggesting that a binge drinker has a glass of water between drinks.
It fails to recognise the complexity of the issue, it's insulting to the people who have tried and failed to lose weight for years and, considering the context and timing of this particular health drive, it heaps shame on people who are already struggling.