Cabbage diet soup - which attracts an amazing number of diet plans and variations - is an urban legend, and just as dangerous.
Although some people swear by it, the cabbage soup diet can be summed up as an excruciating way to lose 10-15lb as you fart your way through one week, and regain the weight in the following week.
The best diet for life does none of that. The best diet life is interesting, nutritious, nourishing and a natural extension of your attitude. Have a look at things like The Negative Calorie Diet or The Every Other Day Diet.
So how does something like cabbage diet soup gain such a following? And it is an enormous following. What comes across most strongly is the divided opinions that prompt users to shout about their experiences.
Even the entry on Wikipedia provokes argument. Its neutrality, notability, and tone are all disputed. Currently the entry says: 'The Cabbage soup diet is a radical weight loss diet designed around heavy consumption of low-calorie cabbage soup over the space of seven days. It is generally considered a fad diet, in that it is designed for short-term weight-loss and requires no long-term commitment.'
There seems to be little doubt that cabbage diet soup works. But it has savage side-effects and few report being able to keep the weight off.
Nutritionists and dieticians warn against it. Yet thousands - if you can judge from activity on discussion forums - line up to try it.
Perhaps the appeal is the speed of seeing results. It therefore attracts large numbers of people who have trouble sticking to any diet, or those who must - at any price - lose 10 pounds to get into particular clothes by next Saturday night.
Don;t be fooled. Cabbage diet soup is a recipe for trouble.