Other Notable Deaths


October 29, 2007

JUDY MAZEL, 63 `Beverly Hills Diet' creator

Judy Mazel, author of the 1981 best-selling book The Beverly Hills Diet, which recommended eating nothing but fruit for the first 10 days of a six-week regimen, and which drew strong criticism from medical authorities, died on Oct. 12 of stroke complications in Santa Monica, Calif.

The Beverly Hills Diet made the New York Times best-seller list on May 24, 1981, and remained there for 30 weeks. It sold nearly a million copies, topping even Richard Simmons' Never-Say-Diet Book on a list heavy with nutrition and self-help books.

Ms. Mazel's regimen called for eating nothing but designated fruits in a specific order for those first 10 days. On Day 11, one could finally eat bread, two tablespoons of butter and three cobs of corn. Not until Day 19, after a week of similarly precise restrictions, could the dieter consume something, like steak or lobster, that would be a source of complete protein. Since the diet was said to be based on the enzymatic action of foods during digestion, Ms. Mazel's contention was that what mattered was not what food was eaten but when and in what combination.

Soon after the book's release, an article in The Journal of the American Medical Association said the book was full of potentially harmful medical inaccuracies.

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