Some of the current diet books:
* The I Love America Diet ($11.95, William Morrow and Co., Inc.) by Phyllis George and Bill Adler. Nothing nutritionally wrong with this ultra-traditional diet--in fact, it is pretty much a rewrite of the Department of Agriculture nutrition guidelines behind a gimmicky cover. What does the title mean: It's un-American to be fat?
* Mary Ellen's Help Yourself Diet Plan ($10.95, St. Martin's/Marek). There you have it. The subtitle of this relentlessly cheery offering is "The One That Worked for Me!" Mary Ellen Pinkham has at least done some homework on new research in weight-control, and if you go for the chatty, cutesy, homey suggestions that have made her the multimillionaire high priestess of the helpful hint, this one isn't a total loss--with one great warning: Her answer to the inevitable dieters' plateau is to increase calories.For the vast majority, that way lies poundage.
* Audrey Eyton's Extraordinary F-Plan Diet ($12.95, Crown.) This British import has the right idea and some fairly good high-fiber recipes but it's a bit short on the latest research.
Remember, anybody can lose weight on almost any diet. It's what happens afterwards that is the problem. Between 95 and 98 percent of dieters who lose weight gain it back within a few weeks or a few months, or even a few years. But back it comes.
Even though most experts suggest we cut down on our salt, it's not a bad idea to approach diets like these with a grain or two.