5 most dangerous diets
Fad diets that can kill
Over the years people have tried some crazily dangerous diets. From putting parasites into your body to rubbing yourself in a hormone taken from the placenta, here are the five most dangerous diets.
What does the diet involve: Put bluntly, the tapeworm diet involves dieters putting a tapeworm into their bodies. Those who are on the diet tend to take a pill that when ingested grows a tapeworm inside your stomach. The tapeworm is supposed to feed off the food you digest. The diet was promoted as a fix for those struggling with their weight during the 20th century. Thankfully, the tapeworm diet is no longer legal and has been banned by the FDA, although it is thought that some people still choose to go on this dangerous ‘diet’.
Why it can be bad for you: The tapeworm diet is extremely dangerous because you are ingesting a parasite that will feed off you. Not only does the tapeworm eat your food, it consumes the nutrients your body needs. More importantly, the tapeworm does not necessarily stay in your stomach. The tapeworm can go anywhere in your body and can even end up in your brain, which can be fatal. Those on the tapeworm diet can also suffer from a range of painful complaints, from abdominal pains to headaches. Although you are supposed to take medicine to kill the tapeworm once you are ready, if unchecked the parasite could grow to 20 to 30 feet long!
The Prolinn Diet
What does the diet involve: If you’re slightly squeamish we warn you not to read on. Roger Linn created the Prolinn Diet (AKA The Last Chance Diet) during the 1970s. He suggested dieters should eat nothing, but should have one drink per day that was made up of rejected animal parts taken from the slaughterhouse, such as horns, tendons and hooves – we told you to stop reading if you were squeamish.
Why it can be bad for you: Incredibly, during the seventies two to four million people went on the Prolinn Diet. Shockingly, 58 per cent of these Prolinn dieters suffered from a heart attack whilst on it. The drink itself may not have been the cause of these heart attacks (although it wasn’t healthy as the animal by-products had been treated with artificial flavours and enzymes so that it could actually be drunk), but starving yourself led to terrible health problems and could have been the reason why so many suffered with heart problems.
The cigarette diet
What does the diet involve: We’ve all heard of the so-called ‘model’s diet’, which consists of cigarettes and water, but the original cigarette diet began back in the 1920s when cigarette companies marketed their products as miracle weight loss aids, playing on nicotine’s ability to suppress the appetite. During the 1920s the cigarette company Lucky Stripe Cigarette Company advertised their cigarettes using the slogan, "Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet." Apparently sales increased by 200 per cent off of the back of this Lucky Stripe campaign.
Why it can be bad for you: Well, these days everyone knows that smoking is dangerous.Tobacco smoke not only contains addictive nicotine, it also contains lots of other harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide. Smoking can cause lots of serious diseases, such as cancers, heart disease, strokes, impotence, and osteoporosis. So, the cigarette diet is clearly an extremely dangerous one not to be tried. If you are a smoker looking to quit here are some stop smoking tips that might help.
What does the diet involve: Well, on the fruitarian diet you can eat fruit. Some fruitarian dieters eat nuts and seeds, but all other foods are banned. You can’t even eat vegetables.
Why it can be bad for you: Eating food from one food group is bad news for you and your body. By only eating fruit, as the fruitarian diet suggests, you are not giving your body the fatty acids and nutrients it needs. Not eating enough nutrients, such as vitamin B12, can cause you to develop anaemia. According to Colombia University the fruitarian diet also does not provide you with enough protein, iron, zinc, vitamin D or calcium. As a result, you may feel tired, pick up illnesses because your immune system is low and are more prone to osteoporosis.
Who has tried the diet: Ashton Kutcher tried the diet when he was playing Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, who was a part-time fruitarian. Ashton ended up in hospital with stomach pain after trying the fruitarian diet.
What does the diet involve: The hCG diet involves taking the hCG hormone, which is found in the urine of pregnant women and the human placenta. You can inject the hormone directly into your bloodstream, ingest the hormone or rub the hormone into your skin in a cream form. Those who created the diet recommend you eat no more that 800 calories or 3347 kilojoules.
Why it can be bad for you: The hCG hormone has not been proven to help dieters lose weight. Any weight loss dieters do experience when on the diet is thought to stem from the restricted calorie or kilojoule intake. Again, eating so little is dangerous for you and your body and the vitamin and mineral deficiencies will result in health problems. Also, the hCG hormone has been linked with ovarian hyperstimulation, which can be life threatening.