Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another diet scam uncovered

I read this article today and was aghast. Granted, we've all heard about the latest diet before, but I was unaware of this one called the "Kimkins Diet," essentially a take off of an old version of Atkins but to an extreme. It was apparently on the cover of Woman's World with the headline "Better than Gastric Bypass" showing a woman who had lost 100 pounds from the diet alone. That woman has now left the Kimkins company and started her own blog here. As a former PR person for this website and the Kimkins Diet, she explains what led to her leaving.

So just what is exactly is the Kimkins Diet? It's an extreme version of low cal, low carb, low fiber diet and not medically or nutritionally proven whatsoever. The fact that laxatives were promoted is a huge red flag! The "founder" who left herself in disguise for a long time has finally revealed herself as Heidi Kimberley Diaz. She developed a website promoting this diet claiming she has lost 198 pounds in 11 months and kept it off. This was the first fraudulent claim in a series of many. There were also falsified pictures of testimonials of people who'd lost weight from this diet. They turned out to be Russian mail-order bride photos taken from another site. This woman had people pay her in membership fee to join. And there are just a slew of other fraudulent claims and wrongdoings.

It really makes you realize how far people go to lose weight, and I don't just mean those who develop eating disorders, although with this diet, some of these followers were on the verge of it, starving, and malnourished with physical side effects of lethargy, hair loss, dizziness, nausea, etc. We are such a society on "lookism" and wanting that magic pill or that magic diet to provide that. It's just so scary to think how far someone will go. It seems beyond reason just like someone with an eating disorder. Logic goes out the window along with your intuitiveness. You keep reminding yourself of the reward at the end--that the self deprivation will all be worth it in the end. Is it really? I'm sure there are some who followed this diet and feel that way (the website gives a "pro-ana" type feel) but I think there are many who did not and were playing with fire in terms of their health decline.

Back in June, the FDA issued a regulation on dietary supplements to require current good manufacturing practices. This goes along the lines of making sure that what is in the supplement is accurately labeled as such and that it is produced in a quality manner. I wish the same could be said for these type of internet weight loss scams. I'm sure this Kimkin diet will undoubtedly be the last of this type to come about again. Hopefully, this is will be a wake up call to people.

For more information on this diet and its controversy, go to here and here This site has also gotten down to the controversy as well.

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