The Tapeworm diet originated in the 1990s and it’s probably the most bizarre diet in history. So, if you are squeamish, you might want to skip this part. Tapeworms are parasites that cannot survive on its own, and humans just happen to be the ideal hosts for them to grow. In order to lose weight with this diet, the person would have to consume tapeworm eggs, usually in the form of a pill. The tapeworms would grow inside the intestines of the individual and absorb food, leading to weight loss – along with the lousy side effects of diarrhea and vomiting.
But the icky factor does not stop there. Once the dieter feels they’ve lost enough weight, they need to excrete the tapeworm, and this usually goes along with its own set of complications. Luckily nowadays, it’s illegal to import or sell tapeworms, and the only way you can still be infected is by consuming undercooked pork contaminated with tapeworm eggs. Of all the fad diets of the past, this one is extremely unsafe. Tapeworms can grow to about 25 to 35 feet in length and can cause seizures, meningitis, and also lead to cysts on the brain or eyes. We’re glad that this fad diet is a thing of the past!
The Cotton Ball Diet
We had to read this twice before we believed it. Cotton balls are not edible…or are they? The Cotton Ball Diet became popular in the 21st century, thanks to social media. The idea is that you eat a few cotton balls (usually about 5) before mealtime. The cotton balls will ‘fill your stomach’ and you won’t be as hungry. There are a few reasons why this diet is a very bad idea. The first (and quite obvious) reason is that the cotton balls are a potential choking hazard. If you get them past your throat without choking, they can lead to other issues in your stomach and gastrointestinal tract. Because cotton balls can’t be digested, there’s a risk of them forming a bezoar – a solid indigestible mass that can block up your system. This will make the dieter nauseous and lead to cramping and possibly diarrhea. One of the biggest concerns about this diet, is that to many teens, it seems like a cheap, ‘quick-fix’ solution. Cotton balls are not hard to come by, so health professionals are worried that this diet might become a dangerous trend on social media.
Today, it’s difficult to think that cigarettes can be associated with anything healthy. But in the 1930s and 40s, cigarettes weren’t associated with unhealthy living. They became a popular appetite suppressant. Advertisements from the Lucky Strike brand promoted their cigarettes as an alternative to keep you from being ‘tempted to over-indulge’. So instead of grabbing cupcakes, the healthier alternative seemed to be grabbing a cigarette. There are some studies that show nicotine can keep you from putting on weight. Even today still, there are many individuals that don’t want to quit smoking because they fear putting on more weight. Unfortunately, cigarettes can also lead to lung and throat cancer, and getting a thinner physique at the expense of your health is just not worth it.
These diets are EXTREMELY dangerous and unsafe. Not only are they unhealthy – they can be deadly. If you are having weight issues, remember that a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise is always the best way to go!