The Mess Behind the Kimkins Diet

Here’s a great post from the Eating Disorders and Nutrition News Blog:

The Mess Behind the Kimkins Diet

The Kimkins Diet bills itself as a “lean, low carb plan which has less fat than Atkins, less carbs than South Beach and faster weight loss than Weight Watchers.” Kimkins is a particularly dangerous diet because the calories are so low (around 800 calories or less) that serious health problems like gallbladder disease and hair loss have been reported.

You can’t buy a Kimkins Diet book because there isn’t one. It is promoted by the founder Heidi Diaz’s website (www.kimkins.com/). Recently Kimkins and Diaz have been the focus of negative press because Diaz admits that she lied about personally losing 198 pounds in 11 months. She is also accused of  posting pictures of herself and other “success stories” that she had taken off of other websites (mostly sites advertising Russian woman for marriage). The About.Com website (http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/populardietplans/a/kimkinsdiet.htm ) has a good review of this very low calorie diet and the mysteries around Heidi Diaz. Another expose is at http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=4162053&page=1.

The latest scandal around the Kimkins Diet  (reported by the National Council Against Health Fraud in January 2008; http://www.quackwatch.org/search/webglimpse.cgi?othersite=&ID=2&query=kimkins) is that 11 former members of the Kimkins Diet Website support group are suing Heidi Diaz for false advertising, fraud, unjust enrichment, and negligent misrepresentation. “The complaint alleges that (a) Heidi Diaz falsely claimed to have lost 198 pounds in one year, but in fact remains morbidly obese, (b) members’ lifetime memberships were unjustly terminated, (c) Ms. Diaz made unjustified claims that the diet is safe, (d) members using the diet plan suffered medical complications that included hair loss, heart palpitations, irritability, and menstrual irregularities, and (e) Diaz’s Web site displayed phony “success” stories that used photographs she obtained from Russian and Ukrainian sites with ads from women who wanted to meet prospective husbands. The plaintiffs’ attorneys are seeking certification of the suit as a class action. Last June, Diaz attracted national attention and collected more than $1 million through PayPal after the supermarket tabloid Woman’s World published her claims with before-and-after pictures purporting to show how her appearance had changed. However, the “after” picture was not Diaz but had been downloaded from a Russian site. KTLA-TV has broadcast segments of a deposition in which Diaz admits to lying. Her Web site contains a “confession” in which she rationalizes what she did but maintains that her program is effective.”

The mess behind the Kimkins Diet reminds us that fad diets are not based on medical science and that they are rarely more than get rich-quick schemes. Good eating is simple as my food plan (www.eatingdisordersAID.com) illustrates. Read more about this food plan and how to use it to combat and treat eating disorders in the Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders, Gurze Press, 2007.

Peace, Marcia

 

http://www.eatingdisordersblogs.com/nutrition/2008/04/the-mess-behind.html

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