Frightening Weight Loss Fads

The quest to lose weight and stay in shape can sometimes be like those legendary expeditions to find fountains of youth or cities of gold. Good health and fitness is in almost every Canadian’s reach, although the recommended methods of sensible eating, sensible living, exercise, and a decent amount of sleep sometimes seem like too much effort.

While diets and exercise regimes have existed for thousands of years, the printing press, as well as the arrival of electronic communication such as radio, TV, and the Internet, turned dieting into a big business. From broadcasted exercise programmes to mobile apps, health and fitness information is now more accessible than ever before.

All sorts of fad diets have come and gone, and some even stuck around. This is just some of the strange advice given to those who want to lose weight.

Fruit for Fitness and Sex

Inge and Sten Hegeler’s 1970 book, the Sexy Pineapple Diet, asserts that the tropical fruit known for its firm yellow flesh and sweet-sour taste is the key to not only losing weight, but to being erogetic as well. Erogetic is the authors’ gobbledegook for a healthy sexual appetite.

The authors’ previous publication was the ABZ of Love, which indicates theirs is probably not the best choice in dietary advice.

Parasitic Meal-Sharing

Under a microscope, parasitic tapeworms look like something from a science fiction movie set on another planet. When their eggs are sold in pill form, they look like a perfect weight loss solution to the desperate and gullible.

In the 19th century, the tapeworm diet became a huge fad. Bulge battlers consumed vast numbers of tapeworm eggs, with the idea that the eggs would hatch, and the worms would help them dispose of the food they eat. The worms certainly did that, but also caused side effects such as spinal and brain cysts. The sale of tapeworm eggs was eventually banned.

Dieting By the Bible

C.S. Lovett’s book, Help Lord – the Devil Wants Me Fat! is a 1970’s volume that takes a biblical approach to weight loss and beauty. The key points of the book are that the devil can influence how people eat, that self-control and curbing the appetite can be practiced, and that the power of God can be used to change bad eating habits and to find out what those who want to lose weight ought to be eating.

Whether garlic and holy water are part of the diet, the blurb on the back cover of the book does not say.

Nose Plugs Required

The Cabbage Soup diet is a more recent fad made slightly more bearable with the use of nose plugs. Cabbage soup does not smell good when it is cooking, when it is being eaten, and, indeed, long after it has been eaten. The diet gained popularity through word of mouth and through books such as Margaret Danbrot’s the New Cabbage Soup Diet.

Most fad diets promise miraculous results in a short period of time. While some of them can lead to weight loss, the side effects can be severe. Sometimes the best things in life are achieved through time, commitment, and dedication. A slim, trim, healthy body is one of those.