The Worst Fad Diets in History… Thus Far

The Worst Fad Diets in History… Thus Far

We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but that eye is constantly being influenced by society’s ever-changing standards. The current trend is being “thick” and going under the knife to gain that desired shape. But at some point, being skinny was all the rage, and the skinnier, the better. This drew the attention of obvious grifters who preyed on desperate people, mostly women, selling them false dreams. Below are a few of the worst diet fads that we, as a society, have taken part in thus far.

1. Tapeworms

What would possess someone to willingly ingest a parasite? Well, many people were sold the idea that swallowing a tapeworm would result in losing weight as the organism fed on their food from their intestines. While it’s true that this would indeed lead to weight loss, the tapeworm doesn’t discriminate and will eat everything resulting in malnutrition, anemia and diarrhea. There’s also the chance that the tapeworm or its offspring could exit the gut and infect other parts of the body. Those health scares were enough to push many dieters away from this practice.

2. The Cotton Ball Diet

The thought of gaining even just a little bit of weight was so scary for some people that they went as far as eliminating calories all together. Cue the cotton ball diet, where extreme dieters resorted to eating non-edible items because it supposedly created a feeling of fullness while shedding those unwanted pounds. Turns out the human body isn’t designed to consume objects with no caloric value and the end result was just a sickly and malnourished body with little to no energy to do anything.

3. The Breatharian Diet

Here’s another diet where people acted like calories are the creation of the devil himself. Instead of healthy eating and regular exercising, the breatharian movement implied that our body can survive on air alone because, you know, oxygen. And followers of said movement pointed to so-called breatharians as proof of its efficiency. Little did they know that the frauds were doing more than just breathing. They were–wait for it–eating food! Unfortunately, the body has some not so pleasant ways of letting us know that breathing alone isn’t enough, like constantly passing out, for one.

4. The Clay Diet

It’s not just regular folks who get sucked into these kooky ideas and beliefs. Celebrities, such as actresses Zoe Kravitz and Shailene Woodley, have played a huge role in the popularity of the clay diet trend. The logic is that since bentonite clay is highly absorbent, it will bind to unwanted toxins and you’ll pass them out when you go number two. The problem is that bentonite clay will absorb everything around it, including much-needed nutrients. This can have some scary side effects including swelling due to the binding, followed by distention and even perforation of your bowels.

5. The Baby Food Diet

This one, like all the others, is pretty much self-explanatory. That’s where you replace ⅔ of your regular, adult meals with baby food. You know, since baby food contains like 75 – 100 calories. Sure, they’ll shed some pounds like they wanted to but they will lose a lot more than just fat. Weaker muscles and bones are some of the unforeseen side effects and even death, if people keep starving themselves. Where did this fad come from? Celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson was the brains behind the operation with celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow jumping on the bandwagon.

Recent Posts

  • The Byzantine Empire, located in modern-day Turkey, was quite an interesting civilization with a unique culture—they called themselves Romans but spoke Greek. And thanks to all their surviving artwork, literature and architecture, we have a pretty clear picture of what life back then must have been like back then. There’s so much to cover but […]

  • In a world that is fueled by success, competition and the idea of survival of the fittest, the role of double agents is never redundant. Double agents are known for bringing to the table their skills as intelligence operative; spies who pose as working for another agency while actually serving the organization they claim to […]

  • Without a doubt, Abraham Lincoln is one of America’s most cherished presidents whose achievements marked some of the greatest turning points in the nation’s history. Everyone knows of his role in the Civil War which led to the signing of the 13th Amendment. But did you know that he was the first to make Thanksgiving […]

  • Be it due to friendship, gratitude or celebration, the exchanging of gifts is a really old tradition that has been around for thousands of years. Many times, a country will often go to great lengths to strengthen their ties with another, usually for diplomatic reasons. And in this article, we’ve selected five remarkable items that […]

  • Modern humans, especially in western countries, live a life of relative ease, despite always finding petty things to complain about. We live much longer than we ever did before thanks to all those amazing discoveries and technological advancements. But what about days gone by when people had to do everything themselves? Well in the article, […]

Get the Word of the Day sent directly to your inbox!