How far would you go to lose weight quickly without eating less?
Some people in Hong Kong are going to such extremes that they’re risking their lives by swallowing parasitic worms, the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph reported.
The Hong Kong Department of Health said Chinese Web sites have been offering weight-loss products containing potentially fatal parasites as a way of shedding extra pounds.
The products contain the eggs of Ascaris worms, giant intestinal roundworms, which can grow up to 15-inches inside a host’s intestines and lay up to 200,000 eggs a day inside the body, according to the report.
Officials are warning people that swallowing the parasites could cause abdominal pain and distension, vomiting, diarrhea and malnutrition.
"Parasite infestation may also be fatal if serious complications such as intestinal, biliary tract or pancreatic duct obstruction arise," a health spokesman said. "The worms may even invade such organs as the lungs."