Woman Risks Life To Lose Weight By Swallowing Tapeworm

This is one diet trend unlikely to catch on anytime soon.

A woman in Iowa was so desperate to lose weight that she ate a live tapeworm.

The woman purchased the parasite off the Internet after seeing web sites proclaiming the wonders of using tapeworms as a weight-loss tool.

The Des Moines Register reported that Dr. Patricia Quinlisk was left stumped when her patient revealed the unorthodox weight loss method she’d tried and had to call the Iowa Department of Public Health to get feedback on how to handle the situation.

“Ingesting tapeworms is extremely risky and can cause a wide range of undesirable side effects, including rare deaths,” Quinlisk wrote in a weekly email to public-health workers around the state. “Those desiring to lose weight are advised to stick with proven weight loss methods; consuming fewer calories and increasing physical activity.”

Despite what some huckster websites may claim, USA Today noted: "One tapeworm can't absorb enough food and nutrients to make a big difference in weight... the parasite can cause anemia and malnutrition."

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