In this age of Instagram models and fitness gurus, it’s not hard to see why more and more people want to look a certain way. Proper weight loss is safe and healthy — such as reducing calorie intake and increasing exercise. Other, more dangerous methods provide quick results but at more of an expense than just dollar signs. These methods might work in the short term, but they come with some serious side effects.
The tapeworm diet dates back to the 19th century. A tapeworm is ingested and then feeds on the digested food we’ve consumed, which helps drop weight. Doctors do not recommend this diet at all. “Ingesting tapeworms is extremely risky and can cause a wide range of undesirable side effects, including rare deaths,” Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, medical director of the Iowa Department of Health, said in 2013. Tape worms can grow up to 50 feet long in the intestine and pose risks like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.