Ingesting a tapeworm is dangerous. Repeat after us.
Tapeworms are intestinal parasites, and when you consume one it will literally sink its hooks into you -- after you swallow it (and you can purchase them in capsule form), it latches its head into your intestinal wall and when you eat, your new parasitic friend absorbs some of the nutrients before your body does. Yes, you will lose weight, but you will gain a tapeworm that could grow as large as 30 feet (9 meters), which will cause pain and an upset stomach -- and may even kill you.
To rid yourself of the parasite you'll need to take prescribed anti-worm medication to paralyze and starve the worm, which is then passed in your stool.
Author's Note: 10 Most Absurd Fad Diets
All I can say after researching and writing this is: 1. Cotton balls are not food. 2. Tapeworms are not food. 3. If you're serious about losing weight, you need to eat a balanced diet and get some exercise, and you'll do far better than any of these ridiculous weight loss ideas -- and you're far more likely to keep the weight off when you do it right, too.
More Great Links
- Alvarez, Manny. "Models eating cotton balls to lose weight is dangerous and irresponsible." Fox News. June 25, 2013. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/25/models-eating-cotton-balls-to-lose-weight-is-dangerous-and-irresponsible/
- Boudreau, Abbie; and Derick Yanehiro. "Bria Murphy Says Models Eat Cotton Balls With Orange Juice to Stay Thin." ABC News. June 11, 2013. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/bria-murphy-says-models-eat-cotton-balls-orange-121555554.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Taeniasis FAQs." Jan. 10, 2013. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/taeniasis/gen_info/faqs.html
- Coleman, Erin. "The Average Calorie Intake by a Human Per Day Versus the Recommendation." SFGate. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/average-calorie-intake-human-per-day-versus-recommendation-1867.html
- Courage, Katherine Harmon. "Chew on This: More Mastication Cuts Calorie Intake by 12 Percent." Scientific American. Aug. 3, 2011. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2011/08/03/chew-on-this-more-mastication-cuts-calorie-intake-by-12-percent/
- Cracked. "The 5 Most Insane Crash Diets of All Time." Jan. 7, 2009. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.cracked.com/article_15780_the-6-most-insane-crash-diets-all-time.html
- Cusack, Leila; De Buck, Emmy; Compernolle, Veerle; and Philippe Vanderkerckhove. "Blood type diets lack supporting evidence: a systematic review." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. May 22, 2013. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/05/22/ajcn.113.058693.full.pdf+html
- Dahl, Melissa. "Iowa woman tries 'tapeworm diet', prompts doctor warning." TODAY. Aug. 16, 2013. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.today.com/health/iowa-woman-tries-tapeworm-diet-prompts-doctor-warning-6C10935746
- Foxcroft, Louise. "Lord Byron: The celebrity diet icon." BBC. Jan. 2, 2012. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16351761
- Haupt, Angela. "HCG Diet Dangers: Is Fast Weight Loss Worth the Risk?" U.S. News & World Report. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/diet/articles/2011/03/14/hcg-diet-dangers-is-fast-weight-loss-worth-the-risk
- Hazell, Kyrsty. "The Blood Type Personality Test - What It Says About You." The Huffington Post. June 30, 2013. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01/27/what-your-blood-type-says-about-your-personality_n_1236261.html
- Hebert, Emily. "Craziest Diets of All Time." Elle. May 13, 2009. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.elle.com/beauty/health-fitness/craziest-diets-of-all-time-322334
- Hellmich, Nanci. "Eating slowly may help you lose weight." USA Today. Oct. 5, 2011. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/diet-nutrition/story/2011-10-05/Eating-slowly-may-help-you-lose-weight/50671686/1
- Johnson, Kimball. "Apple Cider Vinegar." WebMD. Sept. 21, 2012. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.webmd.com/diet/apple-cider-vinegar
- Lies, Elaine. "Blame it on my blood, disgraced Japan politician says." Reuters. July 6, 2011. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/06/us-japan-politics-blood-idUSTRE7651QK20110706
- Lowder, J. Bryan. "Did Lord Byron Invent the Celebrity Weight-Loss Craze?" Slate. Jan. 3, 2012. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/01/03/did_lord_byron_invent_the_celebrity_weight_loss_craze_.html
- Nelson, Jennifer K. "Does the HCG diet work -- and is it safe?" Mayo Clinic. Dec. 21, 2011. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hcg-diet/an02091
- Pepsico. "Tropicana Pure Premium - Orange Juice - Some Pulp (Homestyle)." (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.pepsicobeveragefacts.com/infobyproduct.php?prod_type=1026&prod_size=59&brand_fam_id=1059&brand_id=1004&product=Tropicana+Pure+Premium+-+Orange+Juice+-+Some+Pulp+(Homestyle)
- Piccalo, Gina. "The Crazy Baby Food Diet." The Daily Beast. Sept. 22, 2010. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/09/22/gwyneth-paltrow-jennifer-aniston-lady-gaga-and-the-baby-food-diet.html
- Pritchard, Mary E. "Diet is a 4-Letter Word -- The psychology of eating: Sleeping Beauty." Psychology Today. Aug. 29, 2013. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/diet-is-4-letter-word/201308/sleeping-beauty
- U.S. News & World Report. "Master Cleanse (Lemonade Diet.)" (Sept. 29, 2013) http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/master-cleanse-lemonade-diet
- Weller, Chris. "Tapeworm Diet: Iowa Woman Ingests Parasite On The Internet, Prompts Doctor Letter To Public Health Workers." Medical Daily. Aug. 20, 2013. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.medicaldaily.com/tapeworm-diet-iowa-woman-ingests-parasite-bought-internet-prompts-doctor-letter-public-health-252607
- Zelman, Kathleen M. "The Baby Food Diet." WebMD. July 17, 2010. (Sept. 29, 2013)http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/baby-food-diet-review
- Zelman, Kathleen M. "The Cabbage Soup Diet." WebMD. July 18, 2011. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-cabbage-soup-diet
- Zelman, Kathleen M. "The Eat Right for Your Blood Type." WebMD. Feb. 1, 2012. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.webmd.com/diet/eat-right-for-your-type
- Zelman, Kathleen M. "The Lemonade Diet (Master Cleanse Diet)." WebMD. July 18, 2011. (Sept. 29, 2013)http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-lemonade-diet-master-cleanse-diet
- Zeratsky, Katherine. "Drinking apple cider vinegar for weight loss seems far-fetched. Does it work?" Mayo Clinic. April 21, 2012. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/apple-cider-vinegar-for-weight-loss/AN01816
- Zeratsky, Katherine. "What is the cabbage soup diet, and can it help me lose weight?" Mayo Clinic. Jan. 25, 2011. (Sept. 29, 2013) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cabbage-soup-diet/AN02134
The idea of healthy obesity is problematic and should be retired, according to one researcher. Learn more at HowStuffWorks.