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Diet Riot: Kimkins Diet Scam Goes Down in Flames

Replacing fiber with laxatives. Severely limiting caloric intake. Tricking your body into not feeling hungry. These are some of the controversial techniques touted by an online dieting program called Kimkins, which is currently facing a possible class action lawsuit due … Read More

By / January 21, 2008

Replacing fiber with laxatives. Severely limiting caloric intake. Tricking your body into not feeling hungry. These are some of the controversial techniques touted by an online dieting program called Kimkins, which is currently facing a possible class action lawsuit due to what former users are calling "false advertising" and "alarming side effects."

ABC News accused Kimkins of being a "dangerous anorexic nutritional scheme" run by a "morbidly obese" woman. Users have complained of chest pains, hair loss, and the cessation of menstrual cycles. Christin Sherburne, a former Kimkins employee and member, is now at the forefront of the investigation and suit. She lost 100 lbs in 5 months on Kimkins, but was fired from her job with the company after raising concerns about the diet's safety. Sherburne claims (and it seems obvious enough) that the diet can "cause severe damage beginning with slow, unrecognized starvation and malnutrition." Doctors are inclined to agree (shocker).

Other skeptical members hired a private investigator and discovered that not only were some of the site's testimonials fake, but that the image of Kimkins' founder had actually been pulled from a Russian mail order bride site. Genius!

So what are the lessons learned here, other than 'for fuck's sake, don't replace fiber with laxatives' and 'Crystal Light is not a food group'? If it sounds nutso and unhealthy, it is, most likely, nutso and unhealthy.

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