Extreme Dieting: The Dangers of Tapeworms

Dieting and weight loss fads are forever changing. Some become more popular while others wane with time. Dieting has come a long way from cutting out a certain food group. People are going to extreme dieting measures to get the results they desire.

Dieters are becoming more radical with dieting and their weight loss techniques. Tapeworms are now for sale on the Internet to help with weight loss. Tapeworm pills containing the parasite are swallowed allowing the worm to survive within one’s stomach and feed off of the food in its host’s body.

Tapeworms are a parasite that can be contracted by eating raw or undercooked meat. They thrive off their host and can cause nausea, diarrhea, blindness, or even death. Some tapeworms grow to be 50 feet long and can live for 20 years.

Michael Mosley, a British doctor and journalist, ingested tapeworms to study the effect they have on humans. The spectacle is being documented for a television show called “Infested! Living With Parasites”. Mosley’s wife, a doctor, was not very happy about her husband voluntarily consuming tapeworms.

Mosley removed a cyst from a cow’s tongue, which contained tapeworm eggs, and swallowed the cyst. He traveled to Kenya to obtain the worms because that would not be permitted in the United States. Shortly after, he swallowed a camera to keep track of the critters thriving in his stomach.

Mosley kept track of what he ate for a six-week period and noticed changes within his diet. He observed that he was eating more carbohydrates and contrary to what people believe about tapeworms, he actually gained two pounds instead of losing weight.

It is bizarre that people will go to such extreme measure for weight loss. Assuming this fad fades as well, what will be the “next big” dieting trick?

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