Now I’ve heard everything! Eating a tapeworm to lose weight? Forget it! If this is the newest diet fad, then no thank you; I’ll just stay fat!
A recent headline read, “Midwest woman buys tapeworm online, swallows it to lose weight?”
Maybe that’s how they do it in Iowa, but not where I come from. We do it the old fashion way. It’s called ‘starving’ for a couple of days. And if you didn’t lose enough the first time…just starve some more. Is this healthy? NO. Does it last long? Definitely not! One usually breaks the fast. But is it better than ingesting a live tapeworm, or tapeworm pills? You bet!
It’s hard for me to imagine any one being so discontent or displeased with their weight or looks that logic is thrown out of the window. So what if the National Weight Average indicates that you’re 5, 10, 20 or even 50 pounds heavier than you should be? Just work on it…chisel it away bit-by-bit. My daughter is 28-years-old, and I’m still chiseling the baby fat. Oh yeah…it’s an on-going process.
On its own, obesity carries a number of problems: hypertension, diabetes, poor circulation, shortness of breath, and many more primary and secondary ailments. But parasites, however, carry their own brand of health issues. And though they may produce the ‘short term’ effect that you desire, in the long run, and if you’re still alive, you may rue the day that you ever opened your mouth.
I too, have made on line purchases: clothes, make-up, skin care, and yes, weight loss products; but a tapeworm? In case you’re unaware, people have ordered them on line, hoping for the panacea to end their weight loss woes. The claim is that that these little bugger’s will eat away the fats, carbs, and any other weight-gaining entity that is looming in the body, and making you fat. But these parasites extract more than just the bad stuff; they also extract the much-needed nutrients that your body requires, and rob it of proper nutrition. Consequently, if you’re not de-wormed, tapeworms can, and will, lead to malnutrition. As you get smaller…they get longer and bigger.
Can you imagine a living organism in your body curled around your intestines, and if unraveled, is taller than you are? Tapeworms can grow upwards of 30 feet within your body. And some from beef have been reported to reach 65 feet. These parasites, which have male and female reproductive systems, fertilize and multiply rapidly. In short, one worm can fertilize more worm eggs than you can count, deposit them in your system, and spread hundreds of eggs each time you defecate. Now imagine that in your toilet.
Some view tapeworms as the new ‘weight loss phenomena,’ but I just call it stupid! In a recent interview, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk of the Iowa Department of Health said that
“Tapeworms can be very, very dangerous and even in rare circumstances have killed people.” She further stated that, “Ingesting tapeworms is extremely risky and can cause a wide range of undesirable side effects.” She further stated that, “Those desiring to lose weight are advised to stick with proven weight loss methods; consuming fewer calories and increasing physical activity.”
The upside of tapeworm ingestation (if there is such a thing) is abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and just feeling sick to your stomach. In short, the downside is death.
Although there are several types of tapeworms, those from pork (the taenia solium) are the worst; and have been known to cause seizures once they’ve settled in. But whether symptoms are derived from pork or beef tapeworms, these nasty parasites can cause anemia and malnutrition.
So the question is why would anyone intentionally eat, swallow, suck or chew a worm that has little hooks in its head, latches onto your intestines, and lays eggs and deposits feces into your system? And imagine this worm growing 5 to 8 times taller than a 6 foot man? The answer, BEAUTY!
Are we a society so beguiled by beauty and weight that we’ll go to any extreme to achieve what others deem as perfection? Yes we are!
Each year, billions are made by the weight loss industry to either beef up the body or slim it down. Their perception of the perfect man or woman is dangled in front of us like a carrot, which we vehemently pursue; no matter what the cost…no matter what the consequence. We have only one stipulation – ‘that we look good.’
Author Cecil Adams mentions on his website ‘Straight Dope’ that “opera diva Maria Callas, was rumored to have taken tapeworms after she abruptly lost a lot of weight in midcareer. Though she was indeed diagnosed with at least one tapeworm infection, biographer Anne Edwards (Maria Callas: An Intimate Biography, 2001) says the likely cause was her love of raw meat.”
As we continue to war against the battle of the bulge, we should be soberly aware that exercise and healthy eating have their place, and they should reside at the forefront of any effective weight loss program.
Fad diets and drinks, risky surgeries, tapeworms and other weight loss phenomenons that make health-risking promises tend to be disastrous. Tabloids and magazines are brimming with stories of so called ‘proven facts,’ which aren’t proven at all.
So whether you swallow it whole, take it in pill form, or just eat the eggs, the tapeworm diet should just worm its way out of your mind.
For those of you who’d like a more visual effect, below (in Source links) is a scene clip from the movie Prometheus. And while you’re watching, just remember one thing, it started with an organism…which turned into a parasite…which she (unknowingly) ingested. As far as a tapeworm diet, no thank you – I’ll just stay fat!
By DeBorah Heggs-Alston