Friday, December 28, 2007

MY HEART BROKE...

...WHEN I SAW THIS PICTURE:


While many, I know, will be offended by my posting of this picture of this poor woman, I am heartbroken for her. How terrible her life must be.

The rising tide of obesity in North America is now of epidemic proportions, with many morbidly obese men, women, and children desperately seeking ways to lose weight.

As a result of their desperation, many of these individuals turned to the Kimkins diet because of its earlier advertised claims of “there is no faster diet out there! None!, ” "Better than WLS (Weight-Loss Surgery)," and its lately revised claims of "less fat than Atkins, less carbs than South Beach, and faster weight loss than Weight Watchers."

What many people do not realize is that even a morbidly obese individual can starve to death while following the Kimkins diet. How? Because the Kimkins diet is a VLCD [very low calorie diet (defined as being less than 1200 calories daily for women and 1500 calories for men)].

Heidi Diaz/Kimmer, however, consistently recommended only 500 calories or less per day to her members at the Kimkins website. That is starvation, pure and simple.

The risks involved in following such a VLCD diet can be catastrophic. Just some of those risks are as follows:

  1. gallbladder disease;
  2. slowing of one's metabolism, causing the brain & central nervous system to stop working optimally;
  3. the breaking down of muscle and other lean body tissue;
  4. an imbalance in minerals and electrolytes;
  5. osteoporosis;
  6. anemia;
  7. irregular or lack of menstruation;
  8. lack of serotonin, leading to clinical depression; and
  9. deterioration in the condition of hair and nails, and hair loss.
On VLCDs, your metabolism slows down to a crawl and your body goes into starvation mode, thus using very few calories. As a result, individuals find themselves eating next to nothing, yet not losing a pound.

    The Kimkins Exposed blogger wrote an excellent post on the Kimkins VLCD:

    "Kimkins Sells Potentially Deadly Very Low Calorie Diet

    July 31, 2007

    It’s exactly the message that resonates with millions of overweight and obese Americans: there is a diet that offers fast weight loss without gastric surgery, diet pills, special foods, exercise or supplements. The clincher is the claim that “there is no faster diet out there! None!”The carefully crafted message is tantalizing because it speaks to the yearning for instant gratification, a base natural desire in people.

    Consider the cunning words chosen by Kimmer to persuade visitors to her homepage her diet is better than all the rest:

    'Millions of overweight people think fast, permanent weight loss is
    completely out of their reach. They’ve been told their entire lives they should be happy with slow 1-2 lb a week weight loss. How depressing and untrue!

    What if I told you that you could lose weight at turbo speed? Experience natural appetite suppression? Would you be interested?

    Don’t worry! No awful prepackaged foods. Forget about diet pills or risky surgery. The plan I’m talking about is all natural with everyday food.

    It’s called Kimkins and was developed by me, Kimmer, in 2000 when I weighed a morbidly obese 318 pounds! In less than a year I lost 198 pounds and kept it off!

    Are you getting excited yet? You should be!'

    'Sure, there are other popular diets out there like Weight Watchers, Atkins, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig and South Beach, but they only work up to a point before you quit in frustration with the slow weight loss and complicated rules. But not Kimkins! '

    'So what do you think? Are you ready to experience for yourself what Kimkins can do for you? Now it’s your chance to be a weight loss success story! '

    Persuasive!

    But, the big question is, is it true?

    Let’s first begin with the serious problems with her line of reasoning to influence visitors and encourage them to join the site.

    The underlying implication is that Kimkins is the best way to resolve what is one of our nation’s most serious health problems, obesity; faster than any other weight loss program.

    If this were true, there would be a persuasive arguement using supportive evidence and endorsements from healthcare professionals.

    The site and ‘Kimmer’ cite no supporting evidence, have no researchers or healthcare professionals to endorse her plan, and no one recommeding it as a healthful way to lose weight from within the medical or scientific community.

    In both the pages which are publicly available, and those accessible by logging in, she carefully avoids any reference to hundreds of scientific studies published during the last three decades; all of which contradict her position. She could not pull even a single useful quote supportive of her diet, so the use of research is completely avoided.

    Instead she relies on the trustfulness of those desperate to lose weight; she sets the stage for blind faith by not encouraging anyone to review evidence or to ask hard questions. In fact you will not be allowed to demand scientific evidence that her diet has merit or health benefit if you do join.

    Such questioning is simply not tolerated.The claims made should make anyone suspicious, even those who have barely scraped through high school biology. Kimmer goes well beyond that level and not only implies her experience overrides scientific data, but even asserts that her plan is suitable for anyone, including all diabetics. [Exceptions in the site disclaimer include pregnant and lactating women and those with impaired kidney function]

    Kimmer effectively shoves aside decades of published, controlled, randomized clinical trials comparing caloric intakes, macronutrient ratios, weight loss and risks associated with severe calorie restriction. Her justification for this omission is that she claims she culled out the ‘best of’ from Dr. Robert C. Atkins and Dr. Irwin Maxwell Stillman, both physicians and authors of popular diets.

    But that’s nothing but sheer nihilism. Good recommendations are based on science, they’re cautious and skeptical, not permanently fixed based on an ‘n of 1’ proposition that ignores the fact that there is considerable evidence against Kimkins-like very low calorie diets being followed by free-living medically unsupervised individuals.

    In fact, the evidence against using such an approach to losing weight is crushing in its abundance. By circumventing this mass of peer-reviewed literature readily open to public scrutiny in libraries and online, Kimmer insists you accept her personal experience, an experience which remains unverified.

    It’s her word and you’re expected to take it and swallow it as if it were fact.

    You are expected to accept without question the veracity of her statements, assertions or claims.

    You are expected to look the other way and not seek data in your decision.

    You are expected to buy into her claims and website with only your desire to believe that there is a diet that will work better than anything else out there today.

    Like any other ‘fast weight loss’ scam, it’s no different in the claims made, no different in the emotional buttons Kimmer tries to hit in you.

    But, unlike other diet plans sold to the overweight and obese, Kimkins comes with the added potential to maim or kill the unsuspecting and desperate who are ready to do anything to lose weight.

    Don’t fall for the clever, crafty message! You’re smarter than that!"

    Of course, we now know that Heidi Diaz/Kimmer did not lose 198 pounds in a year...in fact, she lost not one ounce of weight. She is a liar. Period.

    Remember, VLCDs, like Kimkins, are like playing with dynamite. Be wary of any diet claiming to be low calorie/low fat/low carb. You'll never reach your goal weight because you'll be pushing up daisies long before then.

    LINK TO THE KIMKINS EXPOSED POST:

    http://kimkinsexposed.wordpress.com/2007/07/31/kimkins-sells-a-masked-very-low-calorie-diet/

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    8 comments:

    Kat said...

    Excellent post!! My heart broke too...

    Kat said...

    Boycot Kimkins in 2008!! Wanna know why? Go here to start and then read all the blogs:

    http://www.3fatchicks.com/Diets/Diet_Articles/Kimkins:_Anatomy_of_a_Diet_Scam/

    OhYeahBabe said...

    This is part of why I'm so angry about Kimkins! She preys on people like this, and her golden ring of weight loss guarantees that people will get further trapped in their metabolic struggles. Just to look like a phony success story photo!

    Kimmer should ROT IN JAIL.

    Great post.
    OYB
    Kimorexia blog

    Anonymous said...

    How very sad. And how incredible that a site like Kimkins has been allowed to stay up this long! Why has the FTC or other federal agency not moved against this woman?

    If you've been deceived by this shuckster, be sure to JOIN THE LAWSUIT!

    Wendy said...

    I agree, but she may not appreciate having that picture on your website.

    THAT'S embarrassing. I'd be absolutely mortified if I were her :(

    Medusa said...

    Kat, OYB, anonymous, and Wendy,
    Thanks so much for all your comments.

    Wendy, I understand your concern and empathy. Her picture, however, has been circulating on the web for quite some time. Thankfully, her name has never been posted nor has there been any attribution by the photographer.

    HoneyBee said...

    Is that picture even real? I am not being sarcastic, but that is her bellybutton showing, right?
    How sad that person's life must be and what limitations they must deal with daily. The same for anyone dealing with that much weight to lose. I think that is why the Kimkins Diet appealed to those who have a lot of weight to lose. They want their lives back NOW. Not a few years from now and that is how Kimmer would spin things. She would compare how the Kimkins Dieter would lose in 6 months what would take a year or two on a traditional diet.
    Kimmerfailed to mention that a traditional diet allows you to keep most of your hair, your gallbladder, a normal outlook on food, your muscle and it also allows you not to damage your heart.
    One should never have to choose between being an acceptable weight or being healthy; those things should go hand in hand.
    Another insightful post Medusa! KUTGW
    HoneyBee

    HoneyBee’s Blog
    I Am Not Ready To Make Nice with Kimkins

    Medusa said...

    Thanks for your thoughtful post, HoneyBee.

    Yes, the picture is real, and that is her bellybutton.

    I can't even imagine what this poor woman goes through every day. Unfortunately, she is not alone. There are thousands and thousands of people battling morbid obesity and my greatest fear is that they will choose a VLCF diet like Kimkins, with deadly results.

    Again, many thanks for your comment.