Hiedi Diaz and Kimkins year end review

Having lived through this past year following the Kimkins Scam from the frontlines—you would think not much has happened. You would be wrong.

Cleo was good enough to give us a rundown of the year.

The Lighter Side of Low-Carb: 2008: A Kimkins Year in Review

Let’s not forget all the wonderful publicity Heidi has gained for herself:

Diet Scams: Top 10 Worst Diets of 2008

3. Kimkins. Gives sketchy advice like super-low calorie levels and also laxatives (eeek!), but finding out that the diet’s supposed inventor and biggest success story actually weighs over 300 pounds must have been très awkward.

A Roundup of the Top News Stories in Diet and Food from 2008

This year also saw a lot of scandal around the Kimkins Diet, a plan called a hoax starvation diet by people now involved in a class-action lawsuit against the founder of the diet plan, Heidi Diaz (also known as Kimmer, who claimed to have lost 198 pounds on the plan but really used pictures from a Russian mail order bride website as her after pictures).

Diaz in turn filed a lawsuit against people she says sullied her name and interfered with her business, and Woman’s World magazine apologized for featuring the diet plan in its pages.

Corona woman’s diet program given low marks | Inland News | PE.com | Southern California News | News for Inland Southern California

A Corona woman’s Internet-based weight-loss program has been named the worst diet product of 2008 by a healthy-eating Web site.

In announcing winners of its 20th annual Slim Chance Awards, the Healthy Weight Network — an online forum for health care professionals, researchers and consumers — said the Kimkins low-fat, low-carb diet amounts to a “starvation diet” that deprives members of many nutrients.

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Kimkins Diet Update

Last year I reported quite a bit about a supposed “low-carb diet” that was making quite a lot of news, called Kimkins. It turned out to be an unhealthy, dangerous diet that has generated a class action lawsuit. I wrote a review of the Kimkins diet in 2007, and then followed up on it with more information as it became available, including reporting on multiple types of fraud perpetrated by the owner, Heidi Diaz.

Unfortunately, the wheels of justice turn slowly, and the Kimkins site is still up. I checked in on it recently, and although there are a few minor changes in the diets offered by Kimkins, the essential diet, and my objections to it, remain unchanged.

Low-Carb Lifestyle Examiner: And the ‘Worst Product’ of the year diet award goes to…Kimkins!

One of the chapters of that book will be on the Kimkins diet scam.

After promoting this diet on my blog for months because it seemed to be helping people find their path to genuine weight loss, I realized thanks to the gentle nudge of some friends who delved deeply into the Kimkins plan that this was nothing more than a “starvation diet” that was encouraging lower and lower calories while cutting out the fat and the carbohydrates and promoting its members take laxatives (what was known as “the plan behind the plan”). EEEEK! This was so shocking to me that I wrote an open apology to my readers for exposing them to this dangerous diet scheme.

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Consumer Health Digest, December 23, 2008

Slim Chance Awards issued. Frances M. Berg, M.S., who operates the Healthy Weight Network has issued the 20th annual set of “Slim Chance Awards” to weight-loss scheme promoters. Her 2008 picks are:

Worst product: Kimkins diet. Heidi “Kimmer” Diaz promised loss of up to 5% of body weight in 10 days. She also claimed to have lost 198 pounds in 11 months and showed before-and-after pictures that turned out to be fakes. Many users developed chest pains, hair loss, heart palpitations, irritability, and menstrual irregularities caused by the near-starvation (500 calorie per day) diet.

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Denver Low-Carb Examiner: New Year’s diet plans: Resolve not to get ripped off

Membership Websites: There are online sites that charge you to join to get access to their diet plans, discussion forums and recipe sites. Some charge per month while others offer a lifetime membership. The problem with these sites is you can’t see what the plan is until you’ve already ponied up the cash to join. You have no way to evaluate the quality of the information being offered, or if the dietary advice you are getting is even medically safe or sound.

In one well publicized case, a woman running a diet site claimed to have lost 198 pounds in a year, and maintained her weight loss for over 5 years. Her site offered the way to lose weight “just like her” if you paid $59.95. After an investigation prompted by a disgruntled business partner and upset members who were denied access to the site after paying for the “lifetime” membership, it was revealed that the diet’s founder was, in fact, over 300 lbs. She had not lost 198 pounds. Her “after” photo she used on her site and in an issue of Women’s World magazine was lifted from a Russian Bride website. Not only was her photo faked, several other “success” stories were fictitious, their photos also coming from Russian dating sites. (more) This diet founder is now the target of a lawsuit for her fraud as well as health problems experienced by those who followed her plan.

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‘Worst’ diet promotions of the year | Julie’s Health Club – Where alternative and mainstream health meet

WORST PRODUCT – Kimkins diet. Heidi “Kimmer” Diaz charged users access to her Internet diet, claiming they could lose up to 5 percent of weight in 10 days safely and permanently. Essentially it is a starvation diet, and members complained of chest pains, hair loss, heart palpitations and menstrual irregularities. Eleven are now suing Diaz.

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Fraud and Quackery

To call 2008 a typical year in the weight loss field would be too easy. This year’s awards go to an infamous huckster of diet infomercials, known for his outrageous disregard of injunctions against him; $139 body-shaping jeans impregnated with substances that supposedly reduce cellulite; a pill that’s “proven” to help your belly fat vanish; and a dangerous starvation diet launched recklessly on the Internet with promises of safe, fast and permanent weight loss.

WORST PRODUCT: Kimkins diet. It must have seemed an easy way to get rich quick. Founder Heidi “Kimmer” Diaz set up a website and charged members a fee to access the Kimkins diet, boasting they could lose up to 5 percent of their body weight in 10 days. “Better than gastric bypass,” there was “no faster diet,” and in fact she herself had lost 198# in 11 months. Stunning “after” photos were displayed. In June 2007 Women’s World ran it as a cover story, and that month alone PayPal records show the Kimkins site took in over $1.2 million. Then users began complaining of chest pains, hair loss, heart palpitations, irritability and menstrual irregularities. This was not surprising since Kimkins is essentially a starvation diet, down to 500 calories per day and deficient in many nutrients (appallingly, laxatives are advised to replace missing fiber). In a lawsuit, 11 former members are uncovering a vast record of Diez’s alleged fraud. They found that the stunning “after” photos, including one of Kimmer herself, had been lifted from a Russian mail order bride site. According to a deposition reported by Los Angeles TV station KTLA, Diaz admitted using fake pictures, fake stories and fake IDs, and a judge has allowed the litigants to freeze some of her assets.

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Kimkins: Does Kimkins Work?

With the amount of controversy surrounding this diet, it is a wonder that the website still operates or that anyone would sign up for the plan.

Kimkins was founded by ‘Kimmer’, a formerly obese woman who claimed to have lost 200lbs in a year by following her own low-carb, high-protein diet. She developed a diet plan based on her own experience and built a whole Kimkins empire, including diet program, e-book and Kimkins products. The diet appears to have had an enormous amount of followers who seem to have achieved substantial amounts of weight loss. However, there is a very dark side to this ‘success story’ which has recently been exposed through a number of online dieting sites, forums and even news media.

The controversy concerns the fact that not only is Kimkins extremely low calorie, to the point where some have described it as a starvation diet, but that ‘Kimmer’, whose real name is Heidi Diaz, never actually lost the amount of weight as claimed, and, judging by recently taken photos, is certainly still obese. Added to this is the fact that ‘Kimmer’ has no professional qualifications as a dietician or nutritionist but continues to take money from overweight individuals desperate to lose weight in whatever way possible.

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AOL Body Web Site’s Notes | Facebook

Worst Product — Kimkins diet. Five percent body weight gone in 10 days if you pay a fee on-line for the Kimkins diet plan. Turns out founder Heidi Diaz admitted using fake pictures and stories to promote this starvation diet, leading some to complain of chest pains, hair loss, heart palpitations, irritability and menstrual irregularities. Yes, there’s a lawsuit.

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That’s Fit

Worst Product — Kimkins diet. Five percent body weight gone in 10 days if you pay a fee on-line for the Kimkins diet plan. Turns out founder Heidi Diaz admitted using fake pictures and stories to promote this starvation diet, leading some to complain of chest pains, hair loss, heart palpitations, irritability and menstrual irregularities. Yes, there’s a lawsuit.

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This is just the type of publicity I love to see.

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Shocking revelations about the Anti-KK community. No, really.

A wonderful blog post appeared yesterday in my RSS feed reader. It was written about the fatosphere, but I found it applies directly to the anti KK community also.

Read the full post here.

Here are the major points of the post—substitute the word fatosphere with anti-kk community.

Revelation #1: There is no one person who speaks for the entirety of the fat acceptance community.

We have many anti-kk bloggers. Some are more popular than others. But we all have something to say. So many forget that in blogging you are expressing YOUR opinion.

I don’t profess to speak for other bloggers and they sure as hell can’t speak for me.

Revelation #2: Not everyone in the fatosphere likes everyone else in the fatosphere.

Anytime you bring a group of people together there will be disagreements. Not all of us will see eye to eye on all issues.

Revelation #3: The fatosphere is not filled with carbon copy people. We are not Borg.

That says it all.

Revelation #4: This is the most important thing in this post: the shocking revelations listed above can be good and positive things.

Having differing perspectives on this whole saga is a good thing. As individuals we all see things differently. Feeling free to express those opinions is the foundation of personal freedoms.

Just remember this quote:

YOU ARE BORN AN ORIGINAL. WHY DIE A COPY.

FASCINATION FADING WITH THE DRAMA QUEENS

The Ultimate Drama Queen

Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (1950)

I’d better get this post up before the reappearance of the two Drama Queens on the Fascination thread at Low Carb Friends.

First of all, we have AmyB, who seems hell bent on posting every personal thought she’s ever had and the minutiae of her life second by second, revealing everything except her Aunt Gertrude’s dog’s name on the thread. AmyB, listen, honey. Send PMs. And you’ve got a blog. Post there. Please.

And next we have TwiddleDee who comes crashing and burning from Kimkins into the Fascination thread, alienating most within the first 30 seconds with her not-so-passive-aggressive posts. Within 48 hours, she has an epiphany and suddenly renounces Heidi Diaz/Kimmer. Then, after being asked a few very valid questions, which she refused to deem worthy of a response, she stomps off the thread in a huff, leaving a terse message that she’d be better off dead. Nice work, Dee/DEEDLYNN/whatever.

You know, many Kimkins members have joined LCF and posted in the Fascination thread but none that I can remember have alienated as many people as quickly as Dee.

Dee’s behaviour has done nothing to endear her to even her former supporters on FWK and has left many questioning not only her motives but her denunciation of Kimmer. Is it all an act? Is she a Kimmer plant? Who knows. And who really cares at this point. Most of us are Dee’d out.

Carly and Malucas, both having been banned from Kimkins, have posted on LCF and have been welcomed. Perhaps they both could give some tips to Dee on how to win friends and influence people…not that I’m in any way encouraging them to do so.

And a personal note to Malucas:

Malucas, I’m truly sorry that my post on shiphips caused your banning at Kimkins. Heidi, if you’re reading this, shiphips was dead wrong. Malucas was not a mole. Not that you really care, Heidi…I just wanted to set the record straight. Malucas, I’m relieved you got out of the Kimpound, and wish you all the best.

And for those who missed it, the talented and brilliant NancyElle posted the following on the FWK thread. For those who fear they may be suffering from the “all about me” complex, please ensure you read this:

Histrionic Personality Disorder

What is histrionic personality disorder?

Histrionic personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called dramatic personality disorders.

People with these disorders have intense, unstable emotions and distorted self-images.

For people with histrionic personality disorder, their self-esteem depends on the approval of others and does not arise from a true feeling of self-worth.

They have an overwhelming desire to be noticed, and often behave dramatically or inappropriately to get attention. The word histrionic means “dramatic or theatrical.”

This disorder is more common in women than in men and usually is evident by early adulthood.

What are the symptoms of histrionic personality disorder?

In many cases, people with histrionic personality disorder have good social skills; however, they tend to use these skills to manipulate others so that they can be the center of attention.

A person with this disorder might also:

Be uncomfortable unless he or she is the center of attention

Dress provocatively and/or exhibit inappropriately seductive or flirtatious behavior

Shift emotions rapidly

Act very dramatically—as though performing before an audience—with exaggerated emotions and expressions, yet appears to lack sincerity

Be overly concerned with physical appearance

Constantly seek reassurance or approval

Be gullible and easily influenced by others

Be excessively sensitive to criticism or disapproval

Have a low tolerance for frustration and be easily bored by routine, often beginning projects without finishing them or skipping from one event to another

Not thinking before acting

Make rash decisions

Be self-centered and rarely show concern for others

Have difficulty maintaining relationships, often seeming fake or shallow in their dealings with others

Threaten or attempt suicide to get attention

What causes histrionic personality disorder?

The exact cause of histrionic personality disorder is not known, but many mental health professionals believe that both learned and inherited factors play a role in its development.

For example, the tendency for histrionic personality disorder to run in families suggests that a genetic susceptibility for the disorder might be inherited. However, the child of a parent with this disorder might simply be repeating learned behavior.

Other environmental factors that might be involved include a lack of criticism or punishment as a child, positive reinforcement that is given only when a child completes certain approved behaviors, and unpredictable attention given to a child by his or her parent(s), all leading to confusion about what types of behavior earn parental approval.

How is histrionic personality disorder diagnosed?

If symptoms are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by performing a complete medical history and physical examination. Although there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose personality disorders, the doctor might use various diagnostic tests to rule out physical illness as the cause of the symptoms.

If the doctor finds no physical reason for the symptoms, he or she might refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist, health care professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for a personality disorder.

How is histrionic personality disorder treated?

In general, people with histrionic personality disorder do not believe they need therapy.

They also tend to exaggerate their feelings and to dislike routine, which makes following a treatment plan difficult.

However, they might seek help if depression—possibly associated with a loss or a failed relationship—or another problem caused by their thinking and behavior causes them distress.

Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) is generally the treatment of choice for histrionic personality disorder. The goal of treatment is to help the individual uncover the motivations and fears associated with his or her thoughts and behavior, and to help the person learn to relate to others in a more positive way.

Medication might be used to treat the distressing symptoms—such as depression and anxiety—that might co-occur with this disorder.

What are the complications of histrionic personality disorder?

Histrionic personality disorder can affect a person’s social or romantic relationships and how a person reacts to losses or failures. People with this disorder are also at higher risk than the general population to suffer from depression.

What is the outlook for people with histrionic personality disorder?

Many people with this disorder are able to function well socially and at work. Those with severe cases, however, might experience significant problems in their daily lives.

Can histrionic personality disorder be prevented?

Although prevention of the disorder might not be possible, treatment can allow a person who is prone to this disorder to learn more productive ways of dealing with situations.

©Copyright 1995-2007 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. All rights reserved”

And be sure to check out the fabulous Nancy Ellyn’s blog here:

Chilled White Wine

LINKS:
bainosbanter.blogspot.com
http://www.loqueyotediga.net/files/Sunset%20Boulevard_01.jpg
http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/10337811-post2118.html