Weight Loss: Kimkins Controversy and Women’s World Apology

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It’s not every day that a major publication apologizes for exposing readers to new diets, even if they are fads.  However, Women’s World has done just that because the Kimkins diet they highlighted in their June 2007 issue is now involved in a class action suit.  See apology below:

Please accept our apology

We at Woman’s World pride ourselves on finding inspiring diet successes to share with our readers every week. That’s why we were so distressed to learn that Kim Drake, the founder of Kimkins.com, gave us inaccurate information about herself and her weight loss. Though the article appeared several months ago, in our June 12, 2007 issue, and nutritionists assure us the diet information we provided was accurate, we deeply regret having shared with you a story we can’t stand behind. Your trust means everything to us, and we want to bring you the very best magazine we can, each and every week.

What is Kimkins?

Kimkins is a very low carb, very low calorie, very low fat diet plan introduced by a bulletin board commenter. Going by the nickname Kimmer, Heidi Kimberly Diaz claimed to be a modified Atkins plan that enabled her to lose weight (nearly 200 pounds) in a very short period of time. However, her website ‘after’ photo has been proven to be fake; she was actually using a photo from a Russian mail order bride catalog! In reality, Diaz is obese.

"The cover of Women’s World Magazine shouted "Better than Gastric Bypass!" to advertise the Kimkins diet. Kimmer justified the low calorie plan by comparing it to the diets followed by Weight Loss Surgery patients, who also consume around 500 calories. Kimmer failed to note that those patients follow special diets which do NOT resemble Kimkins, and they are also carefully monitored by physicians as they progress. " (Read full article Kimkins: Anatomy of a Diet Scam)

The Kimkins Controversy

Critics of the Kimkins weight loss diet call it an outright scam, a diet fraud that promotes eating disorders by encouraging laxative use, extremely low daily caloric intakes, and recklessly eliminating carbohydrates. There are now several blogs and websites devoted to exposing Kimkins, following the class action suit, and providing support to ‘survivors’ (Kimkins has even been compared to a cult).

"Many Kimkins followers have been complaining of serious side effects from the plan including hair loss, heart palpitations, fainting, confusion, and more. When approached about these problems, they claim Kimmer brushed them off, saying they were not the result of the plan and the member must be cheating. Go lower in calories and you’ll be fine. In the published email exchange between Kimmer and one of her staff, Kimmer stated that she couldn’t help it if the members were "too stupid" to go to a doctor." (Read full article 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet)

Kimkins Fallout

Is it too little, too late for Women’s World? Some say yes. Many women and teenagers may have fallen victim to this dangerous diet scam (dubbed ‘Kimorexia’), in part due to favorable publicity of the magazine. 

Complaints against the Kimkins diet plan can be filed the FTC at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/cmplanding.shtm. For more information on the Kimkins scam, exposure, and class action suit, go to the Kimkins Exposed blog.

8 Responses (Add Yours)

  • 2BIG says:

    Thanks for blogging about the apology from Womam’sWorld and the scam kimmer ran on her site.

  • Thank you for helping to get the word out about the dangerous Kimkins Diet Scam.

    For those who have been a victim of this scam, I do hope you will considering joining the Kimkins Class Action Lawsuit.

    http://kimkinsclassactionlawsuit.blogspot.com/

    If you are looking to lose weight, please be sure to choose a healthy weight loss plan, and definitely discuss it with your doctor. Kimkins is NOT the way to do it.

    For more about the Kimkins Diet Scam, be sure to read what ConsumerAffairs.com had to say about it:

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/02/kimkins.html

    Say NO to Kimkins!

  • Cintia EUA says:

    Thank you! I learned about this scam through a wonderful blog: http://the-journey-on.blogspot.com/
    Thanks for spreading the word!

  • Dev says:

    Well, just the little bit I read about Kimkins I knew it wasn’t a healthy diet. My question is why would Woman’s World even feature a diet that didn’t have a sound, healthy basis? It’s great that they’ve apologized, but I’m not sure that that’s enough. By featuring this “diet” in their magazine, they’ve introduced it to millions of people who otherwise wouldn’t have known about it.

  • WildAngel6 says:

    John Tiedt, the attorney for the Kimkins Class Action Lawsuit, is looking for former Kimkins Members in San Diego County.

    http://saynotokimkins.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/former-kimkins-members-in-san-diego-county/

    If you are a former Kimkins member, or know someone who is, please get in touch with John.

    http://tiedtlaw.com/contact.jsp

    Thank you!

  • Veenie Weenie Queeni says:

    Hi, my name is Debbie and I have been on the Kimkins diet and have lost 100 pounds in eight months. I couldn’t believe it when I read this about the diet and Kimmer ! Actually, my heart feels broken because I believe in this diet and I have my true and unedited pictures I can show anyone who would like to see them. If it is a hoax or fraud then I am just amazed because of my fast weight loss and I feel great now, I can walk again without getting all out of breath and my knees don’t hurt from all the excess weight, I still have more to lose but I will keep doing the Kimkins diet. Thanks for listening to me and please believe me that it works great for me. All my friends and family are so proud of me. Debbie ………I need to figure out how to add pictures to this post, do you have to use photo bucket or something ?

  • laura says:

    Debbie,

    A weight loss of 100 pounds over 8 months is roughly a little more than 3 pounds a week net weight loss. The FDA, Mayo Clinic, and most responsible weight loss experts (and the woman behind Kimkins is NOT a nutrionist, doctor, or health expert) say that losing weight too rapidly can put your health at risk. In fact, many other ‘successful’ Kimkins dieters have health complaints as a result of the extremely reduced caloric intake recommended by this fad diet.

    You may have indeed lost 100 pounds overall, but my concern is that some of weight loss may be muscle and your metabolism may slow down making it more difficult -in the long-term, for you to maintain the weight loss. Many women have had significant weight loss on many, many fad diets, but most will tell you that they regain the weight and then some. In severe calorie restriction, organs may even become damaged in some cases.

    Therefore, losing 1-2 pounds a week by adopting a healthy well-balanced eating lifestyle that includes moderate exercise is the best way to maintain successful and healthy weight loss.

    Good luck to you!

  • Veenie Weenie Queeni says:

    Thanks Laura for your concern and kind words of wisdom, I have been able to walk now and so I walk maybe 3 times a week at least and feel better than ever. I know it is easy to gain weight back as 20 years ago I lost 158 pounds and kept it off for 5 years or so and then slowly gained it back but I had stopped dieting all together and thus the weight returned. I eat vegetables, salad and lean turkey, chicken and sometimes lean beef so it doesn’t seem too unhealthy to me, actually, it is a lot healthier than I used to eat as I ate white bread ( flour ) sugar and lots of fast food ( burgers and fries a favorite ) so it has to be healthier than I did eat but I will consider for sure what you have said and maybe soon I will add a little whole grain products or good carbs but I have not totally gone ” no carb ” on Kimkins, it is a variety of lean meat and veggies. Thanks for posting back to me and I will keep you updated . Debbie

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