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:
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)
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.