Fun With Diet Gurus

From Consumer Health Digest (January 8, 2008):

“Kimkins” diet fraud unmasked.

Eleven former members of the Kimkins Diet Web site are suing Kimkins founder Heidi “Kimmer” Diaz for false advertising, fraud, unjust enrichment, and negligent misrepresentation. The complaint alleges that (a) Heidi Diaz falsely claimed to have lost 198 pounds in one
year, but in fact remains morbidly obese, (b) members’ lifetime memberships were unjustly terminated, (c) Ms. Diaz made unjustified claims that the diet is safe, (d) members using the diet plan suffered medical complications that included hair loss, heart palpitations, irritability, and menstrual irregularities, and (e) Diaz’s Web site displayed phony “success” stories that used photographs she obtained from Russian and Ukrainian sites with ads from women who wanted to meet prospective husbands.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys are seeking certification of the suit as a class action. Last June, Diaz attracted national attention and collected more than $1 million through PayPal after the supermarket tabloid Woman’s World published her claims with before-and-after pictures purporting to show how her appearance had changed. However, the “after” picture was not Diaz but had been downloaded from a Russian site. KTLA-TV has broadcast segments of a deposition in which Diaz admits to lying.

Her Web site contains a “confession” in which she rationalizes what she did but maintains that her program is effective.

Virtually all weight-loss plans make promises that will not be delivered for the vast majority of their clients. This one only stands out, I think, because of the fake photo scam.

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13 Responses to Fun With Diet Gurus

  1. 1
    B. Adu says:

    diet[s], fraud unmasked.

    Hope so.

  2. 2
    Jake Squid says:

    I’m very fond of the latest television campaign for nutrasystem. The small print not only says, “Results not typical,” as they all do, it also says that the examples they show are from a, “previous weight loss system.” How great is that?

  3. 3
    Mayberryfan says:

    Most diets fail because it is very difficult to follow a plan and eat correctly. The vast majority of people who are thin are blessed with a metabolism that lets them eat pretty much what they want to eat.

    Kimmer’s diet Kimkins is a problem because it is starvation. It encourages people who are struggling with their weight to eat such low calories that they can do serious physical harm to themselves. Kimkins is DANGEROUS.

    People who need to lose weight must believe they are worth the effort before any diet can work. Kimkins is NOT the answer.

  4. 4
    Daran says:

    People who need to lose weight must believe they are worth the effort before any diet can work.

    I’m not completely sure what “they” means in that sentence. Do you mean

    People who need to lose weight must believe themselves to be worth the effort, before any diet can work.


    People who need to lose weight must believe the diet to be worth the effort before it can work.

  5. 5
    Thene says:

    Mayberryfan, it’s even more simple than that: diets don’t work, period.

  6. 6
    OhYeahBabe says:

    The picture fraud is indeed a big deal. However, the diet is dangerous, and her plan behind the plan is worse. She actually tells people it is OK to ‘diet coke fast’ for 45 days. That’s over 6 weeks of nothing but diet coke. Can you imagine?

  7. 7
    Mimi says:

    To understand all the light and heat over this you need to peek under the sheets of the low carb community. It’s like a religious cult that reacts to any apostacy.

    The Kimkins diet is being spoken of as a scam similar to those diet drugs that caused heart disease, but all it is, is Atkins with calorie counting thrown in. The only danger is if you starve yourself to death, but there are plenty of diets out that are in fact fast diets, like the lemonade diet that Beyonce went on.

    Kimmers critics should go to and order a used copy of Dr. Atkins 1972 first edition. It was way more nutty than the Kimkins diet, and yet it changed over time to be a bit less crazy.

    Conclusion: None of these diets are going to work, but the Kimkins critics are a bunch of Atkins loons with no more credibility than Diaz.

  8. 8
    Barbara B says:

    The Atkins diet was and is a safe diet, rich in essential fats. There is an induction phase which lasts only TWO WEEKS, after which nutritious veggies and fruits are gradually added back to the diet. Many people WHO HAVE NEVER READ THE BOOK confuse the induction phase as being the entire diet. Atkins did not encourage people to keep cutting calories lower and lower, as does Kimkins.

    The Kimkins diet is nutritionally lacking in essential nutrients and is dangerously low in calories. Many people who have followed it began having serious health issues. And obviously Heidi herself didn’t follow it or she would not now be an obese scam artist who uses fake pictures to make people believe she actually lost weight, which she didn’t.

  9. 9
    Sailorman says:

    I prefer the “Guatemalan diet”

    1) Go to Guatemala(*1)
    2) Buy and consume some tempting-looking fruit juice from a friendly fruit juice street seller(*2)
    3) Lose FIVE pounds in TWELVE HOURS!!! At that rate, you could lose SEVENTY POUNDS IN A WEEK!!!(*3)
    4) Repeat as needed.

    I hold the patent on this diet, so if you, too, have lost weight in this fashion, please Paypal me $157.99.

    (*1) Also effective in other areas of the world, including many areas of the U.S. I only tried it in Guatemala though. It doesn’t work where you already live.
    (*2) May require multiple glasses of juice. Also, try eating lettuce.
    (*3) May result in death.

  10. 10
    Robert says:

    I followed the domestic stomach flu version of that diet a couple of years back, Sailorman, and lost about ten pounds. It’s effective but unpleasant. The diet authors really need to mention the law of equal and opposite reactions, though. You’ll need a garbage can AND a toilet.

    Good luck getting me to pay you the $157.99, though. The weight all came back.

  11. 11
    RonF says:

    Have any of you tried the colonoscopy diet? You don’t take in anything but clear liquids for two days. Then you drink what I’ll call “colon blow” the night before and the morning before your colonoscopy – don’t go more than about 20 feet from a toilet during this phase. I lost about 12 pounds and a pair of underpants in 72 hours on that one.

    Then there was a nearly complete loss of dignity a little while later at the hospital as 4 people helped me “accomodate” about 6 feet of fiber optic cable. It made a rather fascinating movie, I must admit, and there’s no question that the drugs were rather fantastic.

  12. 12
    Dianne says:

    Well, as long as we’re listing diets, here’s one that worked for me:

    1. Get pregnant. (Yes, this diet is extremely hard for men to follow.)
    2. Have bad morning sickness.
    3. Wait 9 months.*
    4. End up 10-20 pounds below baseline.

    I wouldn’t recommend this diet to anyone who has the next 18 years or so already planned though…

    *May result in death or disability.

  13. 13
    RonF says:

    Dianne said:

    I wouldn’t recommend this diet to anyone who has the next 18 years or so already planned though…

    Anybody who’s got the next18 years planned out who thinks that said plan isn’t going to change is fooling themselves pretty seriously.