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.