Can Worms Help You Lose Weight?

Of course not. But some extreme dieters will try anything.

Can Worms Help You Lose Weight?

Of course not. But some extreme dieters will try anything.

-Jane Farrell

Woman on scale

For women in style meccas like Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul, 100 is the magic number—one hundred pounds, to be specific.

That’s what chic women are supposed to weigh, no matter what their height. And extreme dieters in these cities think that losing a few more pounds after they hit 100 isn’t a bad idea, either.

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According to USA Today, experts think that the pressure to be super-skinny may be stronger in Asia than in the West because of the persistent ideal of the petite, ultra-slim woman. And because any appearance of muscle is considered unfeminine, women tend to rely on dieting rather than exercise to drop pounds. What’s even worse, a woman’s weight isn’t just an indication of beauty or desirability. Says one Korean psychologist, “People say that if you are overweight, you can’t study, you will fail the exam. That’s the attitude here.”

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As a result, women looking to lose weight deny themselves food, take diet pills and, in Hong Kong, flock to “slimming centers” for weight-loss treatments including ultrasound procedures, electrical stimulation and infrared radiation treatments. A local consumer group has called some of the procedures “dubious.”

But most extreme of all is the incredible practice of swallowing parasitic worms, which will in theory live off a woman’s body and decrease her weight. The practice has become common enough for the Hong Kong health department to issue warnings that ingesting the worms (which are sold on Chinese websites) can cause everything from abdominal pain to death.

No amount of weight loss is worth that. (USA Today)

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