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article imageParasitic worm swallowing diet putting lives in danger

By Betty Kowall     Apr 16, 2010 in Food
One of the latest diet crazes in Hong Kong, the practice of eating the giant intestinal Ascaris worms has become so popular that the nation's Department of Health decided to make a public statement in opposition to it.
On February 8, 2010 a safety alert advising against 'parasite weight control' was issued in Hong Kong. It stated, "infestation of parasites has no scientific basis in weight loss."
It also detailed the potential negative consequences of parasitic weight loss:
But they can cause abdominal pain and distension, vomiting, diarrhoea and malnutrition. Parasite infestation can also be fatal if serious complications such as intestinal, biliary tract or pancreatic duct obstruction arise. The worms can even invade organs.
The idea behind eating parasitic worms to lose weight is that the parasites burrow in the gut and eat people's food, thus reducing the amount of calories absorbed relative to calories ingested.
The absolute absurdity of the situation was captured by metro.co.uk which used, "health advice that you'd really hope nobody would actually need," as its lead.
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