The tapeworm diet is already one of the most horrific weight loss methods imaginable, but a crazy mother found a way to make it much worse: she tricked her daughter into ingesting squirmy parasites.
According to The Mirror, the terrifying tale of this terrible mother was featured on a recent episode of Untold Stories of the E.R., a docudrama that airs on TLC and Discovery Fit & Health. The tapeworm diet was popular during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and vintage ads touted pills packed with the parasites’ eggs as easy ways to lose weight. With all the different diet products available now, it’s no surprise that swallowing tapeworms has fallen out of fashion.
However, some people are still willing to put their health at risk by infesting themselves with the parasites, and one crazy pageant mom was so desperate for her teen daughter to lose weight that she gave the girl a tapeworm pill without telling the poor girl what was in it. Nurse Maricar Cabral-Osorio told the Untold Stories of the E.R. cameras that the teen girl was suffering from severe stomach pain when she was admitted to an E.R. in Florida. At first doctors thought that she might be pregnant, but the thing wriggling around inside her belly wasn’t a fetus.
The unnamed girl had to use the toilet while she was at the hospital, and what she saw after emptying her bowels made her scream. Cabral-Osorio was also disturbed after peeking in the potty:
“It was a toilet bowl full of tapeworms. Blegh! It was so gross and she had pooped all these tapeworms. There were a couple that were very long and wiggling around trying to get out of the toilet bowl.”
The mother started profusely apologizing to the girl, saying that she just wanted to help her lose weight before an upcoming beauty pageant. It was revealed that she got the tapeworm diet pills from Mexico.
This isn’t the first time the tapeworm diet has made headlines. As The Inquisitr previously reported, an Iowa woman made headlines last August after trying to use tapeworms to lose weight. Her doctor contacted the public health department after learning that his patient had swallowed a parasite.
Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the medical director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, released a statement about the dangers of the tapeworm diet:
“Ingesting tapeworms is extremely risky and can cause a wide range of undesirable side effects, including rare deaths. The worm would get into your gut – it’s got little hooks on the head – and it would grab onto your intestine and start growing.”
According to TODAY, the beef tapeworm (taenia saginata) is the species most commonly used by desperate dieters. The theory is that tapeworms will make you lose weight by eating all the food that you consume. However, journalist Michael Mosley reported that he actually gained weight after intentionally ingesting the parasites for a BBC documentary. According to The Telegraph, He hosted three tapeworms in his gut, and they were hungry little critters. Here’s what he said about his disgusting diet:
“Tapeworms have been traditionally associated with weight loss, but my weight went up and I think the worm was actually encouraging me to eat more, to keep itself alive. I think I ate a bit more and I definitely wanted chocolate and carbohydrates.”
Mosley didn’t seem to mind being on the tapeworm diet, but just imagine how terrified that clueless teen girl was after visiting the toilet. Do you think the pageant mom should have been prosecuted for putting her daughter’s health at risk?
[Image credit: NHS]