Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kimkins makes the Local News

Corona woman's diet program given low marks

07:40 PM PST on Tuesday, December 30, 2008

By DOUGLAS QUAN
The Press-Enterprise

A Corona woman's Internet-based weight-loss program has been named the worst diet product of 2008 by a healthy-eating Web site.

In announcing winners of its 20th annual Slim Chance Awards, the Healthy Weight Network -- an online forum for health care professionals, researchers and consumers -- said the Kimkins low-fat, low-carb diet amounts to a "starvation diet" that deprives members of many nutrients.

"This weight obsession is causing so many problems," said network founder Francie Berg, a licensed nutritionist and adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine.

Corona resident Heidi Diaz, founder of the Kimkins program, which charges members a fee to access the diet, could not be reached Tuesday by phone or e-mail.

A pending class-action lawsuit filed against Diaz claims that Diaz misled consumers with made-up success stories and pilfered images from a Russian dating Web site to depict as successful Kimkins dieters.

Some Kimkins members have said that they suffered hair loss, heart palpitations, weakness, nausea, muscle fatigue, forgetfulness and abnormal menstrual cycles.

Court records show that Diaz dropped her lawyer this month and is representing herself.

In an online message to Kimkins members posted a year ago, Diaz acknowledged that she had not lost 198 pounds in 11 months, as she had claimed on her site, but 100 pounds in six months. She also wrote that photos accompanying success stories were taken from another site.

"We wanted to show visitors the possibilities with Kimkins," she said.

Woman's World magazine featured the Kimkins diet program on its cover in June 2007 with the headline "Better than gastric bypass!" The magazine later apologized to readers for "having shared with you a story we can't stand behind."

As of Tuesday, the Kimkins Web site was still running, telling visitors that "many Kimkins members drop 5 percent or more of their total body weight in the first 10 days."

Members pay $79.90 to join the program.

A disclaimer tells visitors to contact their doctor before starting any diet.

Berg said people should focus less on losing weight and concentrate more on eating well, staying active and relieving stress.

Berg's Web site named as its worst gimmick of 2008 a brand of jeans that claims to release a cellulite-fighting medication when the jeans rub against the skin.

"Some of this is just ridiculous," Berg said.

Reach Douglas Quan at 951-368-9479 or dquan@PE.com

2 comments:

MrsMenopausal said...

Don't you love it?

There's a certain kind of anonymity to the news being contained to the internet and a few TV programs many may have not seen but the local paper? Ah, there goes any possibility of the community being unaware.

Heidi must be in her glory. After all, ANY publicity is good publicity, she says.

The world is learning who and what you are, Heidi Diaz, and no stolen Russian bride pictures or self penned fake testimonials can see you through this one.

Tom Thorne said...

Everyobdy and his brother has a new diet program today that is going to lose 50 pounds with absolutely no side effects! Do people ever consider exercise abd watching what they consume any more? I know it's so much easier to just take a pill and forget everything else. Unfortunately, more often than not that does not work!