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Author Topic: "Kimkins" diet fraud unmasked  (Read 643 times)


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"Kimkins" diet fraud unmasked
« on: January 11, 2008, 08:13:19 PM »

Consumer Health Digest #08-02
January 8, 2008
Current # of subscribers: 11,758

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by
Stephen Barrett, M.D., and cosponsored by NCAHF and Quackwatch. It
summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement
actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and
nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer
protection and consumer decision-making.


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If you haven't already done so, please read and send a contribution to
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"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

(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.,0,6692158,print.htmlstory?coll=ktla-video-1
Her Web site contains a "confession" in which she rationalizes what
she did but maintains that her program is effective.


Evidence keeps mounting against phony autism-thimerosal link.

New data showing that the number of diagnosed cases of autism
spectrum disorder has kept rising in California provide more evidence
that thimerosal is not a cause. [Schechter R, Grether JK. Continuing
increases is autism reported to California's Developmental Services
System: Mercury in retrograde. Archives of General Psychiatry
65:19-24, 2008]

Quackery promoters claim that the thimerosal in vaccines is a major
cause of autism. A 2004 Institute of Medicine report noted the lack
of data supporting this belief, but recommended that trends in autism
diagnoses be observed as exposure to thimerosal decreased.
Thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative, was eliminated from
most vaccines by 2001. By now, if it were a cause, the incidence
rates should have dropped. The California report was accompanied by
an editorial that concluded:

"Parents of autistic children should be reassured that autism in
their child did not occur through immunizations. Their autistic
children, and their siblings, should be normally vaccinated, and as
there is no evidence of mercury poisoning in autism, they should
avoid ineffective and dangerous "treatments" such as chelation
therapy for their children." [Fombonne E. Thimerosal disappears but
autism remains. Arch Gen Psychiatry 65:15-16, 2008]


AmeriSciences facing four lawsuits.

Optometrist Edward J. Furey, of Roswell, Georgia is suing
AmeriSciences and three of its officers for failing to give refunds.
The company, headquartered in Houston, Texas, sells dietary
supplements through a multilevel network of distributors. Furey's
suit accuses the defendants of failing to refund more than $150,000
for products he purchased and also for failing to properly disclose
his cancellation rights as required by Georgia law.

Furey's attorney, Henry A. Turner of Decatur, Georgia represents three
other former distributors with similar cases. The cases must be brought
individually because Georgia laws do not permit MLM-related class
action suits. MLM participants are often encouraged to stock up on
products in order to get higher bonuses or achieve leadership status
quickly. However, this strategy can lead to large losses if the
products are not sold and no refund is given.


Other issues of the Digest are accessible through
For information about the National Council Against Health Fraud, see
If you enjoy the newsletter, please recommend it to your friends.


Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Board Chairman, Quackwatch, Inc.
Chatham Crossing, Suite 107/208
11312 U.S. 15 501 North
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Telephone: (919) 533-6009 (health fraud and quackery) (under construction) (under construction) (guide to autism) (under construction) (legal archive) (chelation therapy) (guide to chiropractic) (under construction) (guide to dental care) (under construction) (under construction) (guide to homeopathy) (guide to reliable information)) (guide to infomercials) (under construction) (multi-level marketing) (naturopathy) (under construction) (nutrition facts and fallacies) (under construction) (National Council Against Health Fraud) (consumer health sourcebook)

Editor, Consumer Health Digest

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