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Kimkin’s diet founder heads to court

23rd October 2007

Kimkin’s diet founder heads to court

Coming on the heels of diet of the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation of best-selling diet author Kevin Trudeau for fraud and deception comes another diet-monger in judicial crosshairs.

Heidi Kimberly Diaz, otherwise known as the Kimmer behind the Kimkin’s Diet, is due to appear in court on Nov. 1 to give a sworn deposition in answer to a class-action lawsuit, according to KTLA news. The Los Angeles-based news organization has now completed a multi-part expose on the discredited diet maven: Click to view Part 1 and Part 2 For more on the lawsuit and its allegations, read here.
Kimkins on cover of Woman's World magazine
For those of you who haven’t been following the whole sad saga, here’s a primer. The Kimkins site describes the diet as a low-carb, low-calorie plan that allows users to lose up to 5 percent of their body weight in 10 days. The diet first attained national prominence after being featured on the cover of Women’s World magazine in June, with a story that called the diet “better than gastric bypass,” and told the “success” story of a woman who says she lost 100 pounds in five months.

Diaz first reported on low-carb dieting message boards that her modified Atkins plan allowed her to lose 198 pounds in 100 months. After people started asking her about the plan, she put up a website and now charges $59.95 for a lifetime membership for access to her secrets, along with an affiliate program with commissions for leading others to sign up.

The trouble is, the whole diet plan was a scam.

Diaz’s after photos have been proven to be a hoax, swiped off of a Russian mail order bride site. Since KTLA began its expose, both the photo and Diaz’s testimonial have mysteriously disappeared from the site. A private investigator, hired by Diaz’s former partner-turned-disgruntled-informer, have revealed Diaz to be ironically, a morbidly obese woman. It’s always tragic to hear of people shilling snake oil weight-loss cures, but the fact that it is a fat woman conspiring to make money off the insecurities of other fat women particularly sickens me.

Turns out there’s a reason why most of Kimmer’s so-called success stories feature white women of slavic origin – they’re Russian brides, too.

Deceiving people with disingenuous diet plans is not a new practice, nor is it necessarily illegal. If it were, fad dieting would rightfully be prosecuted into oblivion. But the Kimkin’s diet is not only a scam, it’s dangerous .

The diet calls for followers to adhere to a 500 – 800 calorie a day plan, with laxatives and fasting encouraged. Carbohydrate consumption is much more restrictive than the first phase of the Atkins plan, upon which the plan is loosely based. Kimkins mandates the consumption no more than 20 grams a day, regardless of carbohydrates from fiber.

Hmm.. 500 calories a day. Laxatives. Fasting. That sounds a lot like my life when I had an eating disorder.

Followers of the diet have complained of hair loss, irregular heartbeat, fainting, and menstrual irregularities amongst a host of other medical issues. They report that Kimmer’s response to such problems is that they should eat fewer calories.

Christin, the success story featured in Woman’s World, now blogs about her experiences on the diet. I normally wouldn’t offer a link to weight-loss blog but her story is relevant to the topic at hand. In response to accusations that plan members cut calories to unhealthy levels of their own volition, and not according to the plan, Christin says:

It saddens and sickens me to admit this about myself, but I feel that I must share in order to bring to light proof of the eating disordered behavior that I not only engaged in, but was encouraged in.

Emphasis mine. Christin offers up her FitDay journal, which shows her to be consuming less than 400 calories a day. In hindsight she admits:

By all indications medically and scientifically, I was in actuality, starving. I was showing very clear signs of grossly anorexic behavior. However, in my zeal to lose and blind faith in a program that I believed I was utilizing “perfectly” I failed to see the warning signs my own body was giving me.

Yet when she asked her diet guru Kimmer for advice, Kimmer advised her to cut calories even further, although Christin’s diet consisted primarily of egg whites. Writes Christin:

True that no one forced me to eat this way, or told me that I must follow everything that Kimmer said. But, when you feel as though you’ve been handed the keys to true permanent weight loss, and you are so close to achieving that goal, it is difficult not to be blinded by your own aspirations, especially when receiving such encouragement. I was affirmed that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. I used the plan. Plain and simple.

More information about the Kimkins saga can be found at Slamboard , the Kimkins Dangers blog, and the Kimkins Controversy blog.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007 at 12:15 am and is filed under Diets, Health, Nutrition & Fitness, Pop Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 12 responses to “Kimkin’s diet founder heads to court”

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  1. 1 On October 23rd, 2007, Yellowhammer said:

    Damn. 400 calories a day?

    That’s messed up.

  2. 2 On October 23rd, 2007, Charlynn said:

    Yep, definitely sounds like eating disordered behavior to me.

  3. 3 On October 23rd, 2007, Hope said:

    This story is DARK. The amount of hatred “Kimmer” must have for herself and other women is epic.

  4. 4 On October 23rd, 2007, Rachel said:

    I don’t know if it necessarily hatred or capitalism, Hope. I’ve read accounts on other blogs that allege her to be a career con woman with a history of mental illness. Supposedly, she’s run into legal trouble in the past for other scams.

  5. 5 On October 23rd, 2007, BarbB said:

    Heidi Diaz is an obese ex-con, who has blown her thyroid and lost all of her hair from years of staving then binging, who berates people for being to “weak” to adhere to her 500 cal a day diet, all the while eating sugar cookies and fast food…. I am fat, I don’t care if someone else is fat. But don’t you dare tell me I’m a loser when we’re in the same boat! I hope she goes to jail. There should be a special jail for someone who is trying to shame people into ending up just like her…chronically unhealthy. There are hundreds of survivors, read kimkinssurvivors.wordpress.com for more direct information.

  6. 6 On October 23rd, 2007, Miss Janey said:

    LAXATIVES??? Miss Janey’s former good friends… such an unhealthy purge.

    First Miss J has heard of this news, tho. Shameful, dangerous, loathesome. It’s a wonder people haven’t died from this.

    *Shudder*

  7. 7 On October 23rd, 2007, Fillyjonk said:

    I am ambivalent about the Kimkins controversy. Or rather, I’m ambivalent about the fact that it’s being called a “scam.” Yes, it’s a scam, and it’s ridiculously unhealthy and trades on people’s self-hatred in order to rob them of their health and money. But the difference between that and other diet and meal plans are only differences of degree. The sense I get from reading various sites about Kimkins are “it’s not a diet, it’s a scam.” Well, yes and no; it’s a diet AND a scam. Just like any number of commercial plans I could name, it makes unrealistic claims, convinces users to engage in unhealthy behaviors by manipulating them emotionally, and provides initially desirable results balanced out by long-term health concerns. Basically, if she had just slapped “results not typical” on there, she could have safely bought cable ad space next to SlimFast and NutriSystem.

    Also, I really get the feeling that people would not be so militant about it if the woman who was shilling anorexia hadn’t turned out to be fat.

  8. 8 On October 23rd, 2007, Rachel said:

    Also, I really get the feeling that people would not be so militant about it if the woman who was shilling anorexia hadn’t turned out to be fat.

    I agree. If she were thin, they would just naturally assume the diet plan worked. But she is the living breathing embodiment of exactly what a failure the plan is. People naturally feel duped and lied to. Also, from what I read, apparently she’s been rather vicious in attacking anyone who questions the plan, like Barb notes above, calling them weak and telling them to go to WW if they don’t have the willpower to sustain themselves with egg whites.

  9. 9 On October 24th, 2007, Hope said:

    Rachel, I definitely hear your point about runaway capitalism. There are no end of scams, schemes, and cons in this economy. But if Diaz was berating her customers to stay on this insane diet as Barb related, then I think she crossed a line to abuse and anger. It’s sad that she couldn’t find help for her mental illness and took it out on the customers.

  10. 10 On October 24th, 2007, Rachel said:

    Oh, she definitely crossed a line. She not only exploited the pocketbooks of these members, she also manipulated them emotionally. Even Dante doesn’t have a level of hell appropriate enough for her.

  11. 11 On January 19th, 2008, Sherrie said:

    Thanks for your article, I really enjoyed the way your wrote that, You might be interested in checking out the last KTLA segment in December which showed footage of her at the deposition for the lawsuit: Kimkins Diet Scam

    There is a bit there where they flash her paypal account showing that she pulled 1.2 million in just one month (June, when the WW mag featured kimkins). And that was just paypal, who knows what else she received through the mail and direct deposits!

    Her assets have since been frozen which she is trying to remove, if you go the courts website and do a search for her name under civil cases you can find some pretty juicy documents :)

    Cheers :)

  12. 12 On May 1st, 2009, scattered marbles said:

    “Heidi Diaz is an obese ex-con, who has blown her thyroid and lost all of her hair from years of staving then binging, who berates people for being to “weak” to adhere to her 500 cal a day diet, all the while eating sugar cookies and fast food….”

    I agree that it is kind of stupid to sell something that apparently doesn’t work and that is so damaging but that doesn’t surprise me, diets don’t work and you will most likely gain it all back plus more. Honestly living as a fat person in this world I know more about diets and lifestyle changes than the average person does and I could put together a plan that would make people lose weight for a while, but it won’t make me skinny anymore than WW will lol.

    Let me re-iterate I totally agree that what Diaz did was stupid, her actions were horrendous, and what she did was wrong and she should be punished fully for it and have to suffer the consequences for her actions, but why do we always attack like this. We don’t know what she ate, I try to get the message out that you can’t tell a persons health, lifestyle, or diet by their body size. This doesn’t just apply for the people I like but for everyone, and honestly who cares if that is what she ate, their is nothing morally wrong with sugar cookies or fast food.. it is just food. I hate when I am in an argument with someone they always always start attacking my weight and appearance when that has NOTHING to do with why they are mad at me, and chances are they have a right to be mad I can be a brat sometimes, but then get mad about that and stop the personal attacks.

    So yes attack someone for their actions, for what they did wrong but if I want people to stop attacking judging and shaming me for my weight then I really shouldn’t do that to anyone else either regardless.

    Just my thoughts lol.

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