back to top

12 Horrible Health Fads You'll Be Glad You Never Tried

Finding balance or improving well-being shouldn't be scary! If you’re trying to make better choices, reach for Pepperidge Farm® Cracker Chips — only 90 calories per serving with bold taste and crunch.

Posted on

1. The Tapeworm Diet

Does the idea of intentionally ingesting a foreign parasite that digests the food that you consume make you go NOPE NOPE NOPE? Yep? It should. Don’t turn yourself into the plot of a sci-fi flick; steer clear of this dangerous diet.
Tracy B. / (CC BY 2.0) / Via Flickr: bytracy

Does the idea of intentionally ingesting a foreign parasite that digests the food that you consume make you go NOPE NOPE NOPE? Yep? It should. Don’t turn yourself into the plot of a sci-fi flick; steer clear of this dangerous diet.

2. Sauna Suits

Sweat-inducing garments and doodads for weight loss have been hawked since the age of ads dawned upon us, but to lose weight by dehydrating yourself and risking heat stroke is, how do you say, not a good plan.
Shutterstock

Sweat-inducing garments and doodads for weight loss have been hawked since the age of ads dawned upon us, but to lose weight by dehydrating yourself and risking heat stroke is, how do you say, not a good plan.

3. Medicines With Now-illegal Drugs

Morphine, heroin, opium, and alcohol were all once standard ingredients in cough syrups and over-the-counter medicines, as was the poison arsenic. It's pretty clear why this wasn't safe. (And this stuff was given to children!)
jm3 on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0) / Via Flickr: jm3

Morphine, heroin, opium, and alcohol were all once standard ingredients in cough syrups and over-the-counter medicines, as was the poison arsenic. It's pretty clear why this wasn't safe. (And this stuff was given to children!)

4. Radioactive Cosmetics

To promote healthy complexions, early twentieth-century cosmetic companies used radium (yes, the radioactive stuff!) in their lotions, makeup, soaps, and other products. Pretty sure that's not the kind of "glow" you're looking for in your beauty regimen!
Thinkstock

To promote healthy complexions, early twentieth-century cosmetic companies used radium (yes, the radioactive stuff!) in their lotions, makeup, soaps, and other products. Pretty sure that's not the kind of "glow" you're looking for in your beauty regimen!

5. Electric Weight-loss Machines

It would be great if you could just jiggle away or, uh, zap away the fat. But there's no proof that such machines do anything to encourage weight loss, and the idea of using an electric appliance on your body is kinda weird.
Jamie / (CC BY 2.0) / Via Flickr: jbcurio

It would be great if you could just jiggle away or, uh, zap away the fat. But there's no proof that such machines do anything to encourage weight loss, and the idea of using an electric appliance on your body is kinda weird.

6. Ear Stapling

While this derivative of acupuncture has some loyal believers, there is no hard evidence that pricking your ears with tiny needles has direct health benefits — in fact, there are quite a few risks involved. However, if eating well and exercising isn't your thing, trying this out with a certified acupuncturist just might...sound good.
Thinkstock

While this derivative of acupuncture has some loyal believers, there is no hard evidence that pricking your ears with tiny needles has direct health benefits — in fact, there are quite a few risks involved. However, if eating well and exercising isn't your thing, trying this out with a certified acupuncturist just might...sound good.

7. DDT Wallpaper

No one likes disease-carrying insects, so scientists created pesticide wallpaper containing the now-banned, highly toxic DDT. Suddenly mosquitos don't sound so bad...
gfpeck / (CC BY-ND 2.0) / Via Flickr: wespeck

No one likes disease-carrying insects, so scientists created pesticide wallpaper containing the now-banned, highly toxic DDT. Suddenly mosquitos don't sound so bad...

8. Ear Candling

Placing a lit (as in on-fire) cone in our ears doesn't sound very appealing. But if you're into that sort of thing, you should know that ear candling can cause some serious injuries like burns and ruptured eardrums. Um. No.
Shutterstock

Placing a lit (as in on-fire) cone in our ears doesn't sound very appealing. But if you're into that sort of thing, you should know that ear candling can cause some serious injuries like burns and ruptured eardrums. Um. No.

9. Placenta Pills

A more recent trend among new mothers is to consume the placenta, often in pill form. But doctors warn that the benefits and risks are still unknown.
Thinkstock

A more recent trend among new mothers is to consume the placenta, often in pill form. But doctors warn that the benefits and risks are still unknown.

10. "Special Formula" Chewing Gum

According to old-timey science, you could lose weight just by chewing gum — oh, and by replacing snacks with gum and following a low-calorie diet. Hmmm. And while gum isn't dangerous, it certainly isn't a good idea to choose it over food, and gum alone does nothing to promote weight loss.
Nesster / (CC BY 2.0) / Via Flickr: nesster

According to old-timey science, you could lose weight just by chewing gum — oh, and by replacing snacks with gum and following a low-calorie diet. Hmmm. And while gum isn't dangerous, it certainly isn't a good idea to choose it over food, and gum alone does nothing to promote weight loss.

11. Toning Shoes

A few years back, athletic shoes that promised to tone and shape your legs and booty while burning calories were all the rage. Now we know that there's no proof these shoes do anything at all — besides draining your bank account and looking funky.
Thinkstock

A few years back, athletic shoes that promised to tone and shape your legs and booty while burning calories were all the rage. Now we know that there's no proof these shoes do anything at all — besides draining your bank account and looking funky.

12. Pills, Pills, Pills

Diet pills weren't safe when they first gained popularity in the 1930s, and they're probably not safe now. Some early diet pills even contained an ingredient that could cause blindness and death. Pretty sure no weight loss is worth those side effects!
Nesster / (CC BY 2.0) / Via Flickr: nesster

Diet pills weren't safe when they first gained popularity in the 1930s, and they're probably not safe now. Some early diet pills even contained an ingredient that could cause blindness and death. Pretty sure no weight loss is worth those side effects!

Luckily, there's a snack that won't ruin your diet and is actually satisfying! Reach for Pepperidge Farm Cracker Chips when your next snack craving hits.