We’ve all heard of some pretty extreme fad diets come out of the US, but this latest attempt by a desperate dieter in Iowa, quite literally, takes the cake…  out of your digestive system.

The woman ordered a tapeworm off the Internet, explaining to her doctor that she was attempting to lose weight. While the mere thought of swallowing a live parasite is more than enough discouragement for most, Iowa’s Public Health Department has issues a warning about the potentially life-threatening practice.

“Ingesting tapeworms is extremely risky and can cause a wide range of undesirable side effects, including rare deaths,” writes medical director Dr Patricia Quinlisk. “Those desiring to lose weight are advised to stick with proven weight loss methods; consuming fewer calouries and increasing physical activity.”      

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