It’s the start of a new year, which means you’re supposed to suddenly be transformed into an incandescent new being with a higher consciousness, a magical aura, a quicker mind, and–most importantly–a tighter ass, am I right? Right now, there are “news” stories everywhere about holiday weight gain and New Year’s weight loss resolutions and celebrity detoxes. Oh, and diets. Diets for the whole family, “diets for your wallet,” the chocolate milk diet, the Chinese roundworm diet…wait, what?!
According to a news story published last week in Britain’s Daily Mail, female Chinese students are resorting to eating roundworm eggs in order to get thin for job interviews. While there’s plenty of weird news coming out of China, the only weird thing about this story is the story itself (which was also reposted on HuffPo). And by weird, I mean “dubious,” “poorly reported,” and “kinda fakey fake-seeming.”
For starters, the Daily Mail is alleging that female students in the southern city of Xiamen, China, are eating roundworm eggs to look thin for job interviews, because jobs are scarce while the labor force is massive. Excerpted from the story’s opening paragraphs:
Female students in China have been eating roundworm eggs to lose weight for job interviews – because employment is so hard to come by.
They hatch in the stomach, allowing those who take them to shed pounds without exercising or dieting in the Xiamen, China.
But swallowing the worms is extremely dangerous – and definitely not to be recommended for those wanting to shed the pounds in the New Year.
With jobs shortages across the country, women in China are under pressure to appear thin if they are to have any chance of landing a role.
Presumably, a few Chinese female students would be interviewed about this fad diet for the story, right? Yet not a single woman is. In fact, the only student interviewed for the entire piece is a chick called Xiaomei–which sounds suspiciously like a fakey-fake Chinese name because it’s so on-the-nose–and she gives a quote about a different diet altogether:
A student called Xiaomei said that women are using a ‘special soap’ that helps them with their diets. Some are having up to 10 showers each day.
(Sidenote: If this little detail is actually true, you gals are crazy-stupid but, hey, at least you smell good.)
There aren’t any quotes from Chinese women who are actually on the roundworm diet, nor are there any quotes from Chinese women seeking jobs about the pressure to be thin. The only other person quoted in this story, in fact, is Yi Chengji, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security spokesperson, who talks strictly about the employment pressures in China and says nothing about this so-called diet that’s apparently sweeping this city–and young ladies’ intestines–in Fujian Province. His exact quote:
“China is facing huge employment pressures at present and for the foreseeable future. As China’s urbanisation quickens, employment pressures from the many surplus rural labourers are getting bigger and bigger. Currently there are about 100 million surplus rural workers that need to be transferred (to urban jobs).”
Not that this whole roundworm diet is entirely outside the realm of possibility. In February 2010, according to another British paper, The Daily Telegraph, Hong Kong’s department of health warned of Chinese-language websites offering weight-loss supplements containing roundworm eggs, which a health department official described as potentially “fatal.”
They forgot to add: SOFA KING DISS GUSTING. Instead of eating roundworm eggs, all people who want to lose weight need to do is read about what happens when you eat them:
After infective eggs are swallowed, the larvae hatch, invade the intestinal mucosa, and are carried via the portal, then systemic circulation and/or lymphatics to the lungs. The larvae mature further in the lungs (10 to 14 days), penetrate the alveolar walls, ascend the bronchial tree to the throat, and are swallowed. Upon reaching the small intestine, they develop into adult worms.
Adult worms…which can grow up to a foot in length. I don’t know about you, but just knowing that is diet enough for me.
Filed under: Bad Reporting, British Tabloids, Chinese Roundworm Diet, Dieting Sucks, Diets, Fad Diets, Fake Trends, New Year New You Fuck That, New Year's Diets, New Year's Resolutions, The Daily Mail
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