The Cotton Ball Diet and Other Regrettable Health Fads

In pursuit of fitness, humans have come up with a bevy of ideas that range from ridiculous to dangerous. Here are 12 once trendy ideas — tapeworms, cigarettes, anyone? — that we really recommend you do not try.

Yuriy Maksymiv /

Have you tried the Whole 30 program? Are you following the Ketogenic diet? Maybe you’ve gone gluten-free, or always choose soy milk over dairy? There are as many ways to pursue a healthy diet as there are people concerned about their fitness.

And as long as humans have been watching their weight, there have always been new and sometimes bizarre diet and “health” fads, some of them ridiculous and others downright dangerous. From weird home exercise machines to diets that sound as if their ingredients were pulled randomly out of a hat, practically anything is worth a try for us to slim down and buff up.

Here’s a snapshot of the madness. It should go without saying, but don’t try any of these.

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