by Michael dEstries
Categories: Eats, Film/TV
Tags: .

There was all sorts of madness yesterday on The Tyra Banks Show — which shouldn’t surprise most people, but we were genuinely impressed with the amount of stupidity squished into one full hour of television.

The highlight was Tyra introducing viewers to “The Tapeworm Diet”, which isn’t something you eat, but ingest. That’s right: You eat a parasite so that you can keep on eating tons of food. According to Diet Review, “[The Tapeworm] secretes proteins in our intestinal tract that make our digestion of food much less efficient. A less efficient digestive systems means that you can consume more calories through your food since your “body guest” is also noshing on them for his own growth purposes. Some scientists estimate that those infected with a single tapeworm can lose up to one or two pounds each week.”

Healthy eating? Blah. Exercise? Who needs it! Just swallow a parasite and continue hitting KFC for lunch and dinner. Tyra even had a guy on that sells the worms over the Internet; despite an FDA ban on the practice. Said one woman on Twitter, “I’m still undecided on Tyra Banks’ Tapeworm diet. I don’t know if its a great or just plain ridiculous.” Undecided? What the hell is wrong with people?

Fueling the incredulity, Tyra next turned her attention to “the latest trends in tiny pets”. One woman brought on her pet Capichin monkey all dressed up — further convincing idiots out there that pet monkeys are a cool and awesome pet to own. Even worse, this woman removed all of the monkey’s teeth so that it could never bite her. Said another woman on Twitter, “so, after seeing Tyra today, i want one of those little pigs. & that lady made me want a baby monkey even more. i must get one!”

Thankfully, just when you think the world is doomed, one viewer left this comment on Tyra’s site:

“These animals are NOT pets! We have shelters that are spilling over with pefectly good and loving domesticated dogs and cats! How about you have a show where you focus on this, not dressing a wild monkey up in clothes and removing it’s teeth because it might bite somebody…god forbid it acts like(and eats)what nature/God intended. If people have a void to fill in their lives, how about going and volunteering at a local animal shelter or even the zoo!!”

Well said. But since this is Tyra we’re talking about, chances are it will probably fall on deaf ears.

Did you see the episode? Tell us what you thought below!

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • http://www.wineplz.com Wineplz

    God forbid this woman get a licensed physician on the show at the same time to mention that by having a tapeworm, it can also deprive your body of the necessary nutrients needed to function properly. There’s a reason it’s called a parasite.

  • VeggieTart

    That has got to be the craziest thing I ever heard. And how do you get rid of the thing when you hit your goal weight, which ideally would occur sometime before malnutrition and death?

    • http://www.ecorazzi.com Michael d'Estries

      My understanding is that you then take anti-biotics to kill the worm. The other bummer: You need to defecate the massive worm out. Ugh.

    • Rebecca

      One of the biggest things people don’t realize when they do that kind of stuff is sometimes you can’t rid your body of it and then you can have problems like it leeching all nutrients from your body and it can kill you, and the worst part is there are people out there stupid enough to do this stuff and think that they’ll be ok because there are long term effects for stuff like that.

  • hil

    Wow…I would assume that once you reached your ideal weight you would have to get de-wormed. My cat had a tapeworm once and it didn’t seem like a very pleasant experience for the poor little guy. And I thought the Atkins diet was crazy!!

  • s

    what i want to know is: WHAT MORON CAME UP WITH EATING TAPEWORMS? gosh, people, i know diets are boring and excerize makes you all gross and sweaty, but ITS A FREAKIING PARASITE. there is a reason that SANE people don’t eat them!! its because we dont want to DIE.

    • Nicki

      I agree. Honestly, the only people who would swallow tapeworms are lazy, STUPID, vain individuals with no regard for their health. They just want to look good. Keyword, look. Who cares how they feel inside emotionally…as long as they can fit into those jeans they really like. The concept of having an animal latch on to my intestines and suck down my meals and a little bit of me with it is insane. I’d rather do the hard work of exercise and diet than have something swimming around in me that I’ll eventually have to see and feel come out of me…that’s quite alright–I’ll pass and work off the weight the hard way.

  • http://us.hessnatur.com/blog/ Kirsten Lioba

    Mass media can (unfortunately) have a huge influence on the way a society thinks. I think bringing mutilated monkeys and tape worms onto a TV program is just a freak show aimed at cheap quotas. We should demand more responsible programming if it is to be allowed on public airwaves. The vision of television’s inventor was to educate, not make us dumber!

  • L

    It appears that Miss Tyra is lacking the ratings she once had when she still had her svelte physique. But, then again I expected no more from her; give a model a microphone…

    Also, I beg to differ; the invention of television was to entertain the mindless masses, particularly houswives, who stayed at home and were primarily and purposefully subjected to commercials in order to spend their husbands’ incomes on random and useless doodads and dohickies. Sad, but true.

  • L

    Give a model a microphone…

    Also, I beg to differ; the invention of television was to entertain the mindless masses, particularly houswives, who stayed at home and were primarily and purposefully subjected to commercials in order to spend their husbands’ incomes on random and useless doodads and dohickies. Sad, but true.

    • Webster


  • L

    sorry for the double post, my browser’s on the fritz it seems.

  • kylo

    This idea was actually quite popular in the 1940s. But it’s not all good with the tapeworm diet. Many people died from it.

  • Pingback: WTF: The Tapeworm Diet()

  • Joe

    I’m so disgusted by this. What the hell is wrong with people?!!!

  • VeggieTart

    It’s not just your browser, L. I get an error message after posting a comment. I have to wonder if the lunatic who came up with this parasitic worm diet is a man.

  • don miguelo

    She knows that just bringing into the awareness (for or against) of teens and impressionable dieters is promoting it. How irresponsible! And to see her talk about how tanning is so unhealthy on Top Model last night is straight up hypocrisy.

    She should be responsible for the people who WILL TRY THIS and die from it.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/StaroftheSea136 Lizzie

    Wow….. some women are just plain stupid…. that’s really all I have to say to sum this up.

  • marah

    Tyra should have included in her show the negative effects of having tapeworms… Other than possible malnutrition, if it was allowed to grow inside it can also swell up your intestines just like any other worms.. Also tapeworms can’t simply be removed by taking purgatives to be de-wormed.. you might need to have a surgery to have it removed because the de-worming normally just removes the tail of the tapeworm and the head remains biting the person’s intestine and will simply continue to grow its segments again… She should have consulted a physician about it first.. This is so dumb.. Don’t they have good script writers and researchers for the show???! Before introducing any regimen or diet that might affect a persons health, KNOW THE RISKS!

    • PaperMoon

      It is disgusting and those tapeworms can break away and burrow into other parts of the body and lay egss in all parts of the body! That is so disgusting and reckless and dangerous!

  • Mylah

    You guys clearly never saw the show. Tyra was completely opposed and telling people what a horrible idea this diet was. She was trying to create awareness.

    • Annie

      I only watched 5 minutes of it and she was opposed to the idea..how can you guys say she was for it..you weren’t listening. she was trying to expose the guy.

  • BareBeliever

    My stomach is churning from both the idea of people so desperate to lose weight that they actually choose to subject themselves to this “diet” and also from the disgust of imagining a worm growing and eating the insides of me. How in the world would anyone ever think of this?!!!!!

    I can’t believe how irresponsible it was for Tyra to discuss eating tapeworms in a positive light. There are people and animals around the world who die or suffer from this parasite and would do anything to get rid of it in a second, yet Tyra doesn’t think about that sort of “serious stuff” as long as she looks good and continues to have some sort of following (though apparently none of her fans have any sort of brains).

  • Lilliannah

    I know the idea is gross, but i beta ya most of you writing these comments have never been overweight or obese a day in your life to say you would never do that type of a diet. When being overweight is all you know and hate how look and hate the way it makes you feel and even worse the way people treat you and stare at you and always throw comments, then this diet is really not a bad idea. Look I have been overwight my entire life and i hate hate hate hate hate, oh my gosh, i cannot even explain the depth of my hatered for my body, then this really isnt a bad idea!

    • Sage


      If you want to live to see your natural death, don’t eat a goddamn tape worm. It doesn’t make you lose weight, it EATS YOU ALIVE and makes you a pained, disease-ridden sack of crap. Not sexy, not attractive, and oh yeah, to get rid of a tapeworm takes years. It’s not simply taking antibiotics; it’s a regimen that eventually, VERY eventually, ends with defecating the worm out.

      You have to poop out that thing. It doesn’t just die off and get digested. You’d be better off going bulimic or anorexic than trying this. Does throwing up constantly until the enamel on your teeth rots away appeal to you? No? Then why the hell would you ingest a worm that eats away at the lining of your stomach and intestines?

    • keria

      yeah i am overwieght.. 60 pounds to be excact.. and i look at myself in the mirror and i hate the way i look.. i look gross… but i would never risk my life on something so stupid to lose wieght.. that thing eats your insides.. and can make you very sick. i mean think about you knowing you have a tapeworm inside you… eewwww…… disgusting. sorry i rather live and be fat thank you…

    • bella

      Well 23 years ago I was pregnant and accused by my doctor of being on a diet. I swore up and down that I was not on a diet, I was always hungry and since pregnant with belly I thought it was a normal pregnancy effect being hungry all the time. I loved to eat Tatar (raw beef with raw egg and onions). Make a long story short, I started my pregnancy weighing in at 69 kg. After giving birth (my child weight 2220grams)My weight after giving birth was 55 kg. When my baby was about 5 month old I gave “birth” to a 2.5 meter long tape worm. It was disgusting, I had o stop breast feeding for 2 weeks and took medicine to rid my body of the worm. I was living in Germany and glad to had access to excellent medical care. Although I didn’t mind the side effect of the worm (losing weight) but I am not sure if I would eat one of them on purpose to lose weight.

  • keria

    after i watched her show i went on the internet and searched for websites offering and talking about the tapeworm diet… there are soo many… how gross to actually sit there and put a parasite in your body that is just wrong.. i mean come on i am 60 pounds overwieght at the age of 22 and im working my ass off to get back into shape by eating heathy and working out.. yeah its going to take some time but if you really want to lose the pounds work at it. dont make yourself sick and risk having these complications or even die just so you can get a quick fix for wieght loss… come on people use your head.. i think it is sad that people today will go to extream measures like this to make other people like them..

  • http://www.azfinetime.com/Union-Glashutte Union Glashutte

    Tyra’s show has become a joke. I don’t even know what point she is trying to get across to the world anymore is.. she just seems laughable. She has nothing of worth or good message on the show ever… She should have quit when she was ahead. Also– now that she has lost all the weight, what kind of message does that send?

  • Marie

    Wait, hold on…did anyone watch the show?! Mylah and Annie are right, Tyra was disgusted by this diet, not promoting it! This article is a joke, and whoever wrote it should be ashamed of themselves as they were clearly misinformed! And for anyone who responded without watching the show should feel the same!

  • owen

    If you hold a hot cup of chocolate drink infront of your open mouth when you have a tape worm , it will smell the hot chocolate and climb your troat until its head is in your mouth , our then ment to grab it and rip its head off , killing it and digesting it in your stumoch .That lady should have her hands cut off so she no longer rips any other animals teeth out !

  • m.v.k.

    Having any kind of parasite can make you hungry, and you eat more to satisfy that hunger. That is why round worms, flukes, and pin worms can CAUSE you to eat more. Depending on your diet, you can lose weight, or gain weight if you have a parasite.

    Tape worm is another story entirely. Maria Callas used a tape worm to lose weight and she lost her life. Tape worms can make you so hungry you can eat five truck driver meals a day and want more. And you lose weight because you get practically none of the nutrition. I know, I had a tape worm and didn’t know it. I have never since been able to gain weight and a parasite, especially tape worm, can destroy your immune system. Thus, you will get allergies (the worms bite holes in your intestinal walls, and pieces of food leak into your blood stream, antibodies are created by the weakened immune system to battle the food molecules, and every time you eat what you like, you then get sick from it). The tiny bites on the intestinal walls can cause bleeding and toxins from the fecal matter can leak into the blood stream also causing opportunistic infections. You feel like you have the flu all the time. Your liver, kidneys, heart and even your brain can destroyed.

    The life cycle of a parasite, where they hide in the body to escape the immune system defenses, can keep the young parasites, eggs, cysts, etc. alive in your body for the rest of your life. It is a very uncomfortable, allergy ridden life and no one would like to live it.

    It may sound like a good thing to be thinner. Change your diet. Eat mostly vegetables (85 percent) and no dairy or sugar or meat for a while and you will see the weight come off in a healthy way. Doing it with parasites will buy you misery beyond overweight. Try it if you don’t believe me or your doctor. You will find out and you will be so very sorry for having made the mistake of doing a tapeworm diet.

    Best of luck.

    • sri

      I heard that there are men who will put tapeworm eggs in women’s drinks in bars. Has anyone heard this?

      • montana wey

        OMG THAT is a really scary thought and disgusting . What person in their right mind would want a fuc*king snake/worm/whatever in their body? This makes me want to throw up

  • Leitepa

    I spent my vacations on my Grandparents’ farm, one of the farm hands got tapeworm from untreated milk. Eventually, I kid you not, it came up to the back of her throat and she had to pull the thing out, meter by horrifying meter. I was 12 and it was TRAUMATISING. Why would you put yourself through that???

  • Jeff Weber

    This has to be a joke. Unfortunately, I’m sure there are people out there who are stupid enough to try something like this. Not only is it thoroughly disgusting but it could lead to some extremely dangerous medical conditions and even death.

    The following article explains it much better than I can:

  • montana wey

    It isn’t whether or not she was Team Tapeworm but the fact that it was even present as a viable way to lose weight. Only people sick in the head would try something so stupid and as we can all see they are out there