The weirdest health trends around the world
You won’t believe these strange global diet and health trends actually exist
Japan: Weight loss sunglasses
Sunglasses aren’t just for protecting your eyes from the sun anymore-at least not in Japan, where dieters use blue-tinted sunglasses to make food look dull. Apparently, blue isn’t an appetizing colour, so when you look at food, you won’t want to eat it. If you’re worried about stress-induced eating, fear not. Blue is also a calming colour-so naturally the sunglasses will prevent that too. I can’t say for sure these wouldn’t work, but I’m willing to bet if I smelled fresh-baked cookies, I’d probably overlook the blue tinge in favour of satiating my grumbling tummy.
East Asia: Diet soap
Made from a mysterious “species of deep seaweed plants” Aoqili diet soap can apparently be credited for a 20 percent reduction in body fat. Upon further inspection, all it contains is fatty tissue of animals, fatty acid salts from coconut oil, seaweed powder and aloe gel-not exactly the miracle product it purports to be. Besides the fact that I’m creeped out by the idea of rubbing animal tallow all over my body, I’m guessing that unless I was doing an intense shower workout while washing with this soap, it probably wouldn’t contribute to any amount of weight loss.
China: The roundworm egg diet
We may vaccinate our pets against it, but female students in Xiamen, China have reportedly been eating roundworm eggs to lose weight for job interviews. Since they hatch in the stomach, those who swallow them shed pounds without exercising or dieting-but with serious consequences. Besides causing anorexia (which I’m assuming is the intended affect) a roundworm infection can cause other serious illnesses such as respiratory failure, pneumonia and liver or spleen enlargement.
India: The sunlight diet
Here’s a super diet idea: Just don’t eat! Why didn’t someone think of this sooner? All those meals you eat only contribute to pesky weight gain. Instead, just get all your nourishment from the sun and your spirituality. That’s what Indian guru Prahlad Jani recommends-in fact, he claims he hasn’t had any food or drink for 70 years. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly) the diet, also known as breatharianism or pranic nourishment, has been blamed for at least four deaths since the ’90s, and I’m willing to bet it also causes a host of other health problems. (Check out the September 2012 issue of Best Health to learn more about this odd practice).
Image: Aleksandar Nakic/iStock
South Korea: Slimming face roller
If you don’t spend your days worrying about your lack of a “v-shaped” face, you probably don’t live in an East Asian country like Korea, where that’s the coveted beauty standard. Their answer to troublesome face fat? A slimming face roller, of course. Seriously. This exists. If you want a face massage, it might just work, but in terms of its claim to “melt face fat,” I wouldn’t rely on it.
Mexico: Magnetic diet ring
Do you like obnoxious infomercials that make unsubstantiated claims about weight loss? Then you’ll love this! According to the commercials, the magnetic diet ring is basically a magic weight loss wand in ring form. It promises weight loss fast-just wear the ring on a different finger every day to target different trouble areas. Apparently, you can lose over 30 pounds in three weeks. Apparently.
Korea and China: Baby mice wine
In Canada, it’s not uncommon to see mice scurrying around your home in the winter. If you go to Korea however, you might find them in your wine instead.
Baby mice wine is a traditional Chinese and Korean “health tonic” and believed to heal anything that ails you. I’m not sure how a dead rodent is supposed to be good for you, or why anyone would want to drink something that apparently tastes like raw gasoline, but evidently it’s the answer to all your health problems.