The United States has a long history of bad medicine, but one incident truly stands out among others. During the early 1900’s, a new diet emerged in the country that was shown to be remarkably effective. According to the posted advertisements, all a person had to do was swallow a tiny pill once, and over the next few days they would begin to experience a dramatic loss of weight. The results were apparent to anyone who saw them, and curious individuals everywhere eagerly handed over their cash for a chance to shed some pounds, despite the fact it was the turn of the century and most people were scrawny orphans.
What was the secret? The pills were actually tapeworm eggs. People were intentionally infecting themselves with an intestinal companion, and while it was true that the little buggers did keep the pounds off, they also consistently sapped their host’s health and were completely gross if you thought about them. The fad didn’t last more than a few years, though, so people had to eventually go back to such boring standbys as diet and exercise. On an additional note, the United States currently prohibits the sale and transport of tapeworm eggs, so anyone foolish enough to want one will have to travel out of the country in order to get a parasitic pal.