Kim Kardashian has always been public about her diets and efforts to lose weight, but her latest suggestion has some people outraged.
The reality TV star tweeted around 2 a.m. that the flu was “an amazing diet,” and implied that it helped her lose six pounds in time for the Met Gala on May 1.
Reaction on Twitter was mixed, with most people pointing out that flu can actually kill people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that between 12,000 and 59,000 people die from influenza every year in the U.S. An exact number is difficult to calculate since states are not required to report adult influenza deaths and some deaths result from the combination of the flu and other infections or illnesses.
Influenza comes in different strains, and some can be more deadly than others. The influenza pandemic in 1918, also known as the Spanish flu, killed between 20 and 40 million people, more than the total number of people who died in World War I. It infected 28 percent of all Americans at the time.
Research shows influenza is much more likely to be deadly in low-income neighborhoods.
Many pointed out a scene in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada,” when a character played by Emily Blunt said something similar, after saying she was on a great diet that includes not eating anything, but “when I am ready to pass out, I eat a cube of cheese.”
But others tweeted support for Kardashian, saying Kardashian was just getting flack for a joke because she’s famous.
And still others pointed out that Kardashian has a lot of influence among impressionable young women. The star has more than 50 million followers on Twitter and nearly 100 million on Instagram.