HCG (human growth hormone) diet drops are being touted as a miracle weight loss product in Western countries, and are now available in Namibia. The products’ distributors say “Lose 0.4kg to 1kg per day safely with an all-natural homeopathic product. It’s all-natural rapid weight loss, imported from the USA and manufactured in an FDA-regulated facility.” The programme, however, is not as simple as taking a drop per day and watching the pounds disappear. Alongside the diet comes a very strict 500 calorie per day diet. Five hundred calories is the equivalent of two slices of lean turkey on wholewheat bread, one slice of cheese, some lettuce, a little mustard, an apple and one cup of skim milk. Doctors say dieters should not consume less than 1 200 calories per day. Eating 500 calories a day is essentially starving yourself. Extremely low-calorie diets can cause severe bone and muscle loss, electrolyte imbalances and gallstones.