America is buzzing about the new diet sensation long thought to be only an eating disorder: Pica. The diet allows people to eat anything they want, as long as the food is made up of non-nutritive substances. As an added bonus, the food is inexpensive and commonly found around the house.

Dr. Karen Gregory, founder of the diet, claims anyone can lose unwanted pounds by simply ingesting a multitude of substances they cannot digest. Of course, some real food is required, and the Pica Brand, Inc. is selling snack bars to fulfill that particular need.

Pica as an actual eating disorder causes people to inexplicably eat such items as soil, chalk, paper, and coal, as well as food ingredients, like flour. “It’s easier than cooking, anyhow,” said one woman, who lost fifty pounds during Phase I of the diet. “I’m a teacher, so whenever I got that hungry feeling, I’d just reach for some chalk. Sometimes I’d even mix things up a bit and eat the colored chalk. It doesn’t taste any different, but I can imagine it’s fruit or candy.”

While danger exists for children suffering from Pica who eat lead paint, nails, or other dangerous non-nutritive substances, adults are generally more intelligent, and can choose what they eat with more discretion. “While someone suffering from Pica might decide to eat feces or drink urine, we do not recommend those for this diet,” said Gregory. “And, honestly, the body can handle only so many metal objects, so we tend to recommend items that are not completely socially unacceptable or dangerous. Wood, ice, or hair are better alternatives. These items are all-natural, and will not ad an ounce of fat to your body!”

Some in the food industry are crying foul over the new diet, saying people will suffer unknown problems as a result. However, a large percentage of the food industry also uses high fructose corn syrup in the food it markets, and that particular ingredient is widely seen as not only non-nutritive, but also as non-satisfying. While a person eating tree bark or shoe leather feels somewhat satisfied after a meal, someone eating  (often fat-free) items filled with high fructose corn syrup will never feel full. Gregory said, “People become obese because corn syrup can’t fill them up. No matter how strange it may seem, dirt fills you up.”

Unfortunately for the people who use the Pica diet, like most other diets, the menu tastes horrible. Therefore, people will likely wean themselves off of lead-free paint chips and fried starch, and go back to potato chips and fried chicken. Gregory suggests testing to see if an individual is ready for the Pica Diet, so go ahead and eat that TPS report sitting in front of you. if you can keep it down, you may just have found the replacement for that before-lunch candy bar.

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