A former weight loss consultant for Jenny Craig has publicly apologized to hundreds of her clients for giving them, what she calls, bad health advice.
Iris Higgins, who has a master's degree in psychology from New York University and lives in Missouri Ms Higgins worked at Jenny Craig for three years, and in her letter, admits to a number of perceived mistakes: giving bad advice for thyroid issues, not addressing body dysmorphic disorders, designing diets with too few calories for both pregnant and non-pregnant women, as well as recommending yo-yo and fad diets.
Now a gluten-free health blogger, and author of The Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guides, Ms Higgins says she 'wronged' many of her clients.
'I'm sorry because when you were running 5x a week, I encouraged you to switch from a 1, 200 calorie diet to a 1, 500 calorie diet, instead of telling you that you should be eating a hell of a lot more than that, ' she writes.
'I'm sorry because you were breastfeeding and there's no way eating those 1, 700 calories a day could have been enough for both you and your baby.'
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, young women aged 14 to 18 years old should be on a 1, 800 calorie diet, while females 19 to 30 years old should maintain a 2, 000 calories diet.
Looking back: Ms Higgins worked at Jenny Craig for three years, and admits to giving bad advice for thyroid issues, not addressing body dysmorphic disorders, and designing diets with too few calories
Ms Higgins also criticized the food given to Jenny Craig clients, calling it 'chemically laden'.
'I'm sorry because many of you had thyroid issues and the LAST thing you should have been doing was eating a gluten-filled, chemically-laden starvation diet, ' she explained.
'I'm sorry because by the time I stopped working there, I wouldn't touch that food, yet I still sold it to you.'
The weight-loss empire typically provides its clients with personal consultants, such as Ms Higgins, in order to get them to eat and live healthy.
According to the website, 'Jenny teaches portion control and a balanced approach to living, with the freedom to live your life your way.'
Making amends: Now a gluten-free health blogger, and author of The Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guides, Ms Higgins says she 'wronged' many of her clients
But Ms Higgins now believes this is an unhealthy way to loose weight.
'I'm sorry because it's only years later that I realize just how unhealthy a 1, 200 calorie diet was. I stayed on a 1, 200-1, 500 calorie diet for years, so I have the proof in myself.
'Thyroid issues, mood swings, depression, headaches... oh and gluten intolerance that seemed to "kick in" after about a month of eating the pre-packaged food. Was it a coincidence? Maybe.'
But Ms Higgins doesn't blame Jenny Craig, instead she blames the doctors, registered dietitians on the medical advisory board, the media and women's glossy magazines for reinforcing such ideas.
'I've been played for years, and so have you, and inadvertently, I fed into the lies you've been told your whole lifeThe lies that say that being healthy means nothing unless you are also thin.'