Our culture is bombarded with magazine ads and television commercials touting weight loss claims like “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days” or “Eat all the foods you want and still lose weight.” With the convincing after photos, it’s hard to resist purchasing the latest weight loss product when it promises it can help you lose weight effortlessly. You may be tempted to try one of these diets, especially when your own weight loss efforts have failed you. Take time to educate yourself and learn how to spot the red flags in weight loss claims. Buyers beware. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The Federal Trade Commission reports that more than half of all weight-loss ads make at least one false or unsubstantiated claim. They have developed a “red flag” campaign to help guide consumers to screen out the following false claims:
- Lose weight without diet and exercise
- Eat ALL you want and still lose weight.
- Never have to diet again.
- Promotes a product that blocks fat, calories, carbohydrates, etc.
- Safely lose more than 3 pounds a week.
- This product works for everyone.
- Lose weight by wearing something or rubbing in a cream, gel, etc.
The Food and Nutrition Science Alliance recommends steering clear of bogus health claims such as:
- Recommendations that promise a quick fix.
- Dire warnings of danger from a single product or regimen.
- Claims that sound too good to be true.
- Simplistic conclusions drawn from a complex study.
- Recommendations based on a single study.
- Dramatic statements refuted by reputable scientific organizations.
- Lists of “good” and “bad” foods.
- Recommendations made to help sell a product.
- Recommendations based on studies published without peer review.
In your quest for a weight loss plan that works, consult a nutritional specialist who can provide practical information that will help you meet your goals. They have skills and knowledge to translate nutrition science into nutrition you can actually live with.
Remember: “To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” La Rochefoucauld
Health and happiness, Kriss