“Get Paid to Lose Weight” Claims Sound Too Good to be True—And Probably Are.

I’m betting that you’ve probably seen all the weight loss ads that have been running in the Cincinnati Enquirer lately.  Just today there was an ad for a product called SmartLean, and over the weekend there was an ad for a product called HCG, which purports to pay customers $5 per pound they lose.

In an article from January 2011, USA Today reported that the Food & Drug Administration says the product is not only fraudulent, but that there are numerous issues with claims the seller, Simple Pure Nutrition, makes about HCG.  What’s more, the article notes that there’s “no evidence” that the product works and that the hormone isn’t approved by the FDA for weight loss use.

BBB in Los Angeles’ Business Review about the company says that the business hasn’t responded to several questions about their advertising claims.  Simple Pure Nutrition currently holds a rating of “F” with BBB as a result of this and unresolved complaints.

Today’s SmartLean advertisement makes similar claims as it concerns weight loss: the ad says that the product burns fat and that “Any adult […] who would like to lose 14 or more pounds should be getting on it right away.”

BBB Canton’s Business review about PatentHealth, the seller of SmartLean, points out that the business has on file 29 complaints and doesn’t currently rate the company.

When it comes to weight loss, the bottom line is this: no matter what the ads say, you can’t substitute diet and exercise.   In fact, both products suggest that customers reduce their calorie intake during use.  SmartLean’s testing subjects took in 1800 calories a day, which is below the USDA’s suggested 2000 calories-per-day diet.  HCG’s program asks its customers to eat only 500 calories per day, which is fewer calories than a full breakfast—a bowl of cereal, 3 strips of bacon, 2 scrambled eggs, a piece of toast and a cup of coffee.

If you’re trying to lose weight like so many other folks, it’s important to keep your head in the game.  Don’t give in to the hype—products claiming they can make you lose weight quickly or without changing your diet are almost always scams that have more of an effect on your wallet than your waist.

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About Jason McGlone

I've been doing Ad Review with BBB|Cincinnati since 2004.