Magic Pill is Not What it Seems

So, it would seem the quick and easy fix to weight loss doesn’t come in a pill, shaker bottle, mix or some weird organic combination. In fact, according to the FTC, if you fell prey to the claims of Sensa Products, LLC; L’Occitane, Inc.; HCG Diet Direct; and LeanSpa, LLC chances are you were indeed a victim of false advertising. Now these companies are paying millions of dollars in fees for false claims they help consumers easily and quickly lose weight or have a tighter, firmer complexion without lifting doing a single sit up or changing a single calorie. Beauty is only skin deep after all. Right?

Say what?  They don’t work?

Well, all of these products claim by simply using them, users would have tighter, firmer skin, stubborn pounds would melt away, fat, inches, massive food cravings and other sundry weight ails would simply vanish into thin air (yes, pun intended). All of these wonderful things would happen while in the process, common sense factors like following a healthy diet and exercise plan would be minimized to non-existence. All of these claims were made, mind you, without real science to back them up. As in real trial studies, actual users who truly followed the manufacturer’s diet plans using the product and verification weight loss truly occurred.

Shocked? Dismayed? It’s a bummer really, but there are a few lessons to be learned from all of this for businesses who truly think they have a weight blasting product.

    • Don’t make weight loss claims unless solid science backs it up.

    • Before making claims, consumers should study the study.

    • Expert endorsers will exercise their expertise.

    • Disclose if consumers get goodies for their endorsements.

    • Beauty may be skin deep, but slimming claims may require more.

As for consumers? There are only two ways to lose weight: reducing calorie intake through diet modification and increasing calorie consumption through exercise. Sorry, ice cream, cookies and other tasty high calorie snacks only count in moderation. Or so I’m told. Sounds simple enough, but here’s the real kicker: Your wallet may actually gain a few bucks.

If your resolution this year is to eat better and exercise more, terrific! But I wouldn’t plan on using any of these false products to augment your progress. In fact, if I were you, I think I’d trust someone else who has a little more knowledge on the subject before starting any diet or exercise regimen. Your family doctor.

And if you’re looking  for a gym to help shed those holiday pounds, Howard Ain, BBB correspondent has some great tips for reviewing gym memberships. Remember, you can always start with someone you can trust: bbb.org.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a hot date with a salad and gym shoes.

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About Sandra Guile

Sandra is the PR Specialist for BBB Cincinnati, promoting BBB's message of marketplace ethics through public speaking engagements, presentations, blogging, media relations, press releases, web content and other written materials. Her goal is to connect with consumers and business owners in a trustworthy environment and encouraging best practices.