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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
In Denver & Boulder, Colorado
Don’t Fall for Diet & Fitness Cons in the New Year
January 09, 2013

Denver, CO – January 9, 2013 – As consumers ring in the New Year, many resolve to improve their health in 2013 but the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns to beware of ads promising quick and easy ways to lose weight. Doctors, dietitians and other experts agree that the best way to lose weight is to eat less and increase your physical activity.

“As always, we encourage consumers to fully research weight loss or fitness options. Unfortunately, deceptive ads offer weight loss pills, treatments or ‘cures’ with unproven claims of better health, fitness or appearance,” said Su Hawk, president and CEO of the BBB of Denver/Boulder. “Many of these products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and may be ineffective or even harmful, as well as costly.”

In 2012, BBBs nationwide received more than 13,000 complaints against the health and fitness industry. This includes health clubs, health and diet products, and exercise equipment. Consumers have complained about deceptive advertising, ineffective products and confusing or misleading contracts.

For consumers looking to shed pounds this year, the BBB offers the following advice:

  • Consult your physician. Before starting any weight loss regimen, visit your family doctor to discuss your overall health and safe and effective weight loss programs.
  • Do your research. Always check out fitness clubs, websites and other health-related companies with the BBB by visiting www.denver.bbb.org or by calling (303) 758-2100.
  • Read contracts carefully. When signing up for any kind of recurring membership, such as at a gym or weight control program, be sure to understand all the terms and conditions before signing. Make sure you know how to cancel and whether or not your membership is automatically renewed at the end of the contract.
  • Be wary of free trials. Know when the free trial begins and ends and whether or not you have to call to cancel in order to avoid future charges. Be clear on how much you will be charged if you do not cancel and whether or not you have to return any unused product.
  • Avoid unproven products. Fad diets and new products come around every year that promise amazing results. Many such claims are not supported by evidence and some products have dangerous side effects.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of claims that a product can shed pounds without dieting or exercise or programs that promise unusually good results.

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About the BBB

The BBB is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Reviews, BBB Charity Reports and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, there are 114 local, independent BBBs across the U. S. and Canada. Please visit www.denver.bbb.org for more information.