Weight Loss Promotions

3/25/2003

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According to the Better Business Bureaus, weight loss schemes are on the increase. Many weight loss promotions will promise consumers the loss of several pounds in a week or overnight without shunning their favorite foods or having to exercise

Some dieters peg their hopes on pills and capsules that promise to "burn," "block," "flush," or otherwise eliminate fat from their system, but medical science has yet to come up with a magic pill, potion or device for weight loss. Some pills may help to control appetite, but they can often have serious side effects. Many weight loss promotions only thin your wallet, not your figure.

Be wary of claims that promise immediate, effortless and/or "guaranteed" weight loss. Also watch for buzzwords like "breakthrough," "secret," "exclusive," or "miraculous" in advertisements. They are not scientific words and often appear in misleading promotions for fraudulent products. Also be skeptical of self-proclaimed health advisors who sell their products by using high pressure sales tactics and one-time-only offers. Be cautious of vaguely worded testimonials that cannot be verified. Testimonials should not serve as a substitute for scientific proof of a product's efficacy.

Before committing to a weight loss product or program, check with your physician, a qualified nutritionist and/or a registered dietitian. Also check the offer out with the Better Business Bureau or your nearest Food and Drug Administration office if you have questions about an advertised product. If the promotion or plan sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Of course, any diet pill or other weight loss product is, at best, only a temporary or partial measure. Long-term weight loss requires a permanent change in eating habits and regular exercise.

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