Weight loss scams and how to spot them

Orphia
Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
Here is a list of warning signs that should alert you that a product is too good to be true:

http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/694326

Warning signs

The weight loss scheme or product:
  • lacks scientific evidence or demonstrated links between the result and the effects of the program, food, supplement, gadget or process being promoted
  • is sold outside normal commercial distribution channels. For example, through the internet, by unqualified individuals or mail order advertisements
  • claims effortless, large or fast weight loss such as 'lose 30 kilos in 30 days' or 'lose weight while you sleep'
  • claims that you can achieve weight loss without exercise, or without managing food or energy intake
  • fails to recommend medical supervision, particularly for low-calorie diets
  • claims to reduce fat or cellulite in specific areas of the body
  • uses terms such as 'miraculous breakthrough'
  • recommends the exclusive use of any type of gadget
  • claims it is a treatment for a wide range of ailments and nutritional deficiencies
  • promotes a particular ingredient, compound or food as the key factor of success
  • demands large advance payments or requires you to enter into long-term contracts.

Can you add to the list?

Can you name any products/diets that fall under these categories?
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Replies

  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    Excellent additions, @KateTii and @bpetrosky ! Thanks very much.
  • RodaRose
    RodaRose Posts: 9,574 Member
    Anything being recommend/ advertised on the tv screens in my gym. :)
    • claims to increase metabolism (ha!!!!)
    • totes "magic" foods -- like kiwis improving iron absorption (any vit C does that)
    • claims to decrease cellulite
    • claims to change body shape / spot reduce
    • recommends that you wear a diet patch on your skin that works with appetite suppressants
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    Good stuff, @RodaRose !
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    rabbitjb wrote: »
    • Uses the term "metabolism boosting"
    • Targets specific areas of fat
    • Demonises food groups

    Ooh, good ones, especially the last one.

    Proteins, fats and carbs are all essential to a healthy diet. Bodies go borked when you eliminate one group.
  • barbecuesauce
    barbecuesauce Posts: 1,779 Member
    (but you do lose weight when you sleep, you exhale fat then)
  • yarwell
    yarwell Posts: 10,479 Member
    Orphia wrote: »
    Here is a list of warning signs that should alert you that a product is too good to be true:

    http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/694326

    Warning signs

    The weight loss scheme or product:
    • lacks scientific evidence or demonstrated links between the result and the effects of the program, food, supplement, gadget or process being promoted
    • is sold outside normal commercial distribution channels. For example, through the internet, by unqualified individuals or mail order advertisements

    Can you name any products/diets that fall under these categories?

    MyFitnessPal ? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25402403 "After 6 months, weight change was minimal, with no difference between groups".

    "CONCLUSION:

    Smartphone apps for weight loss may be useful for persons who are ready to self-monitor calories, but introducing a smartphone app is unlikely to produce substantial weight change for most patients."

    oops.
  • MamaBirdBoss
    MamaBirdBoss Posts: 1,516 Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    Orphia wrote: »
    Here is a list of warning signs that should alert you that a product is too good to be true:

    http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/694326

    Warning signs

    The weight loss scheme or product:
    • lacks scientific evidence or demonstrated links between the result and the effects of the program, food, supplement, gadget or process being promoted
    • is sold outside normal commercial distribution channels. For example, through the internet, by unqualified individuals or mail order advertisements

    Can you name any products/diets that fall under these categories?

    MyFitnessPal ? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25402403 "After 6 months, weight change was minimal, with no difference between groups".

    "CONCLUSION:

    Smartphone apps for weight loss may be useful for persons who are ready to self-monitor calories, but introducing a smartphone app is unlikely to produce substantial weight change for most patients."

    oops.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25563356

    Raised ya one. ;)
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    Orphia wrote: »
    Here is a list of warning signs that should alert you that a product is too good to be true:

    http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/694326

    Warning signs

    The weight loss scheme or product:
    • lacks scientific evidence or demonstrated links between the result and the effects of the program, food, supplement, gadget or process being promoted
    • is sold outside normal commercial distribution channels. For example, through the internet, by unqualified individuals or mail order advertisements

    Can you name any products/diets that fall under these categories?

    MyFitnessPal ? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25402403 "After 6 months, weight change was minimal, with no difference between groups".

    "CONCLUSION:

    Smartphone apps for weight loss may be useful for persons who are ready to self-monitor calories, but introducing a smartphone app is unlikely to produce substantial weight change for most patients."

    oops.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25563356

    Raised ya one. ;)

    :smiley:
  • yarwell
    yarwell Posts: 10,479 Member

    Bit generic though - "smartphones, PDAs, iPods, and Mp3 players"

    My point was that simplistic criteria are a blunt instrument. MFP has specific peer reviewed evidence of it not working in a certain context but that doesn't mean it has no merit whatsoever.
  • yarwell
    yarwell Posts: 10,479 Member
    ariamythe wrote: »
    Except that MFP isn't a marketed weight loss product.

    "Free online calorie counter and diet plan. Lose weight by tracking your caloric intake quickly and easily." from web site. http://www.myfitnesspal.com/welcome/learn_more etc.