"Fad Diets," "Fast Easy Weight Loss" - Dieter Beware!
Are you one of the estimated 50 million Americans who will go on a diet this
year? If so, you may be tempted by advertisements for products promising easy,
quick ways to lose weight. You should know that when it comes to losing weight,
gimmicks usually don't deliver on their promises.
Many dieters try to find a quick fix for their weight problems, but there are
no simple solutions. Americans spend billions of dollars each year on diet
books, gimmicks and other products to try to lose weight ($6 billion per year,
according to the Federal Trade Commission). Almost monthly, a new book or
magazine announces the latest "miracle diet," promising dramatic
weight loss. Beware of "fad" diets and know how to recognize one.
When it comes to evaluating claims for weight loss products, the Federal
Trade Commission recommends a healthy portion of skepticism. Before you spend
money on products or programs that promise fast or easy weight loss, weigh the
claims and consider these tips:
- "Lose 30 Pounds in Just 30 Days." As a rule, the faster you lose
weight, the more likely you are to gain it back. Also, fast weight loss
could harm your health. Unless your doctor advises it, don't look for
programs that promise quick weight loss.
- "Lose All the Weight You Can For Just $39.99." Some weight loss
programs have hidden costs. For example, some don't advertise the fact
that you must buy their prepackaged meals that cost more than the program
fees. Before you sign up for any weight loss program, ask for all the costs.
Get them in writing.
- "Lose Weight While You Sleep." Claims for diet products and
programs that promise weight loss without effort are phony.
- "Lose Weight And Keep It Off For Good." Be suspicious about
products promising long-term or permanent weight loss. To lose weight and
keep it off, you must change how you eat and how much you exercise.
- "John Doe Lost 84 Pounds in Six Weeks." Don't be misled by
someone else's weight loss claims. Even if the claims are true, someone
else's success may have little relation to your own chances of
- "Scientific Breakthrough...Medical Miracle." There are no
miracle weight loss products. To lose weight, you have to reduce your intake
of calories and increase your physical activity. Be skeptical about
For more, please visit our Weight
Loss Center and Nutrition
Last Editorial Review: 1/28/2003
Some of the above information has been provided with the kind permission of
the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov).