Do Not Be a Fool for Fraud

Jun. 21, 2017 at 1:41pm

Quick-fix weight-loss gadgets and gimmicks have skyrocketed.  Sales of diet pills and supplements have risen to more than $5 billion a year.  Do not be mislead.  Many of these products are not only ineffective but potentially dangerous.


SPOT REDUCING.  Basing their claims on the false notion that it is possible to "burn off" fat from a particular part of the body, deceptive advertisers promise that you can "take inches off your waist, thighs or buttocks without vigorous exercise or dieting and in just minutes a day."  Think about it:  If spot reducing worked, people who regularly chew gum would have skinny faces!

EFFORTLESS EXERCISE.  Many years ago, researchers examined the weight-reducing claims made for mechanical vibrating belts.  One study showed that the average caloric cost of a 15-minute period of abdominal vibration was 11 calories more than an equivalent period of seated rest (or about 1/23 of an ounce of fat.)  The investigators concluded, "The vibrator is not to be taken seriously as a device to assist in fat reduction or shifting of fat deposits within the body."

WEIGHT-REDUCING CLOTHING.  Special weight-reducing garments rely on dehydration and tissue compression.  Measurements may be temporarily reduced, but these losses are exclusively water weight.

ELECTRIC MUSCLE STIMULATORS.  Ads for some electric muscle stimulators say they provide the same effects as "3,000 sit-ups or 10 miles of jogging while lying flat on your back."  Some of these units have a legitimate purpose in physical therapy; nevertheless, the Food and Drug Administration considers muscle stimulators that are promoted or used for "body shaping and contouring" to be misbranded and fraudulent.  In addition, these devices have been known to burn the skin and deliver electric shocks.  They can be typically hazardous to pregnant women, heart patients with pacemakers and people who have epilepsy.

Posted in Health Info by Joe

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