By Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom
I’ve seen a big increase in “miracle” weight loss products to fight the battle of the bulge. We are bombarded with ads for quick weight loss in print, online, and on TV.
You’ve seen the ads with thin, muscled, and tanned men and women – with teeth as large and bright as Chiclets gum – standing near piles of high-calorie foods. There’s always a caption like “Eat whatever you want and lose weight if you add ________!” Just fill in the blank with whatever product is being sold. Or maybe the ad is for a fitness contraption that provides a “total body workout” in just 15 minutes a day that promises to “boost your metabolism and weight loss.”
And just when many of us have wised up to these kinds of product promotions and are no longer fooled, a new ad form has emerged that makes it much harder to figure out the truth. Advertisers now claim that “research shows” or “studies confirm” the product’s effectiveness.
Nowadays, it’s possible to find scientific evidence for nearly any claim. But many of these studies do not follow scientific principles, and the hard science that is found is not usually what is advertised.
The bottom line? It’s the adage “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
If you need advice for dietary supplements or fitness products, ask your doctor or another health professional, not Dr. Google.
Have you seen any crazy ads for weight loss or fitness products? Share them with us!