Does it feel like everywhere you look, someone’s trying to sell you on a too-good-to-be-true diet or a new miracle fat burner?
If so, you’re not alone, but don’t be scammed into buying products or programs that don’t deliver on their promises.
In an effort to help protect consumers from diet scams and to stop fraudulent ads, the United Kingdom just released new advertising guidelines for all diet products sold in the UK. The guidelines can serve as your checklist to evaluate any diet product you’re considering.
How to ID Diet Scams
Weight loss is big business: Americans spend more than $40 million dollars each year on weight loss products and programs. With so much money at stake, it’s no wonder there are so many products that claim to help you lose weight quickly, easily and for good. However, there’s no evidence to support most of the claims and our own FTC found that 55% of diet ads and claims in the US are misleading.
The UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice (similar to our Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration) regulations are considered the strictest in the world and will surely help to put an end to weight loss frauds.
Here’s what the CAP doesn’t allow in any diet ad in the United Kingdom.
- Claiming that people can lose a precise amount of weight in a specific period of time.
- Any claim that weight can be lost from specific parts of the body.
- Advertising to minors.
- Implying that weight loss will be permanent.
- Implying that weight loss will be easy.
- Implying that a person can eat whatever they want and still lose.
- Making claims about services or products not supportable by research.
- Utilizing testimonials that suggest more than 2lb/wk weight loss.
- Not identifying advertorial copy in magazines and online as advertising.
- Implying vitamin or mineral formulations are beneficial to weight loss.
- Implying that a product or procedure will remove “toxins” from the body.
If you use these guidelines, there is no way you’ll get scammed by a diet product. To take it a step further, here’s what the US FTC says about weight loss:
Doctors, dietitians, and other experts agree that the best way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories and be more active. That’s true even for people taking FDA-approved pills to help them lose weight. For most people, a reasonable goal is to lose about a pound a week, which means:
- Cutting about 500 calories a day from your diet;
- Eating a variety of nutritious foods; and
- Lots of execrise.
To help you eat a variety of nutritious foods and cut about 500 calories from you diet daily, check out our monthly meal plans.