By: Deborah Moss, RD, CDN
Are you confused by the tremendous amount of information overload available to us today as consumers when it comes to good nutrition and weight loss? Well you are not alone. The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar business that preys on the vulnerability of people trying to lose weight and improve their health, but who are not sure how to go about it.
This past month Congress took to task Dr. Oz for promoting green coffee bean extract as a magic weight loss cure. Dr. Oz insisted he believes in supplements for short-term, but he did agree that there’s no long-term miracle pill without diet and exercise. He has now offered to help drain the market of companies that he never endorsed that use his name to promote so-called miracle pills for weight loss.
The FTC has compiled a list of seven false statements in ads to assist consumers in spotting false weight loss claims…
- Causes weight loss of 2 lb. or more a week for a month without dieting or exercise.
Gut check: Weight loss requires taking in fewer calories than you eat. It’s that simple.
- Causes substantial weight loss no matter what or how much the consumer eats.
Gut check: It’s impossible to eat unlimited amounts of food and still lose weight. To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in.
- Causes permanent weight loss even after the consumer stops using product.
Gut check: Without long-term lifestyle changes, weight loss won’t last once consumers stop using the product.
- Blocks the absorption of fat or calories to enable consumers to lose substantial weight.
Gut check: Without lifestyle changes, no over-the-counter product, including legitimate “fat burners,” can block enough fat or calories to cause the loss of lots of weight.
- Safely enables consumers to lose more than 3 lb. per week for more than 4 weeks.
Gut check: Losing more than 3 lb. a week over multiple weeks can result in health complications.
- Causes substantial weight loss for all users.
Gut check: People’s metabolisms and lifestyles are all different, as well as how they will respond to any particular weight loss product. No product will cause every user to drop a substantial amount of weight.
- Causes substantial weight loss by wearing a product on the body or rubbing it into the skin.
Gut check: Weight loss is an internal metabolic process. Nothing you wear or apply to the skin can cause weight loss.
Weight loss is complex and is not only influenced by how many calories we take in but also by lack of sleep, stress, and sedentary lifestyle. So often people just want to throw the towel in and give up. Why not find an expert instead to help you navigate your way through all the nutrition misinformation and help you set some realistic lifestyle goals that will work for you.
To read more on the FTC’s guidelines to evaluate weight loss products, visit the FTC website at:
Deborah Moss is a registered dietitian and certified dietetic nutritionist. She is the owner of Natural Nutrition and Wellness, a private nutrition counseling practice that specializes in women’s health and wellness, specifically focusing on weight management and the integration of nutrition for disease prevention and management. Deborah graduated from Queens College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition. She completed a dietetic internship program through LIU, CW Post. She has presented nutrition and wellness classes associated with diabetes, heart disease and weight management to numerous clients through corporate wellness programs. Deborah’s goal in counseling is in helping others achieve a healthier and more balanced life.
For any diet and nutrition questions, contact Deborah at nnwellness.com!