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Commercial Weight-Loss Promotions

NCAHF disparages commercial weight-loss or control programs that:

  • Promise or imply dramatic, rapid weight-loss (ie, substantially more than one-percent of total body weight per week).
  • Promote diets that are extremely low in calories (ie, below 800 KCal per day / 1200 KCal per day preferred) unless under the supervision of competent medical experts.
  • Attempt to make clients dependent upon special products rather than teaching how to make good choices from the conventional food supply (this does not condemn the marketing of low-calorie convenience foods which may be chosen by consumers).
  • Do not encourage permanent, realistic lifestyle changes including regular exercise and the behavioral aspects of eating wherein food may be used as a coping device (ie, programs should focus upon changing the causes of overweight rather than simply the effects, which is the overweight itself).
  • Misrepresent salespeople as "counselors" supposedly qualified to give guidance in nutrition and/or general health. Even if adequately trained, such "counselors" would still be objectionable because of the obvious conflict-of-interest that exists when a provider profits directly from products they recommend and sell.
  • Require large sums of money at the start or make clients sign contracts for expensive, long-term programs. Such practices too often have been abused as salespeople focus attention on signing-up new people rather than delivering continuing, satisfactory service to consumers. Programs should be on a pay-as-you-go basis.
  • Fail to inform clients about the risks associated with-weight-loss or the specific program.
  • Promote unproven or spurious weight-loss aids such as HCG, starch blockers, diuretics, sauna belts, body wraps, passive exercise, ear staples, acupuncture, Electric muscle stimulators, spirulina, phenylalanine, arginine, etc.
  • Claim that "cellulite" exists in the body.
  • Claim that use of an appetite suppressant or methylcellulose enables a person to lose body fat without restricting accustomed caloric intake.
  • Claim that a weight control product contains a unique ingredient or component unless it is unavailable in other weight control products.



Weight loss is such a simple concept.  Think of a car with a vinyl overflow tank in the trunk.  If each day you put more gas into your car than it consumes, soon the spare tank in the trunk will fill up and then gas will overflow.  Now, you can do things to consume more gas such as drive further, drive at high speeds, drive with a lead foot, and dont coast.  Moreover, you could choose a less efficient fuel, one which gives you less miles per gallon.  So too with diet.  Fat people simply take in more carbohydrate and fat calories than they burn.  (Protein should be counted when counting calories, because normally only a small percentage of amino acids are burnt for energy.) 

The above article by THE NATIONAL COUNCIL AGAINST HEALTH FRAUDS is "right on" because it stresses life-style changes, especially eating habits, and treatments which do not for the long term stress these types of changes are statistically less likely to succeed.