Five Scams to Avoid on the Way to a Healthy Weight Range

Many people make New Year’s resolutions to get into a healthy weight range. If you’re considering diets, watch out for “claims” like “lose 15 pounds in one month without changing your diet” or “use this fitness device for just five minutes a day to produce the same results as 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise.” Save your wallet, and don’t fall victim to false advertising schemes, false marketing and celebrity endorsements. Before dieting, you may want to talk with your doctor to define your healthy weight range. Then, make a plan.

Cautions About Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dietary supplement companies do not need FDA approval before marketing. Just because a supplement is being sold does not mean that it’s safe.

According to the FDA, five warning signs and questions to ask to determine if a product is unsafe and/or a scam include:

  1. Does the product promise a quick fix?
  2. Is the product advertised or marketed through mass email or social media?
  3. Is the product advertised or marketed as an “herbal alternative” to an “FDA-approved” weight loss drug?
  4. Are terms used such as “scientific breakthrough” or “guaranteed” in advertising and marketing?
  5. Is the product marketed in a foreign language?

Five Ways to Avoid a Scam

Advice from the FDA recommended to consumers if a product is marketed as a dietary supplement:

  1. Seek the advice from a trusted healthcare professional as to whether a dietary supplement is needed.
  2. Ask yourself if the product sounds too good to be true.
  3. Exercise caution if a product seems unrealistic.
  4. Scrutinize exaggerated patient testimonials.
  5. Analyze products with exaggerated claims such as “totally safe” or “quick and effective.”

The biggest predictor of losing weight successfully and maintaining a healthy weight range is setting realistic goals and making behavior changes, not depending on a supplement or a quick fix. Successful weight loss and weight maintenance depends on making healthy lifestyle changes. 

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