If the claim looks too
good to be true, it probably is.
Despite claims to
the contrary, there are no magic bullets or effortless ways to
burn off fat. The only way to lose weight is to lower caloric intake
increase physical activity.
Claims for diet products or
programs that promise weight loss without sacrifice or effort are
some can even be dangerous.
These facts do not keep
fraudulent advertisers from preying on consumers and reaping billions
While the scams may vary
(for example, pills, patches, clips, body wraps, insoles or "diet
teas"), the claims are almost always the same - dramatic, effortless
weight loss without diet or exercise.
It takes a few minutes to become familiar with the examples of false
ad claims in this web site. These claims can be conveyed in many
ways, and some ads may contain conflicting statements. It is the
overall message that has the greatest effect on your audience. Ask
yourself, “What messages will our audience take from this
headlines, pictures, captions, and bolded text are more powerful than
body copy and footnotes. These messages can also be communicated through
expert or celebrity endorsements and consumer testimonials, which are
highlighted in weight loss ads.
Several of the following claims refer to “substantial
weight.” This means “a lot of weight” and would
include weight loss of a pound a week for more than four weeks or total
weight loss of more than 15 pounds in any time period. Substantial
weight loss can also be suggested by references to dress size, inches,
and body fat. But, as the examples illustrate, ads may convey this
message without using specific numbers.
The next time you get
an ad or spot for a nonprescription drug, dietary supplement, skin
patch, cream, wrap, earring or other product
that is worn on the body or rubbed into the body containing
claims like the ones below, Red
ad: Take it to your supervisor, and point out the claims
that strike you as false.