The Worst Diet Promotions Of 2008



The Slim Chance Awards have been announced, awarding the worst diet promotions of 2008. The Slim Chance Awards are a part of the upcoming Healthy Weight Week which encourages people to live actively, eat nutritionally and normally, and to respect and feel good about themselves and others. "It’s a time to celebrate the diversity of real women, as well as men, and to help them shift focus from failed and risky weight loss efforts to being healthy at their natural sizes. Healthy Weight Week is a time for people to move ahead with a new approach and build confident, diet-free lives for themselves and those they love.
"The 20th Annual Slim Chance Awards are announced at year's end as a lead up to Rid the World of Fad Diets & Gimmicks Day, Jan 20, 2009, Tuesday of Healthy Weight Week (the third full week in January). They expose the widespread fraud and quackery in the weight loss field, and are aimed at helping consumers move on from chronic dieting to improving their lives in more positive and lasting ways.

They are truly the “worst” of the worst of the many weight-loss products and programs that flood the internet, the airwaves, and the pages of print materials in seemingly increasing numbers. Diet quackery defrauds, disables and kills."


And Here They Are:

MOST OUTRAGEOUS CLAIM: Kevin Trudeau infomercials.
It’s rare that regulatory agencies look at books, given our free speech laws, but the infomercials for Kevin Trudeau’s weight loss book and his repeated violations were just too much for the Federal Trade Commission, and this past August he was fined over $5 million and banned from infomercials for three years. In “willful efforts” to deceive, Trudeau told listeners they could easily follow the diet protocol at home, even though his book calls for human growth hormone injections and colonics that must be done by a licensed practitioner. The tortured case began in 1998 when FTC charged Trudeau with false and misleading diet infomercials. In 2003 he was charged with false claims; in 2004 he was fined $2 million and banned from infomercials. Again in 2007 a contempt action said he misled thousands with false claims for his weight loss book “in flagrant violation” of court orders.

WORST GIMMICK: Skineez jeans ($139). A new item in the fight against cellulite, Skineez jeans are impregnated with a so-called “medication” of retinol and chitosan, a shellfish product once claimed to cut fat absorption in the stomach (see 1999 Slim Chance Awards). Friction between the jeans and skin supposedly triggers release of the substance, which goes to work on fat when absorbed through the skin. Reportedly a big hit in Europe, the “smart fabric” is also used in lingerie. Ironically, the creators of Skineez, Clothes for a Cause, profess to raise funds for breast cancer and “a wide range of other socially conscious charities.” So while the company hoodwinks women into buying an expensive pair of jeans, it promises they can “do good with every purchase … As our sales grow, so will our ability to help others.” FTC, however, is clear about such gimmicks, emphasizing that products worn or rubbed on the skin do not cause weight loss or fat loss.

WORST CLAIM: AbGONE. Throughout 2008 full page ads assaulted the eye in daily newspapers across the country touting AbGONE as “proven to promote pot belly loss.” Claims are that AbGONE increases “fat metabolism” and calorie burn, promotes appetite suppression and inhibits future abdominal fat deposits. These are drug claims that, if true, would alter the body’s regulation, but unlike drugs, the pills are sold as food supplements not requiring FDA approval. The bold ads feature the obligatory before and after shots of models, cut-away sketches of the abdomen with and without belly fat, and a white-coated researcher with chart purportedly confirming success of 5 times reduction in fat mass, 4 times lower BMI, 4 times greater weight loss than placebo. No added diet and exercise needed – well, except, you may want to heed the fine print disclaimer at the bottom that reminds us “diet and exercise are essential.”

WORST PRODUCT: Kimkins diet. It must have seemed an easy way to get rich quick. Founder Heidi “Kimmer” Diaz set up a website and charged members a fee to access the Kimkins diet, boasting they could lose up to 5 percent of their body weight in 10 days. “Better than gastric bypass,” there was “no faster diet,” and in fact she herself had lost 198# in 11 months. Stunning “after” photos were displayed. In June 2007 Women's World ran it as a cover story, and that month alone PayPal records show the Kimkins site took in over $1.2 million. Then users began complaining of chest pains, hair loss, heart palpitations, irritability and menstrual irregularities. This was not surprising since Kimkins is essentially a starvation diet, down to 500 calories per day and deficient in many nutrients (appallingly, laxatives are advised to replace missing fiber). In a lawsuit, 11 former members are uncovering a vast record of Diez’s alleged fraud. They found that the stunning “after” photos, including one of Kimmer herself, had been lifted from a Russian mail order bride site. According to a deposition reported by Los Angeles TV station KTLA, Diaz admitted using fake pictures, fake stories and fake IDs, and a judge has allowed the litigants to freeze some of her assets.

Want to see past awards? 20 years worth of Slim Chance Awards

Related posts:

Falling For A Diet Scam

Kimkins: An Internet Diet Scam

Kimkins: San Diego Victims Sought

sources:http://www.healthyweight.net/fraud.htm#hww

2 comments:

Melissa said...

What a great post. So important to be vigilant. The media and commericial industry never seem to let up.

Thanks,

Melissa

MrsMenopausal said...

You're right. There's so much fraud out there.
Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it. :)