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Archive for January 17th, 2011

Have you heard? January 16 – 22, 2011 is Healthy Weight Week. This event celebrates healthy non-diet lifestyles to prevent eating disorders and weight problems. Healthy Weight Week encourages people to improve health habits by eating well, living actively, and feeling good about themselves. This 18th  annual event, directed by Francie M. Berg of the Healthy Weight Network, features two awards: 

  • The Healthy Body Image Award aims at prevention of eating disorders and body dissatisfaction. It primarily targets school-aged students and addresses the widespread and difficult to treat problems of anorexia.
  • The “Rid the World of Fad Diets and Gimmicks Day” features the Slim Chance Awards.Winners of these worst  weight-loss promotions and products of 2010 were announced in December 2010.

Worst gimmick: Lapex BCS Lipo Laser promises a 3 ½ to 7 inches loss of fat in 3 weeks without going on a diet. Lipolaser promotes a non-diet, non-invasive, pain-free way to lose inches. It supposedly opens fat cells, right through the skin, and “stuff comes out of the fat cells.” The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) states it is not a laser light but an infrared lamp—so probably harmless. Treatments, on special sale, cost as low as $1,497 and up to $5,000 for the typical nine one-hour sessions. Does it work? Save your money.  

Worst claim:  Ultimate Cleanse promoters claim the body should be detoxified regularly to rid it of wastes and toxins. The FDA points out that the body is naturally self-cleaning. The primary ingredient, cascara segrada, is a powerful laxative banned as an ingredient in over-the-counter drugs in 2002. The product supposedly cleanses the bowel, liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin plus bloodstream, cells, and body tissues. Continued use results in several adverse conditions.

Worst product: HCG supplements resurged from popular 1950s weight-loss methods. HCG, human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone produced during pregnancy. Promoters claim injections reset the hypothalamus, improve metabolism, and mobilize fat stores. No scientific evidence exists to support these claims. Herbal versions of HCG recommend placing 5 to 10 HCG drops under the tongue several times a day. Interestingly, the program requires a 500 calorie a day diet. Short-term side effects of the program include fatigue, headache, mood swings, depression, and other symptoms.

Most outrageous: Distinction for the most outrageous diet aid went to Basic Research LLC. This company has received many warnings, fines, and ongoing lawsuits from the Federal Trade Commission. The most recent suit involved the “Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Calorie Control.”

After noting some of the frauds for those hungry to lose extra pounds, consider how you can maintain a healthy weight  plus save money and perhaps your health. Simply make wiser food choices. Shouldn’t every week be a healthy weight week?

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