Preying On Our Insecurities
According to some health and wellness organizations I trust, about two thirds of the United States is classified as overweight these days. This is in large part because of our advancement in technology and a result of the increase in sedentary jobs/lifestyles. Fat-shaming and cyberbullying happen daily in social media these days, and that brings our insecurities to a level that makes us easy prey for weight loss scammers.
We are desperate for results and weight loss is hard. If we are convinced that there is a product or program that will help us get results faster, we will spend almost anything on it. Unfortunately there is no shortage of people out there who will take advantage of this.
Have you ever been grocery shopping and, while you’re in line to checkout, taken some time to glance at some of the magazines? Have you ever noticed it seems like more than half the articles are about weight loss?
I stopped by the grocery store on my way home from work the other day, and took just a few minutes to write down some of the articles on the covers.
Here’s what I got:
- Flat abs fast-moves that work miracles!
- Sleek arms, abs, and legs in just 7 days!
- Torch mega calories-15 minutes and you’re done!
- Get bikini ready fast!
- Speed up your slim down-transform your body now!
- Lose your belly in just 2 weeks!
- Slim sexy and strong see results in just 6 days!
- The waist shrinking plan…lose 3 inches in just 7 days!
- and my favorite… Hot body by Monday!
These are all articles that were on the covers of magazines. There were many more, these are just a few I wrote down in the five minutes I was in line. I feel like each one of these magazines is trying to cast some kind of subliminal spell over us when we read them. It’s like they are whispering in our ear, “You are overweight, you are worthless, everybody hates you, but if you buy my product, all of your hopes and dreams will be answered.”
The weight loss industry has become the shadiest industry there is. Why? Because we are so desperate for results that we are easy prey, and these companies are experts on preying on our insecurities.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid falling for a weight loss scam:
- Beware of claims that promise immediate or guaranteed weight loss. Products like pills, patches, or creams.
- Beware of promises of success with little effort. Many scams claim that you will achieve great results without having to exercise or diet.
- Beware of vaguely worded testimonials and fishy before and after photos. Testimonials should not be used as a substitute for scientific proof, and many before and after pictures are edited.
- Many scams use celebrities to help promote their product. In pretty much every case, the celebrity was already fit and attractive before using the product. Just a reminder, being a celebrity does not make them an expert in health and wellness.
- Some scams have deals for large advanced payment. (Buy three months for the price of one!, Third bottle free for first 200 purchasers, For a Limited time while supplies last!)
- Free trials that require your credit card information. Make sure you read the cancellation policy thoroughly.
- Watch out for buzz words such as “breakthrough,” “secret,” “exclusive,” “miraculous,” and phrases such as, “Doctors hate it, celebrities love it!,” “Trainers hate him,” or “quick tricks.”
- Most ads will contain no facts, just misleading words or phrases such as: “Breakthrough natural weight loss product,” “Magic weight loss pill,” “Lose weight the easy way without changing your diet,” or “Clinically proven to burn fat without exercising.”
Despite many lawsuits, thousands of reported scams and frauds remain active, with new ones popping up all the time. When it comes to weight loss products, it is wise to be skeptical. The only real solution is to avoid all the BS and advice from those who are not qualified to give it.
If you really want to lose weight and make your health a priority, talk to an actual health and wellness professional. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill or easy button you can push to make you fit. Anyone can do it though. All you have to do is put in the work.