NCAHF Home Page
Commercial Weight-Loss Promotions (1987)
NCAHF disparages commercial weight-loss or control programs
NCAHF Home Page
This page was posted on 12/1/00.
- Promise or imply dramatic, rapid weight-loss (ie, substantially
more than one-percent of total body weight per week).
- Promote diets that are extremely low in calories (ie, below
800 KCal per day / 1200 KCal per day preferred) unless under
the supervision of competent medical experts.
- Attempt to make clients dependent upon special products rather
than teaching how to make good choices from the conventional
food supply (this does not condemn the marketing of low-calorie
convenience foods which may be chosen by consumers).
- Do not encourage permanent, realistic lifestyle changes including
regular exercise and the behavioral aspects of eating wherein
food may be used as a coping device (ie, programs should focus
upon changing the causes of overweight rather than simply
the effects, which is the overweight itself).
- Misrepresent salespeople as "counselors" supposedly
qualified to give guidance in nutrition and/or general health.
Even if adequately trained, such "counselors" would
still be objectionable because of the obvious conflict-of-interest
that exists when a provider profits directly from products they
recommend and sell.
- Require large sums of money at the start or make clients
sign contracts for expensive, long-term programs. Such practices
too often have been abused as salespeople focus attention on
signing-up new people rather than delivering continuing, satisfactory
service to consumers. Programs should be on a pay-as-you-go basis.
- Fail to inform clients about the risks associated with-weight-loss
or the specific program.
- Promote unproven or spurious weight-loss aids such as HCG,
starch blockers, diuretics, sauna belts, body wraps, passive
exercise, ear staples, acupuncture, Electric muscle stimulators,
spirulina, phenylalanine, arginine, etc.
- Claim that "cellulite" exists in the body.
- Claim that use of an appetite suppressant or methylcellulose
enables a person to lose body fat without restricting accustomed
- Claim that a weight control product contains a unique ingredient
or component unless it is unavailable in other weight control