Quick Weight Loss or Quackery?
Even smart people fall prey to quick weight loss gimmicks. WebMD explains why.
Passive Weight Loss continued...
Furthermore, she says there is no proof that cellulite can be
massaged away or taken out by injections of vitamins, special underwear, or use
of other gizmos. To get rid of the dimpled fat, weight must be shed, and skin
made firmer by doing strength training.
Francie M. Berg, a licensed nutritionist, and founder of the
Healthy Weight Network, agrees. "If you want to tone your body or become
more fit, you need to do the work. It's not lying on a table, and having [a
gadget] lift your feet," she says referring to no-effort toning tables,
beds, and machines.
The value of toning and weight loss equipment depends on how
much work you can get a person to do to burn energy, says Berg, pointing out
that when people see desired results with normally passive devices and
treatments, it's usually because they've also made efforts to eat well or
Truth With a Twist
Berg coordinates the Task Force on Weight Loss Abuse for the
National Council Against Health Fraud, which gives out annual Slim Chance
Awards to selected weight loss products.
This year's "worst gimmick" prize went out to
MagnaSlim, which claims to relieve stress and its byproduct of overeating by
placing magnets and a magnetized solution at specific acupuncture points. The
magnet at the acupressure point would supposedly improve cell function, restore
Chi (life force energy), and give a person more control over what they put in
Weight loss promoters have long cashed in on the concept of
acupressure and magnetic therapy for weight loss, even though there is no proof
it works, says Berg. Items using similar concepts on the market include
magnetic weight-loss earrings, adhesives, beads, and seeds.
It is apparently not uncommon for manufacturers to piggyback on
ideas and studies that may have genuine validity, and twist them for commercial
Another example would be the electrical muscle stimulators
(EMS) promoted to do anything from slough off weight to tone muscle to form
six-pack abs. Some ads claim this is possible without exercise.