The Media and Weight Loss
Everywhere you look; television, magazines, and even in department store aisles you see advertisements for quick and easy weight loss. The media is swamped with weight loss ads claiming guaranteed results with little or no change in diet or exercise. These ads are deceitful, full of unsubstantiated claims, and potentially dangerous to your health. I believe these bogus ads and images they portray are leading consumers, who are desperate for an easy solution, to poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and health problems.
Over the counter weight loss products prey upon the idea that in order to be socially accepted, attractive, and/or successful they must be thin. They back this up by using before and after images and stories of supposedly real people. These people’s testimonies say that they have gone from having an immensely overweight, unattractive body to a svelte, sexy, perfect body by simply using this one product. This is really an untrue claim because no one can change that fast without lots of exercise and a proper diet. The results that are shown are not realistic, it’s easy to computer enhance photos or even hire models to play the part. Reliable statistics are not currently provided by any commercial diet plan. This is because the negative results must outweigh the positive.
The Federal Trade Commission wants the media to lighten up on the advertising of weight loss programs and has instituted the Red Flag campaign. I completely agree with this campaign, as I believe the media needs education on the unverifiable claims made by these diet products. These claims state that you can obtain substantial weight loss no matter what you eat, lose a pound a day with no exercise, or even drop pounds by applying creams or ointments to your skin. These false statements appeal to many people who have limited time, perhaps have low self esteem, or are just plain gullible. I actually considered trying a few of these programs myself...
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