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Women Pay Heed: ‘Slim Chance’ Awards Issued

Frances M. Berg, M.S., who operates the Healthy Weight Network http://www.healthyweightnetwork.com has issued the 20th annual set of “Slim Chance Awards” to weight-loss scheme promoters, diet scammers, and fitness gimmick pushers.

Her 2008 picks are:

**Most outrageous claim: Kevin Trudeau infomercials. Trudeau told listeners they could easily follow the diet protocol at home, even though his book calls for human growth hormone injections that must be provided by a licensed practitioner. FTC action resulted in a court order for a $5+ million assessment and a three-year ban from doing infomercials.

**Worst gimmick: Skineez jeans ($139). The jeans were said to be impregnated with retinol and chitosan that would be released by friction and absorbed in to the body to fight “cellulite.”

**Worst claim:
AbGONE. Throughout 2008 full-page ads touted AbGONE as “proven to promote pot belly loss,” increase fat metabolism”and calorie burn, promote appetite suppression, and inhibit future abdominal fat deposits.

The ads featured before-and-after shots of models, cut-away sketches of the abdomen with and without belly fat, and a white-coated researcher with a chart purportedly confirming success of 5 times reduction in fat mass, 4 times lower BMI, and 4 times greater weight loss than placebo. The ads stated that no added diet and exercise were needed, but a fine-print disclaimer said “diet and exercise are essential.”

**Worst product:
Kimkins diet. Heidi “Kimmer” Diaz promised loss of up to 5% of body weight in 10 days. She also claimed to have lost 198 pounds in 11 months and showed before-and-after pictures that turned out to be fakes. Many users developed chest pains, hair loss, heart palpitations, irritability, and menstrual irregularities caused by the near-starvation (500 calorie per day) diet.

Watch every diet product commercial and read every weight loss or fitness gimmick advertisement with a suspicious eye and a clear mind. These companies can get away with a lot of BS until enough complaints are filed or someone dies.

Don’t fall for this stuff.

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