Weight loss resolutions? Buyer beware

Shopping for products that make grand weight loss and health claims need to be looked at through a microscope

Beware scams for new year weight loss.

Beware scams for new year weight loss.

For many a New Year often means a new beginning, a second chance to reach your health goals that maybe didn’t go as planned the previous year. It happens to the best of us. However shopping for products that make grand weight loss and health claims need to be looked at through a microscope. When it comes to achieving health goals such as losing weight many of us would love that quick fix pill. The reality is, no such thing exists.

“There are many products out there that claiming to help you lose weight, a lot of weight in a short amount of time,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Mainland B.C. “When it comes to your health, these products should not be taken lightly and BBB would just ask that people consult experts before buying and using. You could lose more than just your money. In terms of our Code of Advertising, any claim a product makes needs to be backed up with proof.”

The Better Business Bureau offers advice on how to spot a fad product.

Always consult your physician about losing weight. There may be underlying problems for your weight gain that need to be addressed.

There is never a guarantee when it comes to weight loss. Be cautious when a company says it can guarantee weight loss. There is no magic pill to make you shed pounds.

Be wary of a money back guarantee. Shady diet supplement companies know that few people will take the time and effort to get their money back so making this guarantee is not a money losing concept. Many companies will not even honour their supposed guarantee.

Rapid weight loss claims. Rapid weight loss can be dangerous and should be medically supervised.

There are ridiculously positive testimonials on the company website. Testimonials become an easy marketing tool and are easily faked. These are often accompanied with glorious before and after pictures.

The product is based on taking special pills, powders or herbs. Sometimes these are gimmicks and offer little or no accurate scientific research to back up the claims.

Be wary of a lack of ingredient list. Some companies have been accused of not advertising certain ingredients that can come with harmful side effects or have or mix adversely with prescription drugs you may be taking.

Be wary of negative option claims. These are contracts you may unwittingly sign up for where the company automatically takes payment from your credit card unless you cancel the contract. Always read terms and conditions before signing up for anything.