If you're looking for a new diet to start out the New Year, there are a few fad diets out there from which you might want to stay away.
Several weight-loss companies, like Sensa, are facing false advertising charges.
You may have seen the commercials advertising the product. It claims that users simply sprinkle the product on their food before each meal and they will lose weight. The Federal Trade Commission said that's too good to be true and dieticians agree.
"[It] claims quick and easy weight-loss, no need to exercise; you can eat anything you want. Usually if you hear those lines, you're not looking at something that is a real diet, you're looking at something that's a fad," Dietician Jody Diebold said.
Diebold is a registered dietician at Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston. She is not surprised to find out four companies selling expensive weight-loss products are under fire.
"They make claims that they can't pay off in the end," Diebold said.
The FTC is not buying the claims in the ads either. It's charging Sensa, Inc., LeanSpa, LLC., L'Occitane, and HCG Diet Direct with false advertising.
Local users are speaking out as well. Barbara Pratt said she tried Sensa, but it didn't work.
"My husband and I tried Sensa last year and neither of us lost our appetite nor did we lose weight," Pratt said. "[It was a] worthless and a very expensive lesson to learn. [It] cost us $50 to learn the hard way."
The Sensa advertisement claims that users can, "Eat all the foods you want and watch the pounds come off!"
It sounds great, but Diebold said that claim is nearly impossible to keep.
"They really can't make the claims based on any kind of science and that's where the FTC comes in," Diebold said.
Diebold said your best bet is to forget the fad diets. Instead make simple changes to your shopping list and buy healthy foods like lean meats and fruits and vegetables. She said balance is the key to healthy weight-loss.
"Blueberries are fabulous food, and there are some wonderful foods, but if you ate nothing but blueberries, you would be lacking in protein and a lot of other vitamins and minerals," Diebold said.
Diebold said even when it seems like these fad diets are working, it likely won't last.
"They don't work for the long-term; they work in the short term." Diebold said.
The FTC has reached a settlement with Sensa and a partial settlement with LeanSpa. The other two companies' cases are still pending.
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