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I just finished today’s edition of my radio show (Saturday, April 7, 2001).  If you tuned in, this Update will sound familiar.  It’s all a part of my determined effort to restore common sense to those seeking to change or improve their bodies.  The questions that I receive by e-mail continue to evidence that fraud abounds! 

Exercise devices, passive exercise devices (they do the work for you!) cellulite creams, fat burners, weight loss magnets, weight loss shoes (yes, you can lose weight while you walk!), and subliminal tapes that access the “beta centers of your brain that regulate metabolism” to help you lose weight while you sleep are all being sold to people hoping they finally found the miracle solution.  In reality, every one of you has the solution within you.  What I try to do is teach people to release it, to clear out the nonsense that advertisers have locked in your brain, and replace it with some good, valuable, common sense. 

I decided to share some realities on my show this morning, some realities that I've seen first hand that the average fitness or weight loss consumer might not be aware of.  I received immediate positive feedback from listeners, so I wanted to post some of those realities here.  I'll call them "Phil-osophies."

#1 - The Models on Magazine Covers and Fat Burner Labels are airbrushed!

I've seen it first hand.  I've seen waists reduced in seconds, "abs" literally drawn on a model's photo, and imperfections eliminated in brief moments.  Despite depictions in media distributed photos, people are not perfect.  When fitness photo shoots are done, there are full time makeup, lighting, and cosmetic experts to make certain the photos come as close to perfection as is humanly possible.  Then, any remaining flaws are cleaned up on the artist's desk or computer screen.  An aspiration to take a product and wind up looking like the person on the label is an aspiration that needs careful evaluation.

#2 - Many of the "Actual Testimonials" on Infomercials are delivered by paid actors!

There's lots of money in infomercial production.  One of the greatest battles I faced in my personal infomercial struggle began when I tried to convince the producers that I have "real" testimonials - actors aren't necessary!  That seemed so alien to what they were used to.

#3 - Before and After Photos in Ads are Often Computer Enhanced

The wild array of new products being consistently brought to market through the media runs with very little effective monitoring.  Put a product out there with computer created before and after photos and you're bound to sell a ton of whatever your selling before any agency starts knocking on your door!

#4 - "Herbal" and "Natural" do not necessarily mean "Safe" and "Effective"

Many of the newest products claiming to burn fat are addictive drug combinations sold with labels that read "herbal."  I'll make this simple to grasp by naming three "herbs."  Tobacco, opium, cocoa leaves.  Hmmm.  "Safe?"

#5 - Chromium Picolinate DOES NOT Burn fat, nor does Pyruvate, nor does Ginseng, in any form!

Interestingly, as I began to examine the actual actions taken against fraudulent marketers of fitness and weight loss products by the Federal Trade Commission, I found something amazing.  Nothing is new!  Every product that comes out with a claim is simply a re-creation of something sold previously with the same claim.  I posted a list of some of the actual FTC claims since 1927!  You'll find that the fraud that exists today started way back when.  As the fraudulent "solutions" increased, so then did the size of the problem!  The more people attempt to remedy an issue with ineffective technology, the greater the spread of the challenge . . . literally!  So here we are in 2001 with more "solutions" than ever.  Why not?  The market has grown, and grown, and grown!  My hope is that a careful look at the cyclical nature of weight loss fraud will motivate you to grab hold of your common sense.

Check out the FTC claims.

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