The U.S Government Exposes Weight Loss Industry Claims

Joel Eisenberg

False weight loss claims proliferate online. How can you tell what is real, and what is not?
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Author’s Note

No medical advice is offered herein on the part of the author. It is imperative for anyone who wants to lose weight while remaining healthy, or anyone who suffers from weight disorders of any type, to seek a doctor’s guidance. All listed theories and facts within this article are fully-attributed to several medical experts and scientists as sourced from the following outlets:, The Federal Trade Commission, and


Wikipedia offers a comprehensive overview of weight loss in general, as attributed throughout to medical doctors and other experts in the field.

As excerpted from the Wikipedia page: Weight loss, in the context of medicine, health, or physical fitness, refers to a reduction of the total body mass, by a mean loss of fluid, body fat (adipose tissue), or lean mass (namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon, and other connective tissue). Weight loss can either occur unintentionally because of malnourishment or an underlying disease, or from a conscious effort to improve an actual or perceived overweight or obese state. "Unexplained" weight loss that is not caused by reduction in calorific intake or exercise is called cachexia and may be a symptom of a serious medical condition.

Due primarily to health and cosmetic issues, the industry surrounding weight loss and diet is global in scope, and contains both legitimate and illegitimate programs.

Let us explore.

Weight Loss Claims and Schemes

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has identified several typical false promises you may see in common weight loss ads: 1) You can lose weight without dieting or exercising. 2) You don't have to watch what you eat to lose weight. 3) To lose weight, all you have to do is take a certain pill. In the event of caffeine pills, for example, they are considered highly unhealthy and may lead to heart issues. 4) You can lose 30 pounds in 30 days. 5) A given product works for everyone. 6) This skin patch will help you lose inches in days.

Invariably, such claims come with a fee, or a monthly subscription program for an exclusive product, “service” or “system.” Most often, they do not work.

The FTC further, in “The Truth Behind Weight Loss Ads,” stated the following: Any promise of miraculous weight loss is simply untrue. There is no magic way to lose weight without a sensible diet and regular exercise. No product will let you eat all the food you want and still lose weight. Permanent weight loss requires permanent lifestyle changes, so don’t trust any product that promises once-and-for-all results. FDA-approved fat-absorption blockers or appetite suppressants won’t result in weight loss on their own. Those products need to be taken with a low-calorie, low-fat diet and regular exercise. Products promising lightning-fast weight loss are always a scam. Worse, they can ruin your health. Even if a product could help some people lose weight in some situations, there’s no one-size-fits-all product guaranteed to work for everyone. Everyone’s habits and health concerns are unique. Nothing you can wear or apply to your skin will help you lose weight.

For the purpose of this piece, I’ll grant the FTC — the federal government entity that offers these guidelines per the expertise of doctors and scientists — to have the final word.

As a targeted Google search will verify, similar articles found online about weight loss largely use the FTC guidelines as their primary source.


To reiterate, though many of us can lose weight on our own, this is not a universal truth and many companies exploit that vulnerability with false claims for the agenda of earning a profit.

In the event of a medical issue, only a professional should determine proper casualty and treatment for your weight loss. If you are concerned that you may need help, contact a professional imminently.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA

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