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A Look at Weight Loss Infomercials

Only in America could billions of dollars be made selling weight loss products to people who need to shed a few extra pounds. In a world full of starving people, Americans seem to have emerged as a nation of overfed, under exercised fatties who can’t put down that bag of potato chips, stop eating that ice cream or refuse that second (or third?) helping of pasta.  America’s weight problem – historically solved by eating less and exercising more – had now proliferated a dizzying array of products. Celebrities, nutritionists, doctors, herbologists, hucksters and former fatties have come up with thousands of products designed to melt fat, reduce cravings for bad foods, block carbs, sugar and fat, lose pounds while you sleep, and more..

Many products claim that, as long as you take one of the pills, you can eat what you want and actually lose weight. There are diet plans, calorie counters, diet food cooked and delivered to your doorstep daily, dance and walk your way to weight loss, the hula weight loss program, the Brazilian weight loss program, the fat burning, belly reducing, balanced woman, unbalanced woman.  You name it and it’s on a weight loss infomercial. In fact, weight loss programs (separate from fitness programs and equipment, which may result in weight loss but are sold as ways to improve your appearance) account for more than 50% of all revenue generated in today’s infomercials.

One of the most successful weight loss infomercials ever produced featured a product called Bio Slim. Created by Doctor Josh Leightberg, Bio Slim was a science-driven, medically sound program consisting of several herbal pills which when combined with a diet plan also created by Dr. Leightberg resulted in a changed metabolism, an improved digestive system and a stronger anti-immune system, all of which ultimately led to a steady, healthy weight loss. Following the success of Bio Slim, a steady stream of niche players, knockoff artists and entrepreneurs took to the airways with their twist, their hook, their product designed to produce quicker, easier results. One of them was the well known and extremely successful Fen-Phen diet, which was a combination of two herbs known to doctors and other professionals in the industry as herbal speed. While still legal at the time, the pills killed the appetite completely, created a euphoric state in the user and led to many problems including heart attacks which led the FDA to ban the main substances from use in the USA.

Weight loss infomercials are so powerful and so successful that you have to be careful which products you choose to use. As with anything else in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There really is no magic pill or substance that is going to let you sit on the couch and eat huge quantities of bad foods and make you lose weight without paying some kind of terrible price. I mention Bio Slim as an example of a stellar product designed by a professional doctor whose goal was to improve people’s lives and make money. You could call a number given out to anybody who ordered Bio Slim and speak directly with Dr. Leightberg if you had questions or concerns about his product. That should tell you something about the man and the product he’s putting his name on.

Another thing to look out for in weight loss infomercials are the add-ons. Popular diets like the Atkins diet which were not sold on infomercials, but became successful through book sales, interviews and word of mouth led to the creation of a whole host of products you didn’t need that were designed to help you stay on or perform better while on the Atkins plan. Low carb foods and low/no carb candy imitations, sometimes ten times more expensive than their higher carb counterparts, flooded the airwaves. Pills designed to reduce the difficulties associated with the Atkins diet surfaced in infomercials. These items are usually designed by less than professional individuals looking to cash in on a craze they had nothing to do with in the first place.

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