Monique Rana - Beware of Fitness Fads and Frauds

Publish Date
Friday, 15 August 2014, 12:00AM
By Monique Rana

We are constantly bombarded with outrageous fitness gadgets promising body beautiful, or fad workouts that are unsafe to dangerous diet claims promising quick fixes, better sex life etc. Not only are these lofty claims bleeding our wallets if we allow them to, but insulting our intelligence.

Claims like:

  • Get washboard abs in only 5 minutes a day.
  • Lose up to 5 kilos in one week, no exercise required.
  • Get your six-pack in just 6 weeks.
  • Eating carbs will make you fat.
  • Get slim thighs in a matter of days using Thighmaster!
  • One size fits all.
  • Toning shoes.
  • The Ab glider
  • The shake weigh.

Firstly, you must acknowledge that there are ‘no quick fixes that last.’ During my late teens to early 20’s, I must have fallen victim to many unsafe low calorie diets and fitness gadgets – Thighmaster being one of them, thank fully realizing sooner than later that no pill or gadget will bring you to your ‘dream body!’

As Cher the singer/actress once famously said about fitness – “If it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body.

So before you go spending unnecessary money on any fitness gadgets or fad diets - ensure that you get your information from reputable, reliable sources. Below are some questions from the Buyers Beware Checklist from "Consumerism and Quackery", IDEA Magazine, May 1998 by Len Kravits PhD.

Use this checklist before purchasing product advertised in a mail order catalog or on TV.

  • Is the product supported entirely by testimonials?
  • Is there any controlled, randomized scientific evidence supporting the sales claims?
  • Is there any controlled, randomized scientific evidence supporting the sales claims?
  • Does the promotion use any pseudomedical jargon?
  • Does the promotion boast a secret formula or answer?
  • Do the claims seem miraculous or far-fetched?
  • Is the product appealing to your vanity?
  • Does the suggested use of the product seem out of keeping with the desired outcome; “just three minutes a day toward slimmer thighs.”
  • Does the fine print contain any disclaimers?
  • Does the offer include additional free prizes?

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