Diet Scam Infiltrating Lincoln
If there’s one thing that really ticks me off it’s diet scams, supplement scams, or any other health/fitness scam. They prey on your desires for weight loss or a quick and easy fix and laugh their way to the bank.
The internet and TV infomercials are flooded with the things and they rake in billions every year.
I’ve been hearing more and more about a diet scam (HCG Diet) being sold by doctors that I thought went away long ago because it’s been shown – by the FTC no less – to be a scam and consumers have been warned about it for years.
In case you’ve never heard of it, here’s the rundown on the HCG diet.
Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG) is a hormone that’s only found in the urine of pregnant women. Read that again – a hormone found in the URINE of pregnant women.
Around 50 years ago a British doctor came up with the idea that HCG injections would allow dieters to get by on a 500-calorie a day diet.
Yes, you read that right…500 calories a day.
He claimed that the HCG would rid your body of unwanted fat, suppress your appetite and move the fat around your body, thus getting it away from your hips, stomach and thighs.
Let’s look at this from a monetary standpoint from the doctor’s point of view. If someone wants to go on this diet, they have to see a physician because it’s injected and the government doesn’t allow Biff The Muscleman down at GNC to give injections (thank God).
Not only that, but they have to come in regularly – monthly or weekly – to get their injections and, more often than not, there are meetings, either private or group, for the social support of going on this ridiculous diet.
Cha-ching!!! Very smart from a business standpoint, especially given that there are no insurance papers to fill out, not having to worry if Medicare or Medicaid will reimburse, etc. because it’s all a cash business.
The only problem is that this diet has no basis in reality. I take that back…losing weight on a 500-calorie a day diet is very real.
If you only consume 500 calories a day it is impossible for you NOT to lose weight – you’ll lose so much weight that you’ll look skeletal, lose muscle mass, be tired all the time, mess up your hormones, mess up your menstrual cycle (or stop it completely), get a little dumber (the brain runs off carbohydrates and needs a lot of ‘em to function) and just be a pain in the a$$ to everyone around you.
Back in 1976 (yes, 1976), the FTC ordered a bunch of medical clinics to stop claiming their HCG programs were safe and/or effective.
They could still sell it and inject folks, but they had to give their patients the following statement:
“These weight reduction treatments include the injection of HCG, a drug which has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective in the treatment of obesity or weight control. There is no substantial evidence that HCG increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or “normal” distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie restrictive diets.”
To boil that down to “normal people speak”, that said these docs are giving you a compound that has no basis in reality and is not proven to do a damn thing for you in the arena of weight loss and will not help you lose weight in any form other than via the whacked out super-restrictive 500 calorie diet they put you on.
Luckily the use of HCG-based diets is not widespread here in Lincoln, but there are a couple docs advertising it.
So to sum up…
HCG-based diets are ridiculous. They’re not based in reality and the only reason anyone loses weight with one is that they stick you on a 500-calorie a day diet – but ANYONE who consumes that amount of calories WILL lose weight. It’s impossible not to.
It’s silly and it’s dangerous and these doctors should be ashamed of themselves for preying on people’s emotions and desires like this. They are stealing money and could be doing some major harm to their patients – all in the name of weight loss.
It sickens me actually.
I feel dirty just having had to do research on that stupid diet. I need to go eat an apple and film some videos – and lucky for me I’m not on that diet otherwise I couldn’t eat anymore than my normal 6 pieces of fruit a day (that’s roughly 500 calories).
I hope you have a great day…and remember this article anytime you hear your friends say they’re going to give this whacked out diet a try.
Talk to you soon!