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Feature Articles:
Weight Control

Be Skeptical of Quick Fixes

Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, Barton County


By March, many of us have already tossed our New Year’s diets aside. The extra weight is still there, but it’s hard to keep up the willpower needed to get it off. Many would be willing to pay a hefty sum for a pill or herbal tea that would help shed our unwanted pounds, but experts warn against quick fixes.


If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) encourages consumers to be skeptical of diet claims that promise fast, easy results, such as:

“Lose weight without diet or exercise”
Pass on any product that promises miraculous results without effort.

“Lose weight no matter how much you eat of your favorite foods”
Losing weight requires us to make sensible food choices. Be wary of any product that claims you can eat all you want and still lose weight.

“Lose weight permanently! Never diet again!”
Remember that permanent weight loss requires permanent lifestyle changes.

“Block the absorption of fat, carbs, or calories!”
There is no non-prescription pill that will allow you to block absorption of fat, carbohydrates or calories.

“Lose 30 pounds in 30 days!”
A healthy rate for weight loss is closer to one pound per week. Quick weight loss can be unhealthy.

“Lose weight with our miracle diet patch or cream!”
Don’t we wish that were true? There is nothing you can wear or apply to your skin that will cause you to lose weight.

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The healthiest, most effective way to lose weight is to make lifestyle changes, such as decreasing portion sizes and increasing physical activity. For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s diet and fitness Web site:



Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009








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