Lose weight... or be yourself?

Text Size: Normal / Medium / Large
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Resource Language: 
Media Type: 
Association pour la santé publique du Québec
Publication Date: 
Publication Place: 
Montreal, QC

Provides information on weight-loss products, services and methods, and explores the motivations behind the use of these products.

WEIP.L67 2004
Includes bibliographical references. --- Review, January 2005: " Lose weight while you sleep " "Lose weight and keep it off for good " "New scientific breakthrough...a medical miracle!" We've all seen or read these advertisements for quick weight loss. The weight-loss industry offers a multitude of choices for women (and men): diets, meal replacements, weight-loss programs, natural products, and other devices that promise to give us a flat stomach, slender legs and a model-thin figure. But, most of these weight-loss products, services and methods (WLPSM), do not live up to their promises. The Association pour la santé publique du Québec (ASPQ) asks, "Should we continue to encourage an industry with such poor performance, an industry that fails to fulfill it's promises"? A study of more than 200 of the some 350 WLPSM available in Quebec revealed some startling facts: * Several WLPSM promote the misleading assumption that rapid weight loss can be safe. However, rapid weight loss includes not only fat, which is desirable, but also water and muscle tissue, which is not desirable. * Fewer than 5% of WLPSM provide for a structured, supervised environment and, if they do, in most cases it is not monitored by qualified personnel such as physicians or dietitians. * Fewer than 35% of WLPSM encourage physical activity; most ignore this factor completely. This educational guide provides an excellent overview of popular weight-loss methods and the health risks associated with them. The weight-loss industry is unregulated in Canada, and it is clear that the industry cares more about filling it's pockets than fullfilling its promises.