50% of Americans are overweight. This is an alarming statistic by itself. But what is worse is that they spend US$40 billion annually on dieting and weight-loss products. It is unimaginable that Americans can be spending so much but still be fighting the losing battle against obesity. The sheer proportion of the sample size will make most dieticians sit up and take notice. The dichotomy of effort and results speak for a grave problem plaguing the diet and weight-loss industry. By now, you will hopefully begin to question: Perhaps the products and programs Americans are paying for are not all they are cut out to be?

Precisely, dear reader. A 2002 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report found that more than half of the weight-loss ads in 2001 made at least 1 false or unsubstantiated claim. For example, the popular silver ‘slim suits’ designed to keep body heat in and thus melt away fats is definitely not all it is touted to be. The type of weight lost through the wearing of these suits is nothing more than water loss through perspiration. All that will be put on again after the next drink from the cooler.

Advertisements for such weight-loss programs, are a scam and a sham. Unfortunately, they are not the worst. Some diet products have a detrimental effect on your body. A cursory check of the weight-loss section in the local pharmacy will reveal many brands of fatburners and carbohydrate blocking pills. These pills reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Unknown to consumers, the refusal of nutrients can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and bloating. Vitamins that are contained in these nutrients are also refused entry. Sadly, these pills have also not been proven to help weight-loss.

The situation has deteriorated so much so that the FTC has even released a list of dieting and weight-loss slogans to be wary of. Included in this list are very familiar buzz words such as ‘Lose 30 pounds in 30 days!’, ‘New Scientific Breakthrough!’, and ‘No Diet! No Exercise!’ As is the case with phony Get-Rich schemes, if the program sounds too incredible, then it probably is.

Cue Tom Venuto, a tried, tested and acclaimed weight-loss guru. One look at him and one gets the sense that this guy knows what he is talking about. Further research reveals that he has been in the industry for 14 years, and is acutely aware of the scams that are plaguing it. He systematically exposes them on his website. His program stands out because it acknowledges the shortcomings of the industry. His knowledge of what works and what does not has led him to design a program that has won over cynics and doctors alike.

Frankly, the future looks bleak for those attempting to lose weight. One has to sift slowly through cover-ups and lies in order to find a solution. Hopefully, Tom Venuto’s program is the start of a resurgence in the industry. There will be an outcry once greater light is shed on the behind-the-scenes workings of this industry. It is not sustainable to keep pulling the wool over the eyes of consumers. They have a right to ethical products and unexaggerated marketing. In Winston Churchill’s words, ‘The truth is great and it shall prevail’. The weight-loss industry has to seek treatment for its own disease before it can help anyone else lose weight.

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