How to see through the pseudoscience and bullshit...
We are constantly bombarded with false information through advertising, the mainstream and social media and in stores. We constantly hear about those magical breakthrough diets and products with the metabolism boosting super ingredients that’s going to help “melt fat”, shed those winter pounds, improve vitality, limit the signs of aging etc. etc.
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.......The downside is many of those products are filled with overhyped, misleading or false claims and will have little or no impact on fat loss.
The marketing will try bamboozle us with pseudoscience with advertising and labelling designed to appear scientific, however dig a little deeper many of those products lack any of the substance of science and will often cite weak evidence.
Before you believe everything they tell us look a little deeper at the “science” cited about the product.
• How many people were tested?
• Who were they testing on -age, gender, health status, obese individuals, sedentary, healthy? How will that then relate to the general population or you?
• How long were these studies? Was it over a few days or over months?
• What were the quality controls?
• Was it double blind testing? (A double blind experiment is an experimental method used to ensure impartiality, and avoid errors arising from bias).
• Was the product/ingredient even tested on Humans??!!
Many products make grand statements but provide very little quality evidence. This is when
• It is tested on only a few people
• It only shows what happened in a short space of time say a few days or weeks and not months or years.
• It is not double blind tested.
• Rats or other animals were used instead of humans.
And just because it is endorsed by a “celebrity doctor”, an athlete or Oprah Winfrey does not give it any scientific proof.
It’s easy to get drawn in by the before and after transformation showing a pic of a gloomy looking pale, extremely overweight person that has been transformed into a slim, cheery person (normally looking a bit more tanned also) holding a pair of trousers that are now way too big.
Photos of before and after extremely overweight or obese person is not proof that the product/diet is long term success. Look at other factors to see about the results of the product or diet.
Again take into account
• Who was the individual- i.e.
Were they extremely obese or over weight to start with? Losing weight fast is more likely to happen in cases of extreme obesity when there is calorific restriction and changes in activity patterns. So would you expect the same results then?
• What was the time frame? Is it only a few days, weeks, months or years. Again any form of calorie restriction diet will work short term but how does it work long term? Did they manage to keep the weight off long term?
• What else in their story may have contributed to the weight loss.
(as well as taking the product or diet did they exercise more, cut down alcohol consumption, increase fruit and veg consumption in that time) so was it the product or could it be the lifestyle changes?
We want to believe fat loss will happen faster as us humans are impatient and would prefer the quick fixes. The marketers and sales people use these photos or any of drastic results and play on it. There can be drastic results and just because some people can lose weight that fast doesn’t mean they should or it is sustainable long term.
Before you go ahead and purchase weight loss supplement take into consideration-
• There is very little evidence that most over-the-counter weight-loss supplements actually work.
• Be aware of any risks, especially buying via the internet. As well as wasting money you could be putting your health at risk.
• If you really want product try and do some research on it and don’t take the manufacturers or websites word for it.
Research the product at reputable sites such as - The US Food and Drug Administration or The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Examine.com
is another good website.
You can take all the supplements you want, however for most people, unless you alter your diet and get daily exercise, no supplement is going to have a big impact.
Jamie Miller- Personal Trainer
UK Fitness & Personal Training
Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Training