2007 Slim Chance Awards

Each year, Frances M. Berg, M.S., who operates the Healthy Weight Network presents "Slim Chance Awards" to promoters of weight-loss schemes. Here are the awards for 2007:.

Worst Claim: Dr. Clayton's Natural Program

Herbals like Dr. Clayton's Natu-ral Program for Weight Control evade federal regulation for safety, effectiveness and quality by posing as foods—supposedly with no drug claims. An example of "food" no one wants to eat, Dr. Clayton's set of pills contains 13 herbal ingredients: Blood Cleanser to "detoxify the blood and tissues"; Herba-Clenz for "cleansing and healing the bowel"; and Weight Control which "helps your body control its weight through improved metabolism, reduced ap-petite, etc."—illegal drug claims, all. (L&H Vitamins, :17~1O Crescent St., Long Island City, NY 11101. 800-221-1152; 900-860-4625.)

Worst Gadget: Fleetwood Tables

Because promoters objected so strenuously to our 1993 awarding of Worst Product to a passive exercise table of the type now popular in health clubs, spas and weight loss centers, we believe the message bears repeating: All claims of weight loss, fat loss and inch loss for such tables are false.

F1eetwood Mfg, of Mesa, Ariz., and Thomas Fleetwood, owner, are the latest to sign a Federal Trade Commission consent agreement to halt their false and unsubstantiated claims. Advertising nationwide. by ra-dio, TV, mail, magazines and newspapers, Fleetwood falsely claimed the tables help reduce body weight, lose inches, remove cellulite, tone and firm muscles, and provide the fitness benefits of rigorous exercise, according to FTC. The tables come in sets of five to seven, each for different muscle groups.

Continuous passive motion exercise tables do have legitimate uses in physical therapy.

Worst Product: Revlon Anti-cellulite

Widely advertised to "reduce cel-lulite," reduce the "skin's bumpy tex-ture, ripples or slackness caused by cellulite," and help "disperse toxins and excess water from areas where cellulite appears," is Revlon's Ultima II ProCollagen Anti-cellulite body complex, "Cellulite" is a quack term for ordinary fat, which cannot be spot-reduced. The false concept that it can, and is unique, is now being exploited by mainline cosmetics companies. Revlon and Charles Revson, Inc., recently agreed to settle FTC charges of unsub-stantiated claims.

Most Outrageous: MarTrim

Who needs a weight loss plan when one tablet does it all? MarTrim, another herbal from "100% natural plant squrces," is claimed to cause rapid weight loss and keep weight off permanently with no change in diet or exercise. Touted to alter digestion, block calorie absorption, block sugar absorption, neutralize calories, and shrink fat cells within hours, MarTrim holds out impressive (but impossible) losses of 87 pounds, and 30 pounds in 30 days. (MarTrim, 881 NE 26 St., #216, Wilton Manor, FL 33305.)

This article was posted on December 22, 2008.

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