Wake up and smell the rip-offs

By Melissa Martin, Ph.D - Contributing Columnist

Folks, wake up and smell the rip-off along with your coffee. Over-the-counter weight loss products that make get-thin-quick promises do not work. The greedy diet industry generates more than $40 billion a year. If any fad diet worked the entire world would know it.

Include weight loss patches in the list of snake oils. I shout, “phony baloney.”

Weight loss patches are considered dietary supplements and do not undergo testing by the Food and Drug Administration.

“In 2004, the Federal Trade Commission charged a number of weight-loss patch manufacturers with fraud and false advertising as a result of an investigation initiated by complaints from customers. The claims included that the patches would cause permanent weight loss, melt away fat and enable users to lose up to three pounds per week. Some of the charges were also brought because some companies claimed they had back-up from the FDA or that the ingredients used in the patch had been approved by the FDA,” according to an article on the Live Strong website. (www.livestrong.com/)

Furthermore, there is no evidence that these patches work. Any studies claimed by the product manufacturers are bogus as their claims do not meet standards for scientific studies. You might as well flush your dollars down the toilet. The only thing you’ll lose is your cash.

Diet patches stick on your skin like a Band-Aid. And many have flowery designs. Weigh management skin patches are fake. Tummy patches to reduce weight gain and fat mass are false. Weight-loss patches might seem like a dieter’s dream, but they are a nightmare. Why? Because the company is taking your coins—and patches do not work. Buyers are making owners happy scammers.

And the latest news is that scientists from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have developed a new skin patch with micro-needles that burn a significant amount of tummy fat. Is this just another snake oil gimmick? The patch has been tested in mice and not humans. Well, let’s just put these skinny mice in bikinis and plaster their photos on glamour magazines. And lets throw our common sense down the sewer.

“But experts say no effective weight loss drugs have been designed to be delivered through the skin via patches. Most of the time, these patches contain the same ineffective herbs found in dietary supplements or teas,” according to an article on WebMD. (www.webmd.com/)

Ingredients used in weight-loss patches may include a stimulant such as guarana or the appetite suppressant hoodia, among others. And if these patches really worked the world would be abuzz with the news!

Garcinia cambogia is no miracle weight-loss ingredient either, according to Consumer Reports. “In 2009 the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers about Hydroxycut, a product line containing garcinia cambogia and several other ingredients, based on serious reports of health problems, including jaundice, elevated liver enzymes, liver damage requiring a transplant, and one death from liver failure.” (www.consumerreports.org/) Consumers, buy-at-your-own risk.

Don’t be bamboozled by slippery sales pitches, counterfeit claims, and glittery gimmicks. Step away from your credit card when you encounter a weight loss patch advertisement. Save your money to spend on a consultation with a dietician, healthy foods, and a gym membership.


By Melissa Martin, Ph.D

Contributing Columnist

Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She resides in southern Ohio. www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com.

Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She resides in southern Ohio. www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com.