MONTREAL – One in four people in Quebec said they received direct requests to purchase weight loss products, services and accessories in the past year.

The most popular recruiting method was social media.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, social media platforms have been taken over by representatives of the weight loss industry who advertise weight loss products and dazzle the population with false promises.

The latter has taken advantage of the growing concern about body weight in our society.

The range of so-called miracle solutions for weight loss is impressive; Fat burners, meal replacements, appetite suppressants, and many others.

There is something for everyone, and the assurances of quick and effortless weight loss can be very appealing.

In this sense, Pinterest took a bold move; As of July 1, 2021, “Ads with text or images on the subject of weight loss” as well as all content relating to weight loss and weight loss products are excluded from the platform.

The same applies to any publication “which idealizes or denigrates certain morphologies” or which “refers to the body mass index (BMI) or similar indices”.

While waiting for others to follow suit and implement similar guidelines, beware of the myths that the weight loss industry knowingly maintains.

THERE IS NO MAGIC BALL TO SLIM DOWN

According to science, slimming products are ineffective for weight loss.

Still, some companies rely on studies to convince people of the effectiveness of their so-called miracle recipe.

Don’t fall into the trap; These are often studies financed by the companies themselves or extrapolated results from research results that are rather inconclusive.

“NATURAL” DOES NOT MEAN “SAFE AND HEALTHY”

Natural health products are not without risk, but the weight loss industry capitalizes on the myth that they are harmless.

One in five people in Quebec consider natural weight loss products to be safe.

However, like other natural health products, slimming products can be harmful to health in terms of their medicinal and non-medicinal ingredients and drug interactions.

Additionally, products approved by Health Canada are not necessarily safe.

The Auditor General of Canada report published last April stated that Health Canada’s oversight does not guarantee the safety and efficacy of approved products due to existing loopholes in applicable regulations.

Therefore, even if they have a natural product number, the general population should avoid blindly relying on natural health products.

HEALTH DISCOURSE OF REUSE OF THE WEIGHT LOSS INDUSTRY

Another tactic in the industry is to convince people that weight loss products are needed for a healthy lifestyle.

Beware!

Instead of focusing on weight loss, choose lifestyle habits that are beneficial to your well-being and that benefit your physical and mental health.

Laurence Sauvé-Lévesque, inf., M.Sc. – Project manager, beware of deceptive appearances! Campaign Quebec Public Health Association