There has been a victory for the advocates of a rational approach to health and fitness this week, as a company that had been marketing fitness beads has been forced to stop marketing its snake oil in the UK.
The company claimed that wearing fat burning beads caused automatic weight loss. The company was preying on people who were overweight and willing to try anything other than strict diet and exercise to trim the fat down. In one advert the company claimed that Accu-Slim Beads worked “faster than total starvation”.
The beads are placed behind the ears, and this is supposed to magically melt fat. The company behind the fat burning beads is Global DM Licensing, based in Hong Kong. They have promised to stop mailing their product to UK addresses. Whether or not the Office of Fair Trading can prevent them from operating under a different name is not clear.
The company used the principals of Chinese medicine and acupuncture to help market its magic beads. They claimed that the beads manipulated acupuncture points behind the ear, which induced fat burning without diets, exercise or effort, and that customers could lose 30 pounds (15kg) of fat in one month, just by wearing the beads.
Alternative medicine does have some useful tools and remedies, which can help relieve stress and tension as well as treat some minor conditions, but there are no remedies for being overweight, other than changing diet and exercising.
Mike Haley from the Office of Fair Trading reports that “Every year thousands of people fall victim to misleading claims about products that promise weight loss without exercise or dieting”.
When it comes to fitness and weight loss, the best advice and help on the Internet is almost always free. The will to succeed and the knowledge of how to do it, are all that is required. Gimmicks, fads and magic marbles will not get our nation fit again – sweat and tears will though.
Please note: The company is now selling its beads under the name accu–trim.
Learn more on OFT: OFT stops misleading claims regarding ‘fat burning beads’ (15 July 2008)
OFT (The Office of Fair Trading) is a government body in the UK which protects consumers and regulates business advertising.