With the New Year beginning many of us (myself included) are going on diets to lose some of those unwanted holiday pounds, so the FTA’s decision to come down hard on popular dietary supplements comes at a very interesting time. On Tuesday it ordered the makers of Sensa Products, producer of a weight-loss powder that curbs appetite when sprinkled on food to return $26.5 million dollars in revenue because of false advertising. The company marketed their product as activating the part of a brain that controls appetite so you feel fuller faster, but theFTC stated “the study and claims by Sensa Products were based on faulty science”.
The settlement accused Sensa Products, its parent firm Sensa Inc., with Adam Goldenberg, chief executive of the parent company and Alan Hirsch, a doctor who is part owner — of deceptive advertising. There are also claims those willing to give endorsement for the product were given cash with travel expenses, and the founder of Sensa gave expert endorsements not based on science.
The truth is none of this should surprise us since the idea of sprinkling a powder on your food would result in thirty pounds of weight loss in six months without diet or exercise, however it comes to a surprise to more people than you may think. The FTA’s study found Sensa sales between 2008 and 2012 totaled $364 million. Most of this was done through $60 monthly supplies of the product, so that means 6,066,667 people chose to believe you could lose weight by using Sensa.
Of course this is just the last in a long line of health products that promised results, but never delivered. Remember the Shake Weight, 8-minute abs, ab roller, or thigh master (the list goes on and on)? Countless products just like Sensa made tons of money.
This raises a very important question; how can a product built upon false advertising and lack of proper science find more than six million customers? I choose to believe it isn’t about a persons lack of intelligence, but our desire for a short-cut….the bottom line is we don’t want to do the hard work.
Trust me I’m totally guilty about doing this myself when it comes to fitness, being overweight till my mid-twenties. Even now most diets consist of going on strict eating plans for two weeks (resulting in Wight loss) and then going back to my old way of eating (surprisingly it didn’t work all that well).
So this year I decided to do the hard work instead of looking for short cuts. In other words trading my favorite foods like macaroni and cheese or grilled cheese (pretty much anything with cheese in the name is awesome) for healthy meals, replacing 60 cent crème filled donuts with expensive fruit smoothies, and eating more fresh vegetables in a week than I probably ate in a month (depends if you call french fries a vegetable).
To be honest I’m not too excited about sitting down to a dinner of baked chicken and kale instead of a cheeseburger…but that’s the hard work that must be done for change to take place.
Our culture knows we crave a short cut, which is why it keeps coming up with ridiculous nutrition fads, and we keep buying them. So do yourself a favor folks and start committing to hard work. I won’t promise that kale will start to taste like mac and cheese, but I will promise it actually leads to weight loss.