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Deceptive Gadgets and Weight Loss Schemes

With Halloween just around the corner, I'm going to talk about something really scary. Things marketed to help you look and feel better that are worthless, dangerous or both.

EZ-UP Inversion RackThe EZ-UP Inversion Rack

"Inversion Therapy" wearing Gravity Boots.

Gravity Boots - They're promoted to people with back problems and as a way to exercise. When you're hanging upside down, your spine is supposed to get relief from the pressures of gravity.

The Truth - When you're hanging upside down, you increase the blood pressure in your eyes and the blood vessels in the head and neck area. This can be dangerous for people with glaucoma, heart disease or stroke risk factors. For people who carry a lot of weight in their upper body, it can put excess pressure on the lower back and spine. Precisely what you don't want to do with back problems.

Power Wrap from Suddenly SlendorThe Power Wrap from Suddenly Slendor

Body Wraps - Wrap your body in "sauna suits" or "reducing pajamas"; wait a few minutes, and presto! Inches lost! Some are sold with lotions, creams or gels to enhance the effects of the wrap.

The Truth - What you get is short-term water displacement from perspiration or compression. Take off the wrap, wait an hour or two, measure again, and the inches are back. To see this effect first hand, take a rubber band. Wrap it around a finger and leave it on for a few minutes. Take it off and where the rubber band was is an indent. No weight loss, and after an hour or so, the indent is gone. Wraps are potentially dangerous because they can bring about severe dehydration or injury from circulatory constriction. And those creams they sell? Just a way to get you to pay more for a worthless treatment.

Gym Fitness by ABS ToningThe Gym Fitness by ABS Toning

Electrical Muscle Stimulators (Shock Your Way to Six-Pack Abs) - These were the darlings of late-night commercials. Beautiful models strapped on belts and achieved "washboard abs" while lounging around the pool. No exercise required! "10 Minutes = 600 Sit-Ups"

The Truth - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came down hard on several of these companies for making false claims in their advertising. The FDA says, "Using these devices alone will not give you 'six-pack abs.' Stimulating muscles repeatedly with electricity may eventually result in muscles that are strengthened and toned to some extent but will not, based on currently available data, create a major change in your appearance without the addition of weight loss and regular exercise." To work properly, most of these Stimulators had to be used with special creams you put on between the belt and your stomach. Cream only available from the manufacturer for an additional price...
Want more information from the FDA? Click Here.

Magnet Back Magnet by Ace MagneticsThe Magnetic Back Magnet by Ace Magnetics

Sports Magnets - "Pain Free with Magnet Therapy, Discover how Magnets can Help Relieve Arthritis, Sports Injuries, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain. Using interviews with top researchers, as well as with patients from all walks of life, Owen presents an unbiased and accurate account of the safe, natural and drug-free treatment - magnetic therapy."

The Truth - The FDA has never cleared for marketing any magnets promoted for medical uses. Not one. Not ever. The FDA says, "Because these devices (magnets) do not have marketing clearance, they are in violation of the law, and are subject to regulatory action." This does not mean the FDA has not cleared the use of magnets in medical diagnostic or imaging equipment, they have. Many of those machines, such as the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine, are extremely valuable diagnostic devices.

You can test magnets for yourself. Part of the come-on is that magnets help circulation. If that were true, when you placed a magnet on your skin, it would turn red (increased circulation to the area affected by the magnet). Of course, your skin does not turn red because blood is not magnetic.

Want more information from the FDA? Click Here.

How can you avoid being taken in by scams? Look for detailed medical studies, not testimonials or interviews. Check with your doctor or health care professional before you buy. And remember this: There is no pill, potion, cream or machine that can replace the benefits of regular exercise and a proper diet.

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beginning any diet or exercise program.