From Shapely Prose comes the news that the FTC may end dieting marketers’ ability to tout extreme weight-loss success as the norm, so long as they mutter “resultsnottypical” at the very end of the ad.
Kate Harding envisions a world in which advertisers are forced to tell the truth about their products:
“Jane Doe wanted to lose 50 pounds, actually lost 10, then gained 15 back! CALL TODAY TO START YOUR NEW LIFE!” “Suzy Smith lost 80 pounds, which is so rare on this program it would be unethical of us to pretend you have any real prayer of doing the same thing, and five years later, she’d gained it all back and then some! DON’T YOU WANT TO BE LIKE SUZY?” “Jared Fogle lost 245 lbs. eating nothing but vegetable sandwiches, and has kept it off for 10 years because his full-time job is now being a paid spokesperson for Subway. You, too, can keep off massive amounts of weight if someone pays you loads of money to eat as little as it takes and spend all your time exercising! TRY OUR FOOTLONG STEAK ‘N’ CHEESE.”
Mine? Hey, have you ever wondered why NutriSystem and Jenny Craig has a different spokesperson every year? It’s because they all eventually gain the weight back. And who the hell can blame them; would you want to subsist for the rest of your life on this cardboard-tasting pseudofood?
Or for those really shady “diet” pills, the ones that have to keep changing their formulas to stay legal: Results not typical, because these people parading around in swimsuits didn’t actually lose weight with our bathtub speed pills. They’re athletes who were injured and gained weight while inactive — that’s when we shot the “before” scenes — then lost it when they recovered and were able to work out again.* We make them sign a sooper-sekrit non-disclosure form, because we know even the kinds of idiots who think you can lose weight by taking a pill wouldn’t buy our shitty product if they knew this!
ETA: Oh dear, I see this post is attracting weight loss spammers. How perfectly ironic. Sorry dearies, but I have both spam filters and comment moderation in effect; even on the slim chance that your comments aren’t recognized as spam, they’d still need to be approved by me. Ain’t happenin’.