Monday, January 14, 2013

Did Britain Just Draft the World's Toughest Weight Loss Advertising Guidelines?


Check this out. In the UK their Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), the folks who write and maintain UK's advertising code just published new guidelines regarding the advertising of weight loss products and services.

What's no longer allowed?
  • Claiming that people can lose a precise amount of weight in a specific period of time.
  • Claiming that spot reduction exists.
  • Advertising weight loss products or services to minors.
  • Implying that weight loss will be permanent.
  • Implying that weight loss will be easy.
  • Implying that a person can eat whatever they want and still lose.
  • Suggesting certain foods can help you lose specific amounts of weight.
  • Making claims about services or products not supportable by means of evidence.
  • Utilizing testimonials that suggest more than 2lb/wk weight loss.
  • Utilizing products that purport to "bind fat".
  • Implying vitamin or mineral formulations are beneficial to weight loss.
  • Implying that a product or procedure will remove "toxins" from the body.
And lastly there's this amazing statement,
"Obesity is frequently associated with a medical condition and a treatment for it must not be advertised to the public unless it is to be used under suitably qualified supervision."
Though it doesn't describe what "suitably qualified" means, I can only pray it will be used to shut down some of the snake oil salespeople who prey on the vulnerable by selling hope in place of help.

Wish we could see this sort of care and consideration here in North America (but please don't hold your breath).