Saturday September 30th, 2023 3:00PM

BBB advises against "scam" weight loss plans

By Caleb Hutchins Assistant News Director

With the New Year starting in less than two days, many people will be making their new year's resolutions, many of which will be related to weight loss.

The Better Business Bureau's Dottie Callina says people looking to lose weight need to be careful to avoid so-called "miracle" diet plans or supplements that could be ineffective or even unhealthy.

"Before you begin any weight loss program, please check with your doctor," Callina said. "Even if you feel you are completely healthy with the exception of a few extra pounds, there could be some underlying condition that could harm you."

She said while some products can aid in weight loss, any supplement or plan that does not require a person to eat less and exercise is likely unhealthy. She also said some plans can instruct people to eat too little, citing a diet supplement that became popular several years ago while instructing people to only consume 500 calories a day.

Callina said the most important thing when planning to lose weight is for the person to find a plan that they can stick with long-term both physically and financially. She said that many weight loss pills or plans are scams and won't give refunds if they are unsuccessful.

"People who get this and then nothing happens, the scam companies will come back and say 'well, you're not using it right'," Callina said. "These companies are unethical, shady, they know that this pulls in people who are desperate to lose weight."

Callina also advises people to be smart when purchasing exercise equipment. She says most exercise machines are reputable products, but can be very expensive and often don't have return policies if customers are dissatisfied with their results.

If anyone uses a weight loss product or plan that turns out to be a scam, they can report those scams on the Better Business Bureau's website. Callina also said people can often search the internet for a product or plan to see if it's been reported as a scam.

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