If You Try My Free Cream I Will Make You 7 Feet Tall!

August 10, 2009

You cannot go anywhere on the web without seeing these crazy ads.

  • Learn this one rule and lose 3 pounds tomorrow!
  • Learn how this Boston Mom got whiter teeth!

I never thought anything about them until a couple of patients came in this last month and had fallen prey to these shysters.

If you are unfamiliar with internet marketing, it can be a world of sleazy, bait and switch scammers.  The key component to these programs is offering you a free trial that is really never free.  You pay a very modest amount for shipping and handling, somewhere between $1.95 and $7.95.  If you agree to this they got you.

In the super fine print you are agreeing to spend a lot of money for a product that at best is of questionable

snake-oil-cableseffectiveness.  Here is a sample of the fine print on one of the weight loss flogs (fake blog):

Start your FREE Trial today and we will send you a full 30 day supply of the xxxxx Acai Weight Loss System dietary supplements. Just pay $3.95 in shipping and processing. You will have 14 days to try the xxxxx Acai Weight Loss System dietary supplements and discover why they are the perfect weight loss dietary supplements for you. If you like how our dietary supplements help reduce body fat, boost metabolism and control your appetite, do nothing. At the end of your free trial period you will be charged the discounted price of $79.95If for any reason the dietary supplements are not for you, call xxxxxx Acai Customer Care toll free at 1–xxx–xxx–xxxx within your 14 day free trial period to cancel. Then simply return the product (even if it is empty!) and you will NEVER be billed any additional amount. No commitments, no hassles.
Plus, if you decide to keep the xxxxx Acai Weight Loss System dietary supplements, you will receive FREE acceptance in Club xxxxx Acai and will receive a fresh supply of the xxxxx Acai Weight Loss System dietary supplements approximately every 30 days at the same low price of $79.95, plus $3.95 for shipping. You can cancel anytime by calling xxxxx Acai Customer Care. No risk, no obligation, cancel any time!

If you click on a couple of these ads you notice a running theme.  With the exception of a few personal twists thrown in the stories, pics and even comments on the flog are identical.  Here is the running theme:

  • Personal story of how the mom gained all her weight, almost all blamed having kids
  • They all tried a bunch of different diets, need I tell you none of them worked, try to hide your shock
  • Picture of them at their heaviest, right before they tried the magic potion; of course they throw in a picture of how fabulous they look now, after taking the magic potion
  • Every one of them just happened to tune into Oprah on the day that Dr. Oz spoke of the Acai berry
  • Saw Dr. Oz the next day on TV talking about another product that would also help lose weight
  • They all like Dr. Oz and Oprah, so much in fact they all wrote about it; here is the writing from 3 of these flogs, does anything strike you as similar here?

I liked Oprah and Dr. Oz because they themselves were not trying to peddle some product themselves. Oprah and Dr. Oz was trying to get the public understand the health benefits simply taking either an Acai berries or a Colon Cleanse supplement pills. And Rachael Ray did it herself!

What I most like about Oprah and Dr. Oz is that they were not promoting a specific product. They really just wanted to get the word out about the health benefits of using Acai berry and Colon cleanse supplements.

I liked Oprah and Dr. Oz because they themselves were not trying to peddle some product themselves. Oprah and Dr. Oz was trying to get the public understand the health benefits simply taking either an Acai berries or a Simple Cleanser supplement pills. And Rachael Ray did it herself!

Hopefully by now I have convinced you these sites are scams.  Not only is the site a scam, the product does not work as advertised.  It has gotten so out of control that both Dr. Oz and Rachel Ray have had to come out with statements that they do not endorse these products and their lawyers are going after the scammers.

If you do any sort of google search you will see tons of sites out there with people telling how they couldn’t get rid of the charges.  Some even had to go as far as switching bank accounts as some of these companies are not located in the US and are not subject to our laws.

Wait, Dr. Kevin, those flogs all had tons of comments that were universal in their love for the product.  Umm yeah, those comments are fake and if you go to any number of the sites, you will see identical comments.  This has gotten so out of control that the FTC is now stepping in and dropping the hammer on these sites.

Lastly, if you have been scammed by one of these sites please contact your bank/credit card and see what they can do.  If you are insistent on trying one of these products and they ask for your bank account information including routing and account number…..never ever give them those, you will be changing bank accounts shortly and that is a pain.

If after all this you still need to try one of these products, do yourself a favor and go buy a Visa gift card and use that for your trial.  If you like the product you can switch to something else after a period of time, that way you are protected in case you don’t like the product and don’t want to go through the hassle of canceling.

Please remember, if it sounds to good to be true it almost always is, except for when hear about how awesome I am.  That is the 100% truth!!!!


I Am a Bottled Water Fan!

August 4, 2009
Sugar

Sugar

I know that bottled water is totally not vogue right now and I may be angering some of you with my stance on it, however, I am a huge fan of bottled water.  Please let me explain before you scorch me with emails and comments.

Recently, RTI, a non profit research group,  health economist Eric Finkelstein offered a blunt message for lawmakers trying to revamp the health care system: “Unless you address obesity, you’re never going to address rising health care costs.”

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in April in The New England Journal of Medicine, “Sugar sweetened beverages may be the single largest driver of the obesity epidemic.’’

Last year 26 percent of beverages consumed were soda.

The average 20 ounce soda has 17 teaspoons of sugar in it.  17 teaspoons!!! That is an insane amount.  Try this; place 17 teaspoons of sugar in a bowl and look at how much sugar is in there.  I did it and was horrified.

I don’t think anyone would argue with me that there is no way it is good for you to consume that much sugar in one drink.  Please keep in mind that the average person will drink a couple of these a day!!

Last year we as a country spent $147 billion on obesity.  For an obese person that adds up to over $1400 per person per year in additional medical costs.  The two biggest diseases linked to obesity are heart disease and diabetes.

Would anyone argue that all this sugar contributes to obesity?  Of course, the beverage companies that produce these drinks may not be on board with the sugar and obesity link.

“It’s counterproductive when you have folks out there trying to single out one particular product as a unique contributor to a problem so complex,’’ said Kevin Keane, senior vice president of the American Beverage Association, which represents the makers of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other leading drinks. “You could get rid of soft drinks tomorrow, and you would still have overweight and obese people.’’

It is counterproductive?  No one blames ONLY the soft drinks for contributing to obesity but for sure it is a part.  Soda draws people’s ire due to how easy it is to consume all this sugar.  When you eat food, the body does a decent job of telling you that you are full and it is time to stop eating.  Unfortunately when it comes to drinking the body is not as diligent about telling you when to stop, thus leading to consuming many more calories than you actually need.

How many calories are in bottled water???  None.

Now look, you must be socially aware that bottled water is bad for the environment if you throw them away.  You must recycle your bottles, not doing so is just flat out wrong.  There are also trucking issues related to delivering the water.  Even with all of these factors, the side effect of all the sugar people are consuming still makes the bottled water a better choice, in my opinion.

Now we can argue that paying more for water than gasoline is crazy and I would agree.  So why not tap water?  There are two reasons that I don’t like tap water.  The first is the taste.  Every town is different, some towns that water taste great and some taste nasty.  If the water taste gross I am less likely to drink it.

The second reason is the chemicals that are present in tap water.  I am not a huge fan of them.  I feel that bottled water companies like Poland Springs® do a good job of filtering their water to reduce the chemicals better than tap water does.

At the end of the day, I am making the case that bottled water, warts and all, is an excellent choice if you are reaching in the cooler at your favorite sub shob.

It for sure beats drinking all that sugar.  Wait you want to drink diet soda, don’t even get me started!