Saturday, September 12, 2015

NutriMost Sounds Like It's the NutriLeast

Another day, another misleading ad from a Twin Cities chiropractor. This one is from Dr. Robert Shelton, DC, so at least he's not that other guy who uses two different names as he tries to steal from diabetes patients.

This ad is about weight loss:

The text promises to use TECHNOLOGY to personalize a weight loss plan, assessing lots of wooish factors like heavy metals and toxins, not to mention hormones and neurotransmitters. It uses something called NRF technology which (according to the small print at the bottom) "is FDA cleared, but it's (sic) use in our weight loss system is experimental."

The ad says you can "burn 2,000-7,000 calories of fat per day." It says the system will raise your metabolism and reset your weight set point.

Research by real scientists like Traci Mann (in her book Secrets from the Eating Lab) make it clear that this is all blather. The subtitle of her book is "The Science of Weight Loss, the Myth of Willpower, and Why You Should Never Diet Again."

The only part of the ad that anyone should read is printed in 6-point type at the bottom. The asterisk refers to the word "guaranteed," printed in red ink in the headline:

* NutriMost MN LLC guarantees that each customer will lose at least 20 pounds of weight by the end of the plan. If customer does not lost (sic) at least 20 pounds, the customer's plan will either be extended for up to 20 days at absolutely no costs to customer to reach a minimum of 20 pounds weight or fat loss. Our guarantee is quite simple...we guarantee that you will reach 20 pounds of fat loss or weight loss and we will stick with you until this result is achieved or issue a refund* I acknowledge that the Company incurs certain costs per each client in order to provide the plan and the company's services (manual fee of $35.00, journal fee of $35.00, NRF/weight loss formula bottles at $100.00 and NRF functional scan of $600.00) which are paid by me as part of the total cost of the plan and these costs are non-refundable under any circumstances. 
To break that down:
  • You'll lose 20 pounds -- but nothing is said about gaining it back. That won't void the guarantee, of course, but it will happen in almost all cases, based on Mann's research.
  • They'll "stick with you" until you lose 20 pounds, but only if it takes no more than 20 days beyond the original time frame.
  • If you decide to bail out because it's not working, you'll get your money back, except a minimum of $770 -- jeez, if that's the part they're not refunding, what's the cost of the rest of it? Just to lose 20 pounds?
That $100 bottle of "weight loss formula" is key. Is it some kind of supplement to regular food that is supposed to "raise your metabolism and reset your weight set point"? How many bottles are needed during the 40 days of the plan?

This skeptical look at the NutriMost system includes lots of good information and analysis. The system uses a machine called a Zyto scan, which measures galvanic skin response from your hand. Those measurements are real, but they are somehow used to create a "personalized treatment" because your skin supposedly can tell what you need for weight loss.
Obesity is not caused by toxins or infectious agents. Cells do not have "resonant frequencies." And Zyto cannot "imprint" frequencies into products or "assess" anything related to obesity or body health.

The Better Business Bureau of Pittsburgh has given NutriMost LLC an "F" rating based on "advertising issues" and the company's failure to respond to seven complaints...

[The plan uses a] very-low-calorie "food plan" that supposedly causes the body to get into a "near perfect and exact fat burning state." The NutriMost manual claims that hunger will not occur because "appetite will naturally be suppressed by the 2000 up to 7000 calories of fat you will be burning dues to the weight loss program." The typical caloric intake is 500 calories per day with very little carbohydrate.
Hunger will not occur, right! The skeptical assessment notes that "diets that are very low in calories are not much different from total starvation and are dangerous. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has determined that the claim that a product 'safely enables consumers to lose more than 3 pounds a week for more than 4 weeks' cannot be true because that rate of loss can result in gallstones and other health complications."

(Oh, and how can the ad claim that a 500-calories-per-day is not a "crazy diet"?)

People generally spend about $2,000 with NutriMost. The practitioners (usually chiropractors, as in the Minnesota case, following the chiropractor behind it all, whose name is Ray Wisniewski) pay an up-front $24,999 licensing fee plus a monthly fee of $599.

So clearly, this NutriMost system is just repackaged woo and pseudo-science, playing into the idea of personalized medicine.

What should you do instead if you're concerned about your weight and health? The main takeaway from Traci Mann's Secrets from the Eating Lab are this:
  • Your weight is 70 percent from your genetic makeup and you can't do anything about that. We all have a range that our body will weigh pretty much no matter what we do.
  • To find yourself at the low end of that range, don't rely on mythical will power. If less healthful food isn't present, you can't eat it. If healthful food is present, you will eat it instead. And enlist social support around this effort -- if your family and friends are eating these healthful foods, together you become a virtuous circle. (And by the way, don't label food as healthy/healthful as  I just did -- that makes people not eat it.)
  • Exercise will not make you lose weight, but it will make you healthier and extend your life. "Active obese individuals have lower rates of sickness and mortality than non-obese sedentary people" (page 76). It will help you feel better and sleep better, too, and good sleep is an under-appreciated part of maintaining a lower weight.
I hope people don't respond to this ad. Search the words NutriMost and scam for a raft of people complaining about it.

1 comment:

Tammy Sandmann said...

I paid $2000 and did not lose the 20 lbs and all they did was try to make me pay another $2000. They said since I would not give them any more money they could not help me. This is a complete scam and I am warning everyone to stay away from Nutrimost!