The UK just laid out some super-tough advertising guidelines for products and services aimed at the weight loss community –
“This section applies to marketing communications for weight control and slimming foodstuffs, aids (including exercise products that make weight-loss or slimming claims), clinics and other establishments, diets, medicines, treatments and the like. If applicable, they must comply with Section 12: Medicines, Medical Devices, Health-related Products and Beauty Products and Section 15: Food, Food Supplements and Associated Health or Nutrition Claims).”
Check it out, it’s a MOUTHFUL – many most all we are unlikely to see in the US for years and years and years. Some of the suggestions are amazing: “Marketing communications for any weight-reduction regime or establishment must neither be directed at nor contain anything that is likely to appeal particularly to people who are under 18 or those for whom weight reduction would produce a potentially harmful body weight (BMI of less than 18.5 kg/m2). Those marketing communications must not suggest that being underweight is desirable or acceptable.”
I love you, UK.
Via Cap.uk –
13.1 A weight-reduction regime in which the intake of energy is lower than its output is the
most common self-treatment for achieving weight reduction. Any claim made for the
effectiveness or action of a weight-reduction method or product must be backed, if
applicable, by rigorous trials on people; testimonials that are not supported by trials do
not constitute substantiation.
13.2 Obesity in adults is defined by a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30 kg/m2. 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.
Marketing communications for non-prescription medicines that are indicated for the
treatment of obesity and that require the involvement of a pharmacist in the sale or supply
of the medicine may nevertheless be advertised to the public.
13.3 Marketing communications for any weight-reduction regime or establishment must neither
be directed at nor contain anything that is likely to appeal particularly to people who are
under 18 or those for whom weight reduction would produce a potentially harmful body
weight (BMI of less than 18.5 kg/m2). Those marketing communications must not suggest
that being underweight is desirable or acceptable.
13.4 Before they make claims for a weight-reduction aid or regimen, marketers must show
that weight-reduction is achieved by loss of body fat. Combining a diet with an unproven
weight-reduction method does not justify making weight-reduction claims for that
13.5 Marketers must be able to show that their diet plans are nutritionally well-balanced
(except for producing a deficit of energy) and that must be assessed in relation to the
category of person who would use them.
13.6 Vitamins and minerals do not contribute to weight reduction but may be offered to
slimmers as a safeguard against any shortfall in recommended intake when dieting.
13.7 Marketers promoting Very Low Calorie Diets or other diets that fall below 800 kilo-calories
a day must do so only for short-term use and must encourage users to take medical
advice before embarking on them. Marketers should have regard to the guidance on
“Obesity: the prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and
obesity in adults and children” (2006) published by the National Institute for Health and
13.8 Marketing communications for diet aids must make clear how they work. Prominence
must be given to the role of the diet and marketing communications must not give the
impression that dieters cannot fail or can eat as much as they like and still lose weight.
13.9 Marketing communications must not contain claims that people can lose precise
amounts of weight within a stated period or, except for marketing communications for
surgical clinics, establishments and the like that comply with rule 12.3, that weight or fat
can be lost from specific parts of the body.
13.9.1 Marketing communications for surgical clinics, establishments and the like
that comply with rule 12.3 must not refer to the amount of weight that can
13.10 Claims that an individual has lost an exact amount of weight must be compatible with
good medical and nutritional practice. Those claims must state the period involved
and must not be based on unrepresentative experiences. For those who are normally
overweight, a rate of weight loss greater than 2 lbs (just under 1 kg) a week is unlikely
to be compatible with good medical and nutritional practice. For those who are obese,
a rate of weight loss greater than 2 lbs a week in the early stages of dieting could be
compatible with good medical and nutritional practice.
13.10.1 Health claims in marketing communications for food products that refer to a
rate or amount of weight loss are not permitted.
13.11 Resistance and aerobic exercise can improve muscular condition and tone and that can
improve body shape and posture. Marketers must be able to substantiate any claim
that such methods used alone or in conjunction with a diet plan can lead to weight or
inch reduction. Marketing communications for intensive exercise programmes should
encourage users to check with a doctor before starting.
13.12 Short-term loss of girth may be achieved by wearing a tight-fitting garment. That loss
must not be portrayed as permanent or confused with weight or fat reduction.
We’ll never see this in the US. People are too in love with fake.