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Weight-loss berries a scam?
Posted: 23 March 2009 09:52 PM   [ Ignore ]
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http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/23/acai.berries.scam/index.html

Group challenges acai berry weight-loss claims

Consumers should be skeptical of health and weight-loss claims of the increasingly popular Brazilian fruit, acai, and the free trial offers that ask for their credit card information, a nonprofit health group said Monday.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest said companies offering free trials of diet pills made with the acai berries have bilked thousands of consumers using fake celebrity endorsements and blogs to lure customers.

Consumers are asked to provide a credit card to pay shipping and handling charges, but begin almost immediately receiving $80 to $90 monthly charges. Thousands of consumers have had trouble stopping those charges once they canceled the free trial offer.

Acai (pronounced a-sigh-EE) comes in a number of forms including juice, pulp, powder and capsule. The berry has been touted as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and an antibacterial. The fruit is said to contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential to human health.

Claims of weight loss are unfounded, said the CSPI.

“There’s no evidence whatsoever to suggest that acai pills will help shed pounds, flatten tummies, cleanse colon, enhance sexual desire, or perform any of the other commonly advertised functions,” according to the organization’s press release.

Acai’s popularity has surged on bogus marketing claims, said Jonny Bowden, a certified nutrition specialist and author of several health books.

“Virtually every berry—blueberry, strawberry, goji, acai—are anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants,” Bowden said. “This particular one is exotic. It’s found in Brazil. It’s been marketed to have more of a magic ingredient. It’s been over-hyped and marketed to death. There are claims to curing cancer, curing baldness that is all over the place.”

Like most berries, acai has good nutritional qualities, but “there is not a drop of research” that supports marketing claims that it prevents weight gain and facial wrinkles, Bowden said.

Acai juices sell for as much as $40 per bottle.

“The expensive acai berry is triumph of marketing over science, that’s the bottom line,” Bowden said. “It’s not useless, but it’s not anything that people are claiming it is.”

Companies including FWM Laboratories of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Hollywood, Florida, Advanced Wellness Research of Miami Beach, Florida, and other acai companies are accused of using fake diet blogs to steer consumers to sites plugging the free trials.

After a doctor listed acai as a healthy food on the Oprah Winfrey show last year, and a guest on Rachael Ray’s cooking show mentioned the fruit, ads popped up directing consumers to sites selling acai weight loss products as if endorsed by the celebrities. Winfrey and Ray have publicly disassociated themselves from those sites.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is investigating numerous complaints and said a lawsuit against FWM Laboratories is very likely.

According to the Better Business Bureau, FWM Laboratories received an F rating, the BBB’s worst. Other acai companies with the BBB’‘s F rating include Advanced Wellness Research, AcaiBurn, FX Supplements and SFL Nutrition.

“There are no magical berries from the Brazilian rain forest that cure obesity, only painfully real credit card charges and empty weight loss promises,” Blumenthal said. “Aggressive acai berry pitches on the Internet entice countless consumers into free trials promising weight loss, energy and detoxification. These claims are based on folklore, traditional remedies and outright fabrications unproved by real scientific evidence.”

Keri Gans, dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, recommends that customers turn to fruits and vegetables at their local produce markets.

“If you’re going on the Internet to find them and paying shipping fees, you should go to a market and buy local vegetables and fruits,” she said. “It’d be a lot less expensive.”

Acai berries could be part of a well-balanced diet of different fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Gans said consumers should be skeptical whenever any one food seems too good to be true and should not to rely on one “miracle food” to boost health.

“If [people] hope to find answers in one food for longevity, I would say they’re mistaken,” she said.

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Posted: 24 March 2009 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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If I sold people dust made form my toenail clippings and told them it was weight-loss snuff they’d probably buy it.

Hmm…

*Adds Prof. D.C Renquist’s Medicinal Weight Loss Snuff to his t-shirt store*

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Posted: 24 March 2009 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Apparently there is more than 1 sucker born every moment going by the number of people who believe in these things.

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Posted: 24 July 2010 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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monaliza - 24 July 2010 06:00 PM

the great health benefits of antioxidant rich foods in your diet. about these free-radical fighting antioxidants help you look and feel younger by slowing down the aging process, but they can also help to prevent cancer, heart disease, and loads of other degenerative diseases.But that

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Posted: 24 July 2010 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Unfairly Balanced - 24 July 2010 07:33 PM

blahblahblahblah

You sell the stuff don

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Posted: 25 July 2010 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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White people will buy anything.

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Posted: 25 July 2010 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Has anybody on the MOH forums actually tried drinking Acai Berry juice? I keep wondering what it actually tastes like.

As for weight loss I dare say I get more benefit from eating un-toasted muesli in low fat milk for breakfast.

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Posted: 25 July 2010 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Acai is just a berry
I have drunk it though not as part of any diet protocol
I’ve little doubt it’s taste is based on what other rubbish is added to the mix (HFC MSG etc)
the juice I had was quite bitter and I wouldn’t recommend it except as part of a mixer
perhaps with a nice vodka

I’ll add, the stuff I bought was on a shelf in a supermarket. I didn’t send away for it.

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Posted: 25 July 2010 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Was a reply deleted or something here?  I know one of their techniques is putting out links saying “Are Acai berries a scam?”, and then when you click on them, they aren’t actually reviews, but a sales pitch.  Ingenious.  Make people think they are getting a real review with some actual research and pull them into a sales pitch instead.

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Posted: 25 July 2010 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Bebelicious - 25 July 2010 05:37 PM

Was a reply deleted or something here?

Not in the original posts, but the recent ones, yes. Unfairly Balanced quoted the spammer. I deleted said spammer due to the links in their signature.

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Posted: 25 July 2010 07:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I think the whole thing is a matter of the Acai berry just being another berry.  A doctor said they were generally healthy. (Like most ANY berry.)  Heck, they would make those sorts of claims about strawberries if they weren’t so common.  It’s yet another case of “new must mean magical” or something… *facepalm*

(I still say i should sell my “magical” sun discs….(pennies)) cool grin

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Posted: 25 July 2010 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Yeah.. goji berries, acai berries..  They’re ‘new’, ‘exotic’, and aren’t the usual run-of-the-mill berries a 1950s housewife would have seen at the market. Heck, cranberries, pomegranites and blueberries are being touted for their antioxidants, too..

They’re. Just. Berries. They have some things in them that are good for you. That is all. There are other berries that are just as good for you.

I think we should start a rumor that antioxidants cause autism. That’d get this nonsense settled insanely quickly.

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