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Weight-loss Click-Bait

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This is something I find to be very annoying.  I was scrolling through Instagram the other night, when a “Sponsored Post” showed up in my feed with a video.  The video has a girl that lost a significant amount of weight, and shows that she did it in one month by combining green tea, apple cider vinegar and some pill together and drinking it, and has a link to an “article” explaining more.

 

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source: Instagram

 

 

If you look at the account that the Sponsored Post is through, it says “Decorox Decorative Sculptures and Figurines.” Why would a sculpture company have anything to do with weightloss?

I knew this was fishy but I clicked on the article, which takes you to what appears to be an article on CNN. Yet, if you look at the URL, it is not cnn.com:

 

screenshot_20161220-090744

 

 

 

 

The “article” is supposedly an interview with the girl in the video, Amanda Haughman, a student at Cornell University.  It has several links to the brand of Garcinia Cambogia that she used.  This morning, the product was called Premiere Garcinia Cambogia:

 

 

 

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Yet now, it says MyLyfe Garcinia Cambogia:

 

 

screenshot_20161220-100605

 

 

 

Also, if you scroll to the bottom, there are a bunch of fake Facebook comments boasting of the effectiveness of the combination.  I knew they were fake because you can’t click on them, and instead of “12 Likes” is says “12 Like.”

 

 

 

screenshot_20161220-092429

 

 

No doubt, I’ll bet that if you click on the product, which claims to have a free trial by just paying for shipping, it will take you to a page that will take your credit card information and start billing you $60 a month for pills that they send you automatically which may or may not be what they claim to be, and you will have a difficult time trying to cancel your “membership” that you somehow unknowingly signed up for.

 

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Furthermore, after seeing someone’s comment and doing some research, I found that the girl that they used in the video, whose name is actually Seana Forbes, is a product the company Freeletics. If you go to their website, you will see her video under “Success Stories,” which shows her 3 month journey of working out hard to get to that end result. Not 30 days, and no “miracle pill.”

 

source: Freeletics.com
source: Freeletics.com

 

This company stole her video, dubbed over it with cutesy music, and used it as click-bait to hawk their product and get you to release your credit card information to them.

I have seen this a lot, with fake sites claiming to be CNN or FOX or something similar, that have used weight-loss photos from an actual hard-working individual from another legit fitness site. I have seen another blogger document her long, hard journey of weight-loss have her before and after photos used on a fake supplement site.

This happens often. In the past, when I was looking for quick-fixes, I might have fallen prey to one of these sites. Here’s what to look for to see if a company is legit:

 

The URL – if it is an article claiming to be CNN, or FOX News, or some other big-name site, first look at the url. If it’s not CNN.com then it is fake. This site tried to trick you by putting cnn.com in their site, but if you actually read it, it is cnn.com-85.co.
Logos – I received a link to an article on “Fox News” boasting a raspberry ketones supplement. I knew it was fake because the url was foxnewsusa.net, but I went on the actual foxnews.com and saw that the logo was slightly different than the logo used in the “article.”

Research the product – If you are actually considering the product (which I hope you aren’t), then google the product, and try to find actual reviews from real-life people. Avoid reviews on sites where it seems like they are really trying to sell you on the product. An honest review would be someone who lists the pros and cons, and doesn’t urge you to go buy the product immediately. Someone might say “I would recommend this product if…” or “I would recommend this product for someone who…” Avoid the sites with only positive reviews that say “This works! Go try it now!” and that link to the product page several times.

Use your best judgement – if something seems fishy to you, it probably is. If you’re having doubts, don’t buy it.

 

 

So this post was kind of a rant, but that ad annoyed me to no end. Instagram probably needs to filter their Sponsored Posts a little more.

 

 

Remember that there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight-loss, and if there are, then it is unnatural, unhealthy, and not sustainable. To make an actual change takes hard work, dedication, and time.  A healthy, sustainable change does not happen overnight. I have learned that patience is the key component to weight-loss. Use your best judgement when it comes to supplements, and do research.  Make sure if you do purchase a product that you know all of the ingredients, and have researched all of the effects it has on your body. Keep your health first!

 

 

UPDATE: Apparently, this ad is running on multiple sites and social platforms and has been using a variety of different people’s photos.  I have seen Seana Forbe’s of Freeletics, High Carb Hannah, and Rachel Graham’s photos used for the same exact article claiming it is “Amanda Haughman of Cornell University.”  Amanda Haughman does not exist.  And the brand of Garcinia Cambogia changes daily.  Taking a pill will not give you healthy, sustainable weight loss.

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