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PTREE15 SparkPoints: (8,292)
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10/9/13 6:11 P

In general, I don't buy the testimonials in which the person claims eating "XYZ without having to exercise helped me shed XX pounds in one month." In my experience, and granted, this is just me, I need exercise and a healthy diet (fewer calories) to lose weight. My guess is that the XYZ plan is probably some very restrictive calorie count, which accounts for rapid weight loss. I don't believe there is some magic pill/diet/exercise plan that will result in rapid weight loss, short of starving yourself. It takes work and commitment to drop weight in a healthy manner.

BEEBEA SparkPoints: (47,152)
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10/9/13 1:09 P

I think we're so drawn to them because they are stories ("First I was this, then I did that, now this happened!") and we're all primed to respond to stories and story telling. It grabs our attention more than "studies say..." so even if a diet or type of exercise DOES have really good data behind it, the testimonial will stick in our minds more. :) That said, it shouldn't!

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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10/9/13 11:11 A

BUNNYKICKS: Good one! I wish he wouldn't have mentioned the Photoshopping, since the "transformation" was great without it.

Edited-in: Here is the one I found yesterday:
Done in 15 minutes.

Edited by: ALBERTJON at: 10/9/2013 (11:30)
BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
10/9/13 10:57 A

This video is an example of that... guy looks like a totally different person, over the course of four hours.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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10/9/13 10:50 A

KNUCKLES145: That's interesting you mention that. Yesterday, I found an article with photos where the writer pointed out how she changed her look in a few minutes, so that it appeared she had lost 15 pounds.

KNUCKLES145 Posts: 16,178
10/9/13 10:01 A

have you seen the article/video showing how they can take the before and after shots in the same day? it was very interesting.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,483
10/9/13 9:31 A

I tend to look at the person giving the testimony and analyze the diet and how it fits my needs. Jennifer Hudson is a prime example. We know she had a weight problem, she used a recommended approach, and she has kept it off for a few years.

The other thing I look at is the person's credentials. I look at Dr. Terry Wahls and listen to her story, then I get interested in her info on epigenetics, and I watch the lectures on YouTube. You pick out the info that makes fits your needs. In her case, what she says is that we can affect our predisposition towards diseases in our genes by a healthy diet....makes common sense. Same with Dr. Lustig (THE SCIENCE OF OBESITY) and Dr William Davis (WHEAT BELLY)

Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 10/9/2013 (09:31)
MISSRUTH Posts: 4,299
10/9/13 8:26 A

I was just thinking about this very thing! I subscribe to a couple different health/ fitness type magazines, and since I've been so busy this spring/summer, they've piled up, unread.

So recently I had a really bad virus and decided, since I couldn't do much except rest in bed, to go through some magazines. And one of them-- well I won't be renewing my subscription, because it is chock full of ads for various pills that claim amazing weight loss results. The fine print says the people shown in the ads have 1) used whatever pills, in conjunction with a diet and exercise program (wonder *what* diet and exercise program? wonder what their results would've been with the diet & exercise, and NO pills?) and 2) been paid for their testimonials.

The ad that really got me though, was for a product that claims it can reshape your entire body in 30 days, even if you eat over 2000 calories a day. It goes on and on about how fabulous it is.... specifically stating nobody has to follow a low-calorie diet -- and then tells you that a 30 day supply will cost you a hundred bucks.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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10/9/13 7:56 A

Have you ever noticed how many times dietary and exercise equipment ads use anecdotal testimonials as "proof" the products being sold work?

(1) The Pumpkin Pie Diet really works. "I have been eating a piece of pumpkin pie every day and lost 30 pounds in one month." {What is left out is that the person has also gone on a 1200 calorie a day diet and exercises 2 hours a day.}
(2) The AB Stomper gave me a 6-pack in 4 weeks: "I use the AB Stomper for only 5 minutes 3 times a week and now I have 6-pack abs." {What is left out is that the person also does strength training several times a week, was in shape before ever using the product, and follows a very strict diet.}

Here's my testimonial: "I have been eating whole wheat and/or whole grain products daily for 5 years. I have blood work done once or twice a year. My triglycerides and cholesterol are in the quite healthy ranges. You should all eat whole grains/whole wheat every day."

Now, yes, it's true I have been eating whole grains, mainly whole wheat, daily, on average; and my triglycerides and cholesterol are in the quite healthy range. However, that does not mean spit or squat as far as what might be healthy for other people. I think eating whole grains is healthy, but my testimonial offers no proof of that in of itself. There are people who eat almost no whole grain or no whole wheat who are healthier than I am. But their testimonials would be no more proof than mine is.

What are some anecdotal testimonials you have seen on TV or read in magazines/newspapers that you find meaningless or questionable?

Example: Elisabeth Hasselbeck Ab Glider: She is a very fit lady, but she was very fit long before she ever used an Ab Glider. The testimonials on those ads are meaningless.

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