Acai Berries and Other Supplement Scams

There are a lot of scammers out there trying to take your hard earned dollar, and when it comes to the fitness and the weight loss industry, one where many desperate people are seeking a quick fix, scammers thrive. In this article we’ll look at some of the biggest scams and false claims out there, both past and present.

Acai Berries

First we should establish that we’re not saying acai berries are worthless. As a fruit they are very healthy and contain a lot of antioxidants. The issue is that they were touted as a super weight-loss supplement, and one that could perform miracles, and this was simply not the case. Many of the early scams were just that. They were often backed by claims such as “As seen on Oprah” even though that was never the case. The main objective back then was to take credit card details for a “no-fee trial period” which actually involved many more fees than the customer agreed to.

Since then acai berries have become widely available as a dried fruit, an extract, a tincture and even a juice. Many of these are legit, but if they claim that their product can do anything miraculous, then avoid them. Legit companies don’t blatantly lie to their customers.

The HCG Diet

This diet was both brilliant and incredibly stupid. It was brilliant because one of the things you had to do whilst taking HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) was to maintain a diet of 500 calories a day. This limited amount of calories will help anyone lose weight, regardless of what they’re taking. The creators of this diet therefore tricked everyone into doing the one thing that is guaranteed to help you lose weight (dieting) whilst making them believe it was the supplement that was helping them. This was the genius part, whilst the stupid part was that anyone could be dumb enough to believe this.

The actual “product” was said to be derived from human placenta, but as it was homeopathic, customers were basically paying for water with a very thin concentration of HCG.


This product made a fortune. The diet insisted that people could lose weight by sprinkling a Sensa powder on their food, saying it could make them feel fuller for longer. This was widespread, sold everywhere from TV shopping networks to grocery stores, but in the end they were fined for their misleading and false comments and forced to pay close to $30 million.

Shrinking Beauty

This was a cream that the makers said could shrink your waist. Literally. By spreading this cream — which cost $58 for a small tube — on your skin the developers claimed you could lose an inch in under two weeks. They were eventually sued and forced to retract this claim, So, despite focusing primal on the weight loss market, the product now says that it is not intended for weight loss.

It should also be noted that Shrining Beauty was said to be derived from lobsters, because of course it was.

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