The most dangerous diets

We are aware that some diets are extremely dangerous. Some diets have been proven to put our health in danger. It’s not just fad diets and crash diets that have been linked with health risks. Over the years there’s been both over-the-counter and medically prescribed weight loss pills that have been removed from the market for their dangerous side effects including damaging heart valves.

There are also serious health risks associated with bariatric (obesity) surgery which is why it’s not performed for cosmetic reasons. Patients are carefully screened to ensure the benefits outweigh the risks.

It’s important to ensure that your weight loss solution is both safe and effective.

A good place to start your diet research is with the January 2017 issue of US News and World Report in which is published a comprehensive ranking of the best diets.

There are other ways a diet can be dangerous besides risking your health. Some diets put your wealth at risk.


There are a lot of commercial weight loss services which work to varying degrees. Those that have the dieter depending entirely on their prepackaged meals and snacks are often expensive and the results are temporary.

After spending a lot of money to get to goal eating the meals and snacks provided by the weight loss company, most people are eager to get back to eating “real food.” That’s the problem. They don’t know how to eat real food and manage to sustain their weight goal at the same time. They’re generally safe and effective, if only temporarily, but rarely dangerous.



Many a dieter has learned an expensive lesson about purchasing weight control services and products, but perhaps the most expensive lesson is buying weight loss products on the Internet.


The best are just a waste of money and don’t help you to lose weight. The worst may be dangerous to your health, expensive, and hard to stop the automatic shipments and extremely expensive automatic charges to your credit card.

This arrived in my junk emailbox yesterday.

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click on image to enlarge


I have been in the business of commercial weight loss for more than 25 years. I work for a company widely regarded as the healthiest, safest, and most effective commercial weight loss solution. In my vast experience I learned what phrases are “hot” meaning they make people act or buy a weight loss service or product . They are also red flags indicating the biggest loss will be of your dollars, rather than weight.

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click on image to enlarge

Relax, Skip The Gym and Eat Whatever You Want Sounds too good to be true and that’s because it is. Weight loss takes work. You can’t eat whatever you want, and although you can skip the gym, losing weight without an element of physical activity is difficult and doesn’t support weight maintenance.

The rest of the email is a classic example of lies and promises about weight loss that cannot be delivered, but the really dangerous part of this is the GET MY FREE TRIAL offer. If you click on the offer be prepared for a lot of urgency to “hurry to get yours.”

There is a lot of hype about the product and warnings that it’s in very high demand and if you don’t act quickly you might have to wait because it will be out of stock. This language and the warnings are designed to make you act quickly without reading all of the text on the page because you want your “effortless weight loss pills” sooner rather than later.

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You think the most important thing is FREE and EFFORTLESS weight loss is a jar, but the really important thing is monthly shipments of a worthless product for $69.00 a month (plus an unspecified shipping and handling charge) until cancelled.

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click on image to enlarge

Click on image to see how safe, and trustworthy this bogus offer appears to be

Click on image to see how safe, and trustworthy this bogus offer appears to be

Okay, so $69.00 for one unexpected shipment of useless pills may not break your bank, but if you’re not paying attention to your credit card statement you could be believing the subsequent shipments are coming for free. Some of these contracts are easier to establish than to end. It’s better not to enter one in the first place, especially when it comes as an unsolicited offer in your email inbox.



The most dangerous thing about weight loss scams isn’t losing money, it’s losing faith. Many people try “everything” to lose weight and with each failed attempt they become more convinced that they can’t lose weight. They steal confidence and that’s deadly to future success.

Successful weight loss requires belief. Without belief nobody can successfully attain a weight loss goal. Weight loss scams steal more than your money. They steal your belief and therefore your ability to succeed.

That’s what makes them the most dangerous diets.

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.