Trading Standards Warn Against ‘Quick Fix’ Diet Solutions
With an estimated one in three people in the UK expected to make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, Neath Port Talbot’s Trading Standards team are warning against ‘quick fix solutions’ that are often too good to be true.
The team are keen to remind people that food supplements that are intended to supplement the diet should not be regarded as a substitute for a varied diet and a healthy lifestyle. Before making decisions about lifestyle or diet changes, it is also important to talk to a qualified healthcare professional.
Food supplements come in a variety of forms; traditional tablets, capsules, and powders, as well as drinks. There are many other types of foods marketed towards those who seek to lose weight while sports nutrition is also gaining in popularity. These products are strictly regulated in law to ensure they are safe and labeled correctly for consumers to make informed decisions.
Only permitted nutrition and approved health claims can legally be used on foods and supplements. Approved health claims are published in an EU Register of health claims. It is important to be aware that claims such as ‘reduces fatigue’, ‘train harder’, and ‘increase in energy and recovery’ may not be approved for use. Claims referring to the amount or rate of weight loss are also illegal.
Trading Standards are urging those who are considering purchasing food and food supplements sold on the high street, the internet and on social media which are marketed as quick fix solutions, to source them only from reputable suppliers.
Residents are advised to check the ingredients list on any supplements and not to take any tablets, capsules or liquids containing the ingredient DNP; Dinitrophenol . This is an industrial chemical not fit for human consumption which is extremely dangerous and in some circumstances can lead to a coma or death. Products containing DNP tend to be marketed at those looking to lose weight as well as the body building community as ‘fat burners’.
Consumers should also be aware of the hazards associated with DMAA (Dimethlyamylamine), an ingredient often described as a ‘natural’ stimulant. Its many claimed functional uses include body building and weight loss aids. DMAA can elevate blood pressure and lead to cardiovascular problems, linked to stroke or death. Products containing DMAA are typically medicinal products and are regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Neath Port Talbot Council Leader, Ali Thomas OBE said: “Our Trading Standards team monitor food standards businesses within the Neath Port Talbot area. They work to support reputable businesses, to protect the health of the public and to investigate breaches of food safety. Those businesses found to be risking consumer safety will be prosecuted where necessary”.
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