The ads arrive in the mail or catch your attention in the back of a magazine. They tout amazing results from a magical weight loss bead. Smiling women beam from before and after pictures, claiming to have lost large amounts of weight in a very short time. Such ads entice those desperate to lose weight, but all you are likely to lose if you respond is your money.
Accu-Trim beads consist of a small metal bead worn behind the ear. The website for Accu-Trim claims that wearing the bead will stimulate your metabolism to melt off body fat, as much as seven lbs. per week. The beads supposedly work by the same principles as acupressure.
Acupressure is a form of Chinese medicine that involves applying pressure to various points of the body to stimulate the flow of energy and promote healing. For weight loss, acupressure practitioners apply pressure to the ear, claiming this suppresses the appetite, thus encouraging a person to eat less and lose weight.
Though the Accu-Trim website refers to scientific studies and clinical trials to support its claims of phenomenal weight loss, the National Institutes of Health Database, PubMed, contains no studies supporting these claims. A 1995 clinical trial of 96 overweight adults found no difference in weight loss between those who wore an unnamed acupressure device marketed as a weight loss aid, and those who were given a placebo.
Great Britain banned the sale of weight loss beads, sold under the name of Accu-Slim Beads, in February of 2009. The Office of Fair Trading Banned them for making misleading claims about the beads. The claims of losing 7 lb. in a week or 30 lb. in a month would be dangerous to your health if they were true. The Federal Trade Commission notes that claims of losing large amounts of weight rapidly and of losing weight with no effort on your part are two signs of false claims.
The Weight-loss Information Network, a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, recommends a weight loss program that allows you to lose between ½ to two lbs. per week. This is a healthy, sustainable rate of weight loss. A balanced eating plan accompanied by regular exercise can help you lose weight and keep it off.
- Accu-trim: Acupressure Beads
- "International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders"; A Randomized, Placebo- Controlled Clinical Trial of an Acupressure Device for Weight Loss; DB Allison, K. Kreibich, et al; 1995.
- Weight-loss Information Network: A Responsible and Safe Weight Loss Program
- Federal Trade Commission: Weighing the Evidence in Diet Ads
- Motley Health: Fat Burning Beads Banned