Friday, January 21, 2011

Healthy Weight Week Awards for
Healthy Body Image and Slim Chance

Healthy Weight Week features the  Healthy Body Image Awards and the Slim Chance Awards.  This is a brief overview of the winners from Healthy Weight Network. 

Healthy Body Image Awards
Awards presented to programs whose mission is to promote the importance of a positive body image. Education focuses on prevention and reducing the risk factors associated with poor body image and the obsession with thinness.

A Chance to Heal (ACTH). Their mission is to prevent the incidence and reduce the impact of eating disorders and promote the importance of positive body image by educating parents, young people, educators and healthcare professionals. A Chance to Heal Foundation was started in 2004 by Ivy Silver and her daughter Rachel. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization representing all eating disorders from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and body dysmorphia. ACTH serves the Delaware Valley with a wide range of programs and services aimed at high school girls and educators, parents and healthcare professionals.

Healthy Body Image curriculum. Developed for 4th to 6th grades, this school program was designed by Kathy Kater, LIC SW, a psychotherapist, author and consultant, specializing in body image, eating, fitness and weight problems. Students learn to develop positive body images, appreciate inner strengths over appearance, resist unhealthy messages on weight, appearance, fitness and food, and adopt the building blocks for a healthy lifestyle. The 11 sessions are based on Kater’s book Healthy Body Image: Teaching Kids to Eat and Love Their Bodies Too! Second Edition" and a companion volume for parents. 

Body RocksBlog: Body Rocks
A peer education group, Body Rocks is devoted to positive body image and eating disorder prevention in schools and communities. Created by Ann Marie Perone, a teacher at Valley High School in Las Vegas in 2006, the club hosts Eating Disorders Awareness Week and other special events. Most recently a balloon release symbolically helped students send off negative feelings and self talk, and emphasized the benefits of positive body image and self esteem.

Slim Chance Awards
Awards are presented in the following four categories: Worst Gimmick, Worst Claim, Worst Product and Most Outrageous. Announcement of the Slim Chance Awards occurred on December 27, 2010.


Lapex BCS Lipo Laser
LipoLaser promoters promise: “Lose 3 ½ to 7 inches of fat in 3 weeks; proven inches lost, without diet or exercise. The LipoLaser is the only non-diet, non-invasive, pain-free way to lose inches of fat." Studies are missing to show this works. The company claims shining the lighted device on a pocket of fat gives results “almost exactly the same as exercise” only instead of “hormones opening the fat cells with exercise, the Laser light opens the fat cells right through your skin”, thus resulting in fat and weight loss.

The FDA classifies the device as an infrared lamp rather than a laser. The price range is about $1490 to $5000 for a program of nine, one-hour sessions. The LipoLaser received negative ratings on a few online diet review sites. One user states, "False Advertising, No Results, Will Not Honor Results Guarantee: The LIPO LASER treatment does not work. The business advertised that it could spot treat fat and liquefy the fat and drain it out of your lymph system with instant results and full results with a series of treatments. After finding out it didn't work and and being charged $2500 for this service (both my husband and I tried it and it didn't work for either of us), I called for our money back guarantee. DO NOT SPEND MONEY ON THIS!!!"

Ultimate Cleanse states "the body must be detoxified regularly to get rid of wastes and toxins." Cleansing programs are often high-risk and contain powerful laxatives. Ultimate Cleanse combines cascara sagrada and a potent laxative. In 2002, cascara sagrada was  banned as an ingredient in over-the-counter drugs. The product allegedly cleanses five areas (bowel, liver, kidneys, lungs and skin) as well as bloodstream, cells and body tissues. There is no proven safe or effective dose for cascara. Long-term use may lead to potassium depletion, blood in the urine, irregular heart function, muscle weakness, finger clubbing and cachexia (extreme weight loss). Regular use is linked to increased risk of hepatitis and colorectal cancer. Though banned as a drug, cascara sells in dietary supplements through a legal loophole.


HCG Supplements HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone produced during pregnancy. It claims to reset the hypothalamus, improve metabolism and mobilize fat stores. There is no scientific evidence supporting HCG treatment as a weight or fat loss method. Advertisers claim, “You easily can lose 1 to 2 pounds per day safely! Shed Excess Fat. HCG resets your hypothalamus so your weight loss is permanent!” “HCG will melt fat permanently while maintaining muscle tone.” HCG does all this without exercise. The program requires a semi-starvation diet of 500 calories a day. The program often begins with a liquid fast detox period. Common short-term side effects include fatigue, headache, mood swings, depression, confusion, dizziness and stomach pain.

(2009).The horror of this find made it worth repeating this year.
Pills spiked with powerful undisclosed drugs. In 2009, the FDA found so many diet pills secretly laced with powerful drugs that it was impossible for the Slim Chance selection panel to single out any, and could only group them together as “dangerous and outrageous.” FDA cited 69 weight loss “supplements” containing hidden, potentially harmful drugs or toxic substances, most imported from China, and says there may be hundreds more. In an analysis of 28 weight-loss products FDA found sibutramine (a controlled substance) in all of them; some also contained rimonabant, phenytoin or phenolphthalein. Sibutramine is associated with high blood pressure, seizures, tachycardia, palpitations, heart attack and stroke, and the potency in the pills tested as high as three times prescription doses. Rimonabant (not approved in the U.S.), has been linked to five deaths and 720 adverse reactions in Europe during the past two years, and to increased risk of seizures, depression, anxiety, insomnia, aggressiveness and suicidal thoughts. Phenolphthalein is a suspected cancer causing agent. FDA warned consumers not to buy or use any of the 28 products. (For more information go to and search “tainted weight loss pills.”)

Original article can be found at Francie M. Berg, MS, LN serves as chair of Healthy Weight Week. She is a licensed nutritionist, adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and author of 12 books. For bio information see:

Her latest book "Underage and Overweight: Our Childhood Obesity Crisis – What Every Family Needs to Know” explores the facts behind the obesity crisis and provides a plan for raising confident healthy-weight children.

Francie M. Berg
Healthy Weight Network
402 South 14th Street
Hettinger, ND 58639
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