Slim pickings: UK issues weight loss health claims advice

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ASA to industry: “To be on the safe side, we recommend that you quote the authorised claim in the ad verbatim..."
ASA to industry: “To be on the safe side, we recommend that you quote the authorised claim in the ad verbatim..."

Related tags: Weight loss, Nutrition, Asa

The UK advertising watchdog has issued guidance to companies making weight loss claims telling them to anally follow the EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) or face prosecution.

“A health claim for a food  - which also applies to soft drinks - or a food supplement, shouldn’t be made unless that claim is compatible with an authorised claim listed on the EU Register of nutrition and health claims,”​ the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) wrote

“To be on the safe side, we recommend that you quote the authorised claim in the ad verbatim, and of course you should market it in accordance with the conditions of use for that claim. Some niche exemptions might apply, but in these instances we urge companies to seek legal advice.”

As an example the ASA said claims about weight loss from specific parts of the body were banned as were claims that referred to specific amounts of weight loss.

It also said ‘before and after photos’, even if genuine, may be problematic, “if they are seen to go beyond the meaning of an authorised claim.”

“One marketer (ketonepremium.com​) included photographs on their website showing people who had clearly lost weight. The complaint, which was upheld by the ASA, was that the weight loss claims within the photos implied that they were authorised on the EU Register, which was not the case.”

The ASA added: "In general, marketers who suggest that weight loss results can be achieved quickly, without forfeit, and who fail to give prominence to the role of the diet are likely to put themselves at odds with the slimming rules."

The advice can be found here​.

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3 comments

Healthy Lifestyles Advertising given the green light!

Posted by Michelle Hanchard, Company Dietitian, PhunkyFoods.com,

"Marketers who suggest that weight loss results can be achieved quickly, without forfeit, and who fail to give prominence to the role of the diet are likely to put themselves at odds with the slimming rules". Good on the ASA! And for those seeking even better health outcomes - lets add physical activity to that advice.

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Food Lovers Diet

Posted by sophy,

Good post. The NHCR act is a good move I think, as it may help consumers distinguish between the real and fake weight loss claims and products.

Nowadays, we are surrounded by advertisements everywhere and many of these advertisements just subside into the visual treat they provide rather than the product quality or services. For such fake ads, the NHCR will be a good answer.

There are many fake ads on slimming or weight loss, as a good number of people are struggling with weight loss issues. What they should actually do is to control their eating habits and follow a proper certified weight loss diet, the one like tryfoodlovers.com and do some exercises on a Regular basis. And please be careful to choose only diet or weight loss programs that have proper background and certifications.

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Real Diets

Posted by sarah77,

It's articles like this that should push people to start leading a healthy life style by eating right and following a good fitness program! I followed a book (Yes a book!) that helped me turn to a healthy life style.

Honestly people should give it a shot before going to pills / medicine. Can’t find a review anywhere on it but here www.moltenreviews.com it's called The Weight Loss Formula

It’s a decent book and should really be looked into, there some great tips on there too for leading a healthy lifestyle.

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