“If you purchased caffeine-infused underwear because of promises it will make you thinner, federal regulators say you were hoodwinked — but at least you can get your money back.”
As I researched this story today I found that a lot of people used it to take cheap shots at people who have been made so absolutely desperate to lose weight by a society where there are very real negative consequences for not fitting a stereotype of beauty that they bought the shapewear, hoping that the promises were true.
Let me start by pointing out that the research shows that there is no intentional weight loss method whose long term success is more than a few percentage points better than caffeinated underpants. Weight watchers own research shows that the average client loses 10 pounds, then gains back half of that by the second year. Then they stopped asking which is probably because research shows that most people gain it all back (with many gaining back more than they lost) within 5 years. We’re currently seeing a trend of two year studies that finally admit that every single participant regained weight, but claim that it’s ok because they are still lower than their starting weight – conveniently forgetting to mention that they’ve given themselves a three year cushion.
In fact, caffeine infused underwear might well be safer than dieting since you may avoid messing up your metabolism and levels of grehlin and leptin. Plus you can take the undewear off, unlike dieting which leaves the body in a biologically altered state well after the diet is done. Not to mention that the underpants simply won’t change your body size, unlike dieting where you are most likely to lose weight in the short term and gain it back in the longterm which, when done multiple times opens people up to the dangers of weight cycling (aka yo-yo dieting.)
So instead of asking why people would choose to wear caffeinated shapewear (or shapewear at all…) why not ask why people laugh at caffeinated underwear as a weight loss attempt because it has a 0% success rate, while recommending methods that are only a couple percent more effective with major downside risk? People are allowed to do what they want with their bodies but we need to start giving people honest information about the (very low chance of) long-term success and the rate of downside risk. The FTC has taken another step by taking measures against the companies that lied about the effects of caffeinated underpants, but there are lots more steps to take.
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