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AcaiBurn: "the world's most extreme weight-loss solution"?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 Posted by Peter Janiszewski, PhD
UPDATE:  Acai Berry Scam Exposed: We called it!

 

I’d like to thank all those readers who logged on to Obesity Panacea and filled out the survey on the type of blog posts you prefer to see. Apparently, the most popular feature was “debunking myths”.

Our readers spoke, and we listened!

Travis had already posted on the cumbersome $14 000 ROM machine earlier this week and today I will evaluate another interesting weight-loss product.

When we initially started our blog back in November of last year and decided to focus primarily on debunking various weight-loss gimmicks, we feared that we may quickly run out of products to critique. Were we ever wrong!


In fact, I recently realized that we don’t even have to look beyond our own blog for great fodder. I’m not sure how many of you have paid attention to a very cool widget on our blog that is near and dear to our hearts – the ClustrMaps. This little widget allows us to keep a nice tally of all the visitors to our blog with a map depicting the location of the visitors – the bigger the dot, the greater the density of visitors from that area. I am embarrassed to admit that I now check our blog’s ClustrMaps before I even log onto my email in the morning. Of course, since our blog is focused on obesity and weight-loss, the google ads provided on our ClustrMaps are very often for the very products that Travis and I want consumers to steer clear of.

For the past few mornings as I am checking our previous day’s visitor hits I kept seeing the same ad which read the following:

“1 rule of a flat stomach: Cut down 1 lbs [sic] of stomach fat every day by obeying this weird rule. Click here!”

Because my curiosity got the best of me I clicked “here”, and before I knew it, I had hit a goldmine. The nonsense was everywhere on this ad page- it was exhilarating. I became drunk with giddy as I madly scrolled through the site reading one ridiculous caption after another. For me, this ad was like the Clinton-Lewnisky scandal was for David Letterman – endless material.

Across the top of the screen, in large red font, this website provides the first message:

WARNING... Quick-Loss AcaiBurn Is Fast Weight Loss That Works. It Was Not Created For Those People Who Only Want To Lose A Few Measly Pounds. AcaiBurn was created to help you achieve the incredible body you have always wanted... USE WITH CAUTION!”

So right away, I’m thinking to myself that this product, apparently named AcaiBurn, must really work! I mean there is a “WARNING” to “USE WITH CAUTION” – imagine such a potent weight-loss aid. This is the obesity panacea Travis and I had been searching for! (For those unfamiliar with my dry humour, please read above with a heavy dose of sarcasm.)

Next, because I have taken the time to write about some of quotes from the site and haven’t been active for a while, an “IMPORTANT NEWSFLASH!” appears across the webpage giving me the following critical information (I guess I seem hesitant and need more convincing):

“Acai Berry was recently featured on Rachael Ray and seen on Fox News and NBC! AcaiBurn trials with Acai Berry extract and research-backed ingredients are going fast! You must act now!”



Wow – even Rachael Ray endorses AcaiBurn – this must be a miracle. In fact, Travis had previously posted a video of Rachael Ray, the chef, discussing the medicinal efficacy of acai berry based on her critical review of available scientific literature on the topic. In reference to the magical berry, Ray stated the following: acai berry is the "supergenius smart food of all smart foods!" AND its juice is "the healthiest drink you can get!” Well put, Rachael!

But wait! In addition to Ray, this panacea for obesity is also endorsed by a Dr. Nicholas Perricone, an expert in obesity, nutrition and weight-loss. Well, the latter part may be a bit misleading – he’s actually a dermatologist by training. This, of course, has not stopped Perricone from writing countless books on weight-loss, because as some of our readers are hopefully beginning to realize – when it comes to losing weight, EVERYONE is an expert! And so what if he appears to have published more books on staying young and thin than research papers – he also has a line of cosmetic products, which includes the Neuropeptide Facial Conformer, sold for $130 for a 1 oz. bottle. Click here for a scathing review of some of Perricone's work on quackwatch.com.

So again, I am comforted to know the claims regarding AcaiBurn’s efficacy are backed by obesity experts, Rachael Ray and a cream peddling skin doc.

Further, the ad claims that according to “scientific research of the West” using the “active ingredients in AcaiBurn” people who used these ingredients lost 9-12 more lbs over the placebo group in 8 week clinical trials. Now just like with every similar advert – the reference to this “scientific research” is never to be found and thus can’t be evaluated for accuracy. Also, the product being sold is never directly evaluated – only its “active ingredients” – whatever that means. Another staple of these scientific studies is that diet and exercise is always prescribed ALONG with the potion that is being evaluated – thus the 9-12 lbs lost were accomplished via diet, exercise, AND the magical potion. As a simple comparison, a randomized-controlled trial from our lab published back in 2000 showed that men who just went on a caloric-restriction diet (700kcal/day) lost over 16 lbs (in comparison to a control group) during 12 weeks. And it is important to remember that these men received no “supergenius of all smart foods” and even no exercise – they simply cut out some calories.

Now, in all honesty, I could spend the entire day discussing the nonsense on this website, as really there is no shortage of it. I encourage all of you to check out the site for yourselves and comment here on what aspect of the ad you found most entertaining. I would really like for us to have a discussion which includes you – our readers- on these products, so that we can all become smarter consumers and thus less likely to be duped by bogus claims.

I personally like the overlaid video woman, Julie Parks, self-proclaimed“fitness guru”, who talks to you directly about the benefits of AcaiBurn. However, if you are prone to seizures, you may want to avoid this website – the various colours, pictures, graphics, sounds, pop-ups can become overwhelming at times – but it is all part of the fun.

Another favourite is the picture below - that woman is not only buring fat, but she is on fire!

You can also get a free trial of the product by visiting the website – but you have to check if you are eligible – I did the test and was, in fact, eligible (I pretended I was 100lbs overweight.) A bottle of 60 pills of AcaiBurn is also going for about $60 online.

To end off I just wanted to leave you with a key message from an online presentation I just saw given by friend, colleague, and scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network, Dr. Arya Sharma:

“There is no magic cure for obesity; there are only treatments.”

And I’m willing to bet AcaiBurn is not one of the treatments credible physicians would prescribe…

UPDATE: Acai berry scam officially exposed! Read about it here.


Peter

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8 Response to "AcaiBurn: "the world's most extreme weight-loss solution"?"

  1. patrickwanis Said,

    I agree with the statement " There is no magic cure for obesity; there are only treatments".You won't lose all your weight overnight.And yeah, Cluster maps is really a nice widget to find your visitor location.E

    Posted on February 25, 2009 at 12:40 PM

     
  2. ClustrMaps Team Said,

    Hi - many thanks for your enthusiastic use of ClustrMaps!

    We just wanted to 'beam in' to mention that the 'targeted ads' are something we have no direct control over - but since we don't wish to profit inadvertently from the wrong context, and since we enjoyed your comment about looking at your map before your emails, we have just upgraded you to ClustrMaps+ status (no more ads, and better zoomed-in continent maps after the next overnight update).

    Enjoy!!

    -CJ on behalf of the ClustrMaps Team

    Posted on February 25, 2009 at 1:12 PM

     
  3. burn Said,

    i agree with you,..

    Posted on February 25, 2009 at 1:54 PM

     
  4. Travis Saunders, MSc Said,

    I entered a height of 5'7'' with a dangerous (and almost absurd) body weight of 85lbs. And guess what I am also a perfect candidate for weight loss !

    "Based on your goals of moving from 85 lbs to 80 lbs, your height of 5 ' 7 " and the fact you are 25 years of age, you seem like the perfect candidate for one of our remaining weight loss packages with 14-day Trial period."

    That is beyond irresponsible.

    Posted on February 25, 2009 at 4:25 PM

     
  5. Peter Janiszewski, PhD (Cand.), MSc Said,

    Thanks so much to CJ and the ClustrMaps team for the upgrade - it will make my mornings that much more exciting!

    Much appreciated.

    Posted on February 25, 2009 at 5:03 PM

     
  6. Darya Pino Said,

    Peter, excellent article! (Disclaimer: voted for debunking myths ;).

    I think my favorite part you mentioned was the "Neuropeptide Facial Conformer". Neuropepetides, eh? Must be good!!

    I work my *ss off to keep these irresponsible ads of my site, but I notice they are on every single website I go to, which means to me that the have to be making money. So scary!

    Nice debunking!

    Posted on February 25, 2009 at 10:34 PM

     
  7. Peter Janiszewski, PhD (Cand.), MSc Said,

    Thanks for the comment Darya.

    I also find it a bit frustrating that while I am taking the high road and being honest and trying to help others make intelligent decisions regarding various products - I'm not bringing in any profits for doing so, and continue to live the 'graduate student lifestyle.'

    On the other hand, these self-proclaimed gurus with no moral backbone make a killing. Damn them who have no ethics and all the money!

    We will have a very interesting video on Friday which nicely encapsulates these issues.

    Also, just so all are aware - we're not quite finished with AcaiBurn - more to come on next OP podcast.

    Posted on February 25, 2009 at 11:32 PM

     
  8. Anonymous Said,

    The person behind the Acaiburn scam is Jesse Willms of Just Think Media in Canada. There is more info on him and his many other scames here:

    http://www.webcops.net/just_think_media_spam_scams_8001.html
    http://www.pennyauctionwatch.com/2010/05/swipebids-jesse-willms/
    http://strangelyperfect.tv/6568/dangerous-effectivecleanse-and-scams-too/

    Just do a search on Google for: jesse willms scam and you will find plenty more..

    Posted on May 16, 2010 at 10:21 AM

     

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We are PhD students in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Our research focuses on the relationships between obesity, physical activity, and health risk. This blog is our attempt to consider the many "cures" for obesity that we read about on a daily basis. Enjoy.

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The opinions expressed here belong only to Peter and Travis and do not reflect the views of any organization. Any medical discussion on this page is intended to be of a general nature only. This page is not designed to give specific medical advice. If you have a medical problem you should consult your own physician for advice specific to your own situation.

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