Subscribe to Obesity Panacea
Subscribe to Obesity Panacea
Subscribe to Obesity Panacea by mail

OSIM uKimono: Fat Loss Gimmick

Friday, November 27, 2009 Posted by Peter Janiszewski, PhD

It is simply stunning how many utterly useless products are manufactured and marketed for purposes of “fat burning” and “muscle sculpting.”

Just over a year ago I discussed the ridiculous claims made regarding the Slender Shaper, basically a vibrating belt you place around your mid-section which ““helps 'melt' away unwanted fat and build muscles without exercising.”

Yup – complete nonsense.

Based on the recent launch of the OSIM uKimono (from the makers of many other gimmicks such as the uGallop), it turns out that the market for silly fat loss gimmicks is much more competitive than I expected.

What is the OSIM uKimono, you ask?

Basically…it’s the Slender Shaper, but it comes in a variety of snazzy designs.

Yeah, because that’s where the Slender Shaper really failed – in aesthetics.

According to the manufacturer, the OSIM uKimono:

“breaks down fatty tissue in the tummy, butt and thighs, tighten muscles and create a perfectly trimmed body.”

Now just in case you were rightly skeptical of the ability of some vibrating belt to actually induce localized fat loss, the makers of OSIM uKimono even fetched themselves an endorsement from an emeritus MD, Dr. Koto Takayoshi who states:

"uKimono's combination of Twin Power Osimotion and Double Kneading massage helps to break down fatty tissue, enabling the effective and efficient burning of fat."

In terms of scientific validity and physiological plausibility, the above statement is simply a non sequitur (latin for “does not follow” or nonsense).

As I had previously argued, fat does not “melt away” or “burn” but rather individual adipose tissue (fat) cells reduce in size (but not number) by liberating their stores of triglycerides in the form of glycerol and free-fatty acids - a process called lipolysis. These liberated products are then used to provide energy for the metabolic machinery of one tissue or another.The only way to actually reduce the amount of fat tissue one carries is through a caloric deficit – as induced by either decreasing food intake or increasing energy expenditure. Given that the passive movement of subcutaneous fat accomplished by the OSIM uKimono is just that – passive (not requiring any actual muscle activity), it is unlikely to lead to significant energy expenditure – a prerequisite for fat loss.

Also, the claim that this will somehow lead to building muscle really boggles the mind. Muscles are stimulated to hypertrophy in response to overloading – as is done in resistance training with weights, elastic bands, calisthenics, and others. Even if the muscles are mildly engaged in an antagonistic manner to oppose the vibration of the OSIM uKimono, this stimulus would be so small to have little chance of actually building any muscle.

But the makers of OSIM uKimono don’t stop there – plenty more nonsense is used in an attempt to dupe the naïve consumer into buying this gimmick.

Here are some purported benefits of using the OSIM uKimono:

“Knock out the fats in problem areas for slimming effect.”

- Nope, it certainly does not. The notion of spot reducing fat mass has no scientific validity – fat is lost from everywhere, when in caloric deficit.

“Double up as a massager to improve circulation of blood & prevent built up of fat cells & cellulite.”

- I’ll give them the massager part, but preventing build-up of fat cells – that makes absolutely no sense!?!?!?

“Perfect for "lazy" / time-poor users. No fancy diets to follow. No tough-to execute/tiring exercise regime.Perfect for those are inactive due to other health reasons. Time-efficient as users can use it while watching TV, reading a magazine, or surfing the Internet.”

- Of course a gimmick ad would not be complete without the propaganda against things that actually would help the consumer – like an alteration in lifestyle – including changes in diet, physical activity patterns, and a reduction in sedentary behaviours – such as watching TV.

“Fashionable, Fun, Chic, Stylish. Available in 3 chic, contemporary colours (purple, orange and red) to let you knock out your fats in style.”

- Fashionable? FAIL
- Fun? FAIL
- Chic? FAIL
- Stylish? FAIL
- “Knocking out fats”? Absurd FAIL

Check out the sweet video advert for the OSIM uKimono below – you don’t need to understand the Cantonese to get a good chuckle (email subscribers must log onto Obesity Panacea to view).

Do you, or someone you know own a Slender Shaper or the OSIM uKimono? Please share your thoughts or concerns with this product in by posting a comment.


Please visit our online store for health and fitness products that we recommend.

Enjoyed this story? Share it with your friends by clicking the buttons below!

Twitter Facebook Digg It! Stumble Delicious Technorati

To get future posts delivered directly to your email inbox or to your RSS reader, be sure to subscribe to Obesity Panacea.
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Response to "OSIM uKimono: Fat Loss Gimmick"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    I find very interesting your comment about Osim. Actually, I wanted to buy one, thinking it is useful. but now i 've changed my mind.
    What about the electrostimulation like Mini burner by Funaica Digital Tens (Taiwan)

    It looks like better than Osim. but I would like to know your pinion about this product.

    Posted on April 12, 2010 at 7:32 AM

  2. Carl Boniface Said,

    Yeah I bought one, so I must be a moron. On the other hand I’m fat although a regular exercise guy with a positive attitude. Yes, scientifically you hit the right notes, and yes the last thing I want to believe is that you are making sense, but in theory you are.

    What I will say is this; I have lower back ache because my bed is a Tempur mattress, and although contrary to what many believe and scientific studies find, it doesn’t work for me. I cannot explain it, but every time I get off it I feel lower back sensitivity, and uKimono by Osim is definitely relieving it after 10 minutes use. My wife is obsessed by the mattress, so I have had to put up with it to avoid discussions, plus after spending £1,800 and having it changed once for a brand new one it seems ridiculous to throw it out. Sometimes one has to find the best from the worst.

    I also use uKimono to reduce tummy flab, and for sure it is obvious that a reduced calorie diet is essential to have any affect. The massage and the kneading is certainly comforting and even though it’s early days, mentally it is making me sculptured. It acts as a spring board to bounce me back into shape.

    Sometimes you need to change your lifestyle like you say and that means making positive changes that can reflect optimal outcomes.

    Posted on June 4, 2010 at 5:47 PM


Blog Archive

Recent Posts

Peter's Travel Adventures on PhD Nomads

About Us

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.


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.

Donate To Obesity Panacea