Remember the abdominizer? NY Times explores the yet to be proven claims of fitness products

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Remember the abdominizer? NY Times explores the yet to be proven claims of fitness products Many of us have heard the late night pitch of the latest fitness product. Sometimes it could be had for as little as three monthly payments of just $19.99. Many of these products have actresses or actors who are undoubtedly well built and in shape showing how to use the equipment. Unfortunately, most of these products never live up to the hype and are usually found at someones garage sale. Other products claim to produce weight loss, sometimes with bad side effects. Yet others like wrist bands are harmless but offer unsubstantiated health claims. Check the article out here
In a recent survey of the performance-enhancing claims made for dozens of fitness products, researchers found not a single one that could be supported by rigorous scientific research. Moreover, the few fitness products that have been thoroughly evaluated appear to have no effect on strength, endurance, speed or reduced muscle fatigue. "All the companies say they've got a scientific basis for these products," said the senior author, Dr. Matthew Thompson, a senior clinical scientist at the University of Oxford. "That sounds good until you look at it with an objective scientific point of view." Dr. Thompson and his colleagues examined advertising for sports drinks, oral supplements, footwear, clothing and devices like wrist bands and compression stockings in 100 general-interest magazines and the top 10 sports and fitness magazines in Britain and the United States. The researchers excluded bodybuilding magazines and advertisements for weight loss, skin or beauty products, and equipment like bicycles and exercise machines. The researchers also examined Web sites for any products making claims of enhanced performance or recovery, collecting all references made by manufacturers to studies supporting their claims. Then they assessed the studies, giving the highest quality rating to systematic reviews of randomized trials, second rank to individual randomized trials, third to nonrandomized studies, and the lowest ranking to expert opinion and animal studies. The researchers examined 615 sports advertisements in magazines. Of these, 54 contained claims that the product enhanced performance, but only three offered references. The 53 Web sites they examined contained 141 references.