Live

Watch CBSN Live

Eat All You Want And Burn Fat?

With bathing-suit weather just around the corner, consumers might be interested in some new weight-loss pills that promise to let you eat all you want, and still shed those excess pounds.

CBS This Morning Consumer Correspondent, Herb Weisbaum puts the Enforma diet program to the test.


Maybe you've heard about the Enforma System. The ads are on TV all the time. And they're mighty convincing. Lose all the weight you want, they say, without watching what you eat. Now that's my kind of weight-loss program. But is this miracle diet for real or are we talking trash here?

Former baseball player Steve Garvey is pitching this amazing diet proogram.

"With Enforma, you eat what you want and never, ever, ever, ever, ever have to diet again."

That's right. You can look skinny and eat all you want- chicken, burgers, frieslots of butter. Of course, to do that, you would gladly pay $70.

So just what is the Enforma System? Two bottles of nutritional supplements-- the "Fat Trapper" and "Exercise In A Bottle."

"All-natural Exercise in a Bottle can actually increase your metabolism at the cellular level. And burn off the fat already in your body, " says the infomercial.

"It's ridiculous." says Richard Cotton and he knows a lot about exercise.

He's the chief physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. He says a pill could never take the place of working out.

"There's no way that I could see a pill could give you actual exercise. Because you have to move your body to get actual exercise," Richard Cotton says.

OK. But who cares about exercise when those pounds are melting away. That's what these "Fat Trapper" pills are supposed to do - flush the fat away - up to 120 grams of fat per day! The infomercial makes it sound so simple, so scientific.

"When you eat fat, the fiber surrounds and binds the excess fat and prevents your body from storing it," says the infomercial.

"That is completely unrealistic," states, Dr. David Allison, an obesity expert at New York's St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital.

The docor says, if you're gonna overeat, you're going to pay the price.

"And it doesn't matter what compounds they're giving you. You cannot eat an unlimited amount of food and still lose weight," Dr. Allison says.

The active ingredient in these Fat Trapper pills is something called Chitosan.

David Schardt, a nutritionist with the Center for Science in the Public Interest knows a lot about Chitosan. And he says there's no proof it can absorb anywhere near as much fat as the ads claim.

"Those numbers are based on test-tube experiments in the lab. It's never been tested directly on humans to see if that's the case," says Schardt. "The best information we have is from animals, and in animals it just doesn't work that well."

Bottom line, modern science has come a long way, but your body till works the same way.

You've got to do the work if you want to lose the weight.

There's one more thing that comes with the Enforma System, a booklet. Remember the infomercial says these pills let you lose weight without exercise, while eating anything you want. So what's in the booklet? Lots of reminders to get plenty of exercise and menus for a very low-fat diet. I'll hang onto the booklet. But these pills - the Fat Trapper and Exercise in a Bottle- are going into the trash!


Click here for Part One of this series.

Click here for Part Two of this series.

©1999, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.