[from weight watchers diet myth book]
For every one of the myths and gimmicks about foods, supplements,
and food timing and combining discussed in this chapter, there are a
dozen more being promoted. These myths are so prevalent because
each has a kernel of truth—a small part of the myth based on science.
It is the fantastic story that gets wrapped up with the truth that creates
a myth rather than a valid, long-lasting way to lose weight.
The placebo effect happens when a person believes that there is a
direct cause-and-effect relationship between two things even if it does
not exist. Because the person believes in the relationship, however, his
or her behavior changes in a way that produces the anticipated effect.
Rigorous scientific studies include a placebo group and a group that
is actually getting the treatment. This is the only valid way to ensure
that it is the treatment and not the placebo that is producing the effect.
Many promising treatments in the area of weight loss lose their luster
when they are evaluated in a rigorous scientific study that includes a
placebo group. For example, acupuncture is often touted as a weightloss
treatment. When tested against a placebo, however, it has been
shown to be ineffective.The same has been shown for subliminal tapes
to induce weight loss.