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Tons of Weight-Loss Ads Show Fake Before/After Photos: Report

What woman doesn’t love a good before and after picture? Unfortunately, weight-loss companies know that—and many are using faked photos to try to rob you of your money and even your health, reveals a new exposé by the TODAY Show.

Sure, we’ve all had those “it must be too good to be true” thoughts when confronted with weight-loss pop-up ads and late-night infomercials. But according to TODAY, these fraudulent weight-loss advertisements are way more prevalent than you may have realized—and they make up one of the most-reported frauds in the country, according the Federal Trade Commission.

So how do these companies fudge their facts? In TODAY’s review of several popular weight-loss products, companies had gone so far as to steal women’s photos off of their personal blogs and make up their weight-loss success captions—of course, crediting their products with the results.

Even Women’s Health has had its likeliness and copyrighted materials used illegally to promote diet pills. Last year, an Internet scam claimed WH endorsed a whole bevy of weight-loss pills and supplements. And in this case, some of the pills weren’t just ineffective; they were downright dangerous. (Learn more about the health risks of garcinia cambogia extract pills.)

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Meanwhile, another “shrinking” figure that has shown up in advertisements for various weight-loss products is actually a stock photo of a plus-sized woman. Weight-loss companies use her photo as-is for the “before” and then Photoshop it for her "after" picture.

While many diet ads don’t go to such extremes to sell their products, the industry is still full of tricks to make minimal weight loss look radical, according to the report.

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Someone's posture, hair, wardrobe, and even the lighting they are under can make the difference between a so-called “fat” and “skinny” picture.

Want to see some REAL before/after pics? Check out these readers' weight-loss success stories and get tips on losing weight the healthy way.

MORE: 6 Signs Your Diet Is Too Extreme


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