Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How About Some Snake Oil?

M and I stumbled upon the infomercial for the Ab Circle Pro the other night and had a good laugh. Although the commercial itself is slickly produced -- it even features CGI! -- its claims are ridiculously overstated. "Lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks GUARANTEED!" in "just 3 minutes a day!" the announcer shouts.

Really? All I have to do is move my knees from side to side for a grand total of less than 45 minutes over a two-week span and I'll shed ten pounds? 

Yes -- or so the infomercial would have you believe. After all, the Ab Circle Pro uses "Circle Force Technology" to "burn fat faster than a treadmill!" And how do we know this? Because the infomercial deploys thermal fucking imaging to demonstrate that a guy on the Ab Circle Pro glows orangey-red, while a guy on a treadmill only emits a dim, green hue. That's how, motherfuckers!

Regardless of well-reasoned, critical reviews (and good old fashioned common sense), people are evidently shelling out big bucks for this contraption.
And the Ab Circle Pro isn't the only offender. There are tons of fitness infomercials promising effortless, miraculous results ("Melt the pounds off in just 10 minutes a day -- without breaking a sweat!"). According to this site -- which offers reviews of numerous fitness products sold via infomercial -- most of this stuff is utter crap.

(The site does indicate that P90X is one of the better products offered by direct marketers, along with ChaLEAN Extreme -- but it's because these programs don't promise effortless, overnight changes in body composition and fitness level. Unless you're willing to throw yourselves into your workouts with intensity and commitment, you won't see the results shown on the infomercials.)

God, I can't wait until the site reviews Shake Weights.