blogger Roni Noone knows very well. It took her 12 months to drop 70 pounds and, as she writes on her blog chronicling her weight loss and her effort to get off the yo-yo dieting cycle, "It was frickin' hard and sometimes I was HUNGRY but I kept at it."Wouldn't it be incredible if "fat melted off like butter" without diet or exercise? And all it took was just popping a natural daily supplement or two? Unfortunately, that's not how it works, as
So Noone says she was surprised to spot her actual before and after photographs that she had posted on her blog — taken exactly one year apart — being used as a Facebook ad for supplements called "Garcinia Cambogia XT" and "Natural Cleanse Plus," which claimed that the pictures were taken over the course of just 30 days and that "New York blogger Jess" had lost nearly 30 pounds over five weeks while taking both pills.
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The ad, which is designed to look like an article in a women's magazine, even includes fake quotes attributed to Noone. The copy reads: "In the story on her blog she states, 'I couldn't believe how easy it was. I didn't change my diet or my daily routine, but the fat melted off like it [sic] butter. I love this stuff. Finally a diet that just works!" The website says it will send you a free sample of the supplements — but only after you provide your name, address, phone number, email, and credit card information.
"These companies have no shame," Noone told Yahoo! Shine. "They swipe a photo and claim that the person used their pill or device." As a full-time blogger who has been writing about weight loss and health-related issues for eight years, she's accustomed to sending out copyright violation notices. She contacted the company, which runs multiple websites that appear to be women's health and fitness magazines, through a Facebook fan page. While she received no response, she said she noticed the photo was taken down — and quickly replaced by similar before and after shots from another popular blogger, who has also written about her own weight-loss journey. The name and photos were changed, but otherwise, the copy and format remained exactly the same.
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As of Wednesday morning, Noone's photo is back up on one of the websites. A representative of the company selling the product did not respond to Yahoo! Shine's request for a comment. (And that's putting it mildly. In fact, the person who answered hung up on this reporter's phone call.)
Garcina cambogia extract is derived from a plant called Malabar tamarind or bridleberry, and is used for medicinal purposes in Indonesia. While it has been touted by Dr. Oz as an effective supplement, the National Cancer Institute reports that study results are mixed and that there is no conclusive evidence of its safety for human consumption.
Noone said that she hopes her story will make people more skeptical about using "miracle" weight-loss products. "Not only are people being duped by the photos, but they are taking a supplement with who knows what ingredients."
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