|Yeah! I am in the active arm of the study! Now I Can Eat All The Crap in The World and Still Lose Weight!|
dietary self-regulation." I mean, don't we all know someone who succumbed to the psychological
liberation when he or she was using a weight-loss supplement? Yes, we do!
Is it any wonder that weight loss pills suck, if the experiment Yevvon Y. Chang and Wen-Bin Chiou conducted confirmed what we expected altogether?
After consuming a purported weight loss pill, the 70 young women who had been recruited for the experiment and were randomized to receive a pill of which half of them was told ...
- "the test pill will help you to attain weight loss" - active arm of the study
- "the test pill is a placebo that will be used in a future study" - placebo arm
"The food in this buffet, which remained consistent over the course of the experiment, consisted of six healthy items (e.g., fruit, salad with Japanese dressing, vegetable pizza, steamed bean cu steamed fish, and sugar-free green tea) and six less healthy items (e.g., chocolate cookies, French fries, fried chicken, cheeseburgers, soda, and custard). Healthy and less healthy items were identified by two nutritionists blind to the purposes of the experiment." (Chang. 2014)Other than you may have expected, the "heavier" ladies neither ate more, nor less healthy foods. What did have an impact on the number of food items and, more importantly, the type of food (healthy vs. unhealthy) the young women ate was the message the message they'd received, when they had taken the weight loss pill.
|Figure 1: Relative differences in total, unhealthy and healthy food intake in subjects who believed that they consumed the weight loss pill; data expressed relative to control group (Chang. 2014)|
Based on a previous analysis of the participants general attitude towards weight loss supplements, the scientists were also able to determine that the "now you can eat all the crap in the world and still lose weight" effect was more pronounced in those young ladies with a positive attitude towards weight loss pills and a firm believe in their efficacy.
- Chang, Yevvon Y., and Wen-Bin Chiou. "The Liberating Effect of Weight-Loss Supplements on Dietary Control: A Field Experiment." Nutrition (2014).