How Should I Choose a Weight Loss Clinic?
This is a frequently asked question. If your goal is to have your weight problem viewed as a serious metabolic problem and not a sales opportunity, here is what you should know:
Seek A Medical Referral
Ask your family doctor or the county medical society (HCMA.net for Hillsborough County, including Tampa, FL) to refer you to a specialist in weight management and eating disorders. They should have the Weight-Loss Consumer Bill of Rights posted in every clinic room so clients can see it.
Trust Your Intuition
Does the doctor at the weight loss clinic appear interested, personable, and honest when meeting you?
Ask About Return Visits
Find out if your return visits will be with the doctor personally. If the answer is, “Oh yes, you can request to see the doctor whenever you’d like,” that means you will instead be seen by an assistant in a scrub suit first, who is likely a commissioned vitamin salesperson.
Look For A Complete List Of Fees
Florida law requires that weight loss fees, including all extra products, be disclosed before you start. Avoid clinics that ignore this rule and, after you arrive, pressure you to buy nonsense “pharmaceutically fresh” or “medical-grade” supplements, injections, or ordinary calcium tablets. This is the equivalent of selling undercoating for a new car. Some clinics will bill excessive lab fees to your insurance, and the deductable bill or denial will arrive months later. Why are they asking for your insurance card if the clinic is self-pay? Don’t fall for any of this.
Use Good Sense And Avoid These Weight Loss Scams:
- B-12 Shots: sold to pep you up while dieting: “A sign of poor judgment, greed, or both.” – QuackWatch.org
- HCG Shots: “Worthless as a weight-loss aid.” – DietScam.org
- Calcium Pyruvate for weight loss: “Blatantly false.” – Pyruvate: Comprehensive Review 97-07, 13 references
- Fat-loss Injections: “Cease and desist order” – issued by FDA Bulletin 4/2010. This in addition to the 2005 FDA warning that vitamin shots contain toxic aluminum.
- 500-Calorie Diets: “Likely loss of protein from vital organs.” – DietScam.org
- DNA-based Diets: “A rip off…designed to sell $35 worth of vitamins for $1800.” – U.S. Congressional investigation, GAO
Remember: There are no FDA approved “shots” for weight loss. See our page on B-12 and other injections to learn more. The FDA also provides a video on weight loss fraud.