In the category of Quelle Surprise… extreme photos are not as they seem.
Many weight-loss ads draw you in with dramatic “before-and-after photos” of real people. But the truth behind some of those ads is surprising.
One such ad, for Wu-Yi Source Tea, claimed to promote weight loss with glowing testimonials from customers. It said one user of the product lost “68 lbs.” and offered her photos as proof.
TODAY spoke to Brook Shadwell, who was named and quoted in the ad as saying, “Wu-Yi Tea is the only one I would have used. I’m extremely happy with the results. Looks like I’ll be drinking tea now.” The ad is “completely false,” according to Shadwell.
“I didn’t even drink the tea,” Shadwell said. “I haven’t even tried the tea. I don’t even know what this tea is!”
“They took my image from my blog and pulled it to promote their product,” Shadwell told TODAY. “I was completely shocked; that’s how I felt initially, very shocked.”
One woman’s “shrinking” figure has appeared in many ads under many different names: “Jenny Conrad,” “Nicole Stevenson,” “Kathy Thompson.” The truth is, she’s a plus-size model from Germany whose image is for sale on stock photo sites. And the “after” shots of her are Photoshopped to make her look thinner.
Brook Shadwell’s pictures were real but she lost weight via exercising and dieting, not a “miracle” weight loss product. Stealing photos off of blogs is really low-down dirty stuff.
A personal trainer quoted in the story showed other tricks used to manipulate pictures – slouching, letting your gut hang out, not shaving for the before pic. Then, he notes, the after pic is posed to be far more flattering – a shaved chest, slicked hair, slimmer clothes, flattery lighting and poses.
The Federal Trade Commission says weight-loss products are one of the most-reported frauds.
Video from Rossen Reports on Today.com