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Weight-Loss Ring

I received in the mail a catalog of household goods and trinkets. The cover had an advertisement for a "weight-loss ring" that is claimed to target weight loss in specific problem areas such as the tummy, hips or buttocks. The adjustable ring is supposed to work on the principle of acupressure. The ad claims that the Japanese apply pressure on different fingers to target weight loss in specific areas. This miraculous ring costs only $3.99!

P.T. Barnum, the 19th century American circus entertainer, said "There's a Sucker Born Every Minute". His incisive bit of wisdom is still true in the 21st century. If you believe that you can lose weight by putting on a ring, and that it does not matter how much you eat, then you are a sucker. If you believe that you can lose weight in specific areas, then you are misinformed. Weight loss cannot be targeted.

The advertisement is selling a dream. Many people will pay $3.99 on the chance that the ring might work. The amount of money is small enough that customers will not complain if it does not work. The effort to try to get a refund will cost more than the ring itself, so probably none will be returned. The manufacturer makes a profit of about 1,500%, since a little piece of twisted wire that costs $0.25 can be sold for $3.99. Good business!

This is clearly a scam. Why doesn't a government agency stop it? The answer is that it is not clear which agency would have jurisdiction. The Food and Drug administration cannot do it because the ring is not a food or a drug. The Consumer Protection Agency probably will not get involved unless someone is injured. So the consumers are left to fend for themselves.

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© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora