The article by Julie Deardorff and Karissa King “Chicago doctor’s research fails federal smell test” (Health, Jan. 9) reveals that Sensa and other marketers of fad weight-loss products have settled charges of false and deceptive advertising based upon unsubstantiated claims. 

When I was a 360-pound man, I desired to lose weight. And I wanted to do it with little or no effort on my part. It has taken me a very long time to understand that there is more to losing weight than just the physical process of dropping it. You have to understand the cause of your emotional relationship with food — past, present and future.

Unfortunately there is a $4.5 billion dollar weight-loss industry that wants you to believe that it is easy to lose weight by taking a pill or sprinkling or smearing something on your food. Why should we be surprised by this?  After all, we are the ones throwing hard earned money at this industry based on a promise and a prayer. The advantage for the industry is that vast majority of people fail and gain the weight back. Those people then vow to try again, and the cycle repeats.

It’s interesting that our justice system throws people in jail for misleading others when it comes to investing or financial fraud. The federal government has rules and regulations protecting banking and food production, yet we have an entire industry that preys on people who desperately want to lose weight but struggle to do so.  What should we do?

We could ban all such products. We could shutdown any company that’s product fails to show meaningful results. But this will never work.

There is a 99-percent failure rate of diet and weight loss plans over the long term. The weight loss industry is a $4.5 billion dollar industry built on your hopes and dreams, filled with countless companies clamoring to be the next quick fix.  You will never lose weight if you are looking for the quick fix. 

Real, sustainable weight loss cannot does not come from a bottle, a website or an infomercial. It certainly does not come in nice boxes with skinny women or buff men on the packages.  To lose weight, one must adopt healthy eating practices and exercise. A person must gain control of what he or she does, thinks and eats.

— Patrick Antos, Hawthorn Woods, Ill.

In 2008, Antos lost 180 pounds in nine months through diet and exercise alone, and has maintained that weight loss for over five years.