We have to make an effort to get the full picture, especially when marketers don’t want us to have it. Most of us have seen the NordicTrack ads on TV where Jane lost 20 pounds and we can, too. Few of us have read the fine print in the footnotes. The information there is legally mandated by regulators, and so companies comply, but minimally. The font is deliberately tiny and dense, like the footnotes we see on all the personal-injury lawyer ads. The footnotes to one ad say “she participated in a 12-week study during which she received complimentary meals, an iFit Coach membership, and a discount on the purchase of a NordicTrack Incline Trainer.”
All study participants were required to follow a strict nutritionist-prescribed diet.
The people in the ads got twelve weeks of free meals specifically formulated for dieting. Anyone who understands weight loss knows that diet contributes far more to weight loss than exercise. This includes the people over at NordicTrack.
They were also required to exercise under the supervision of a full-time coach.
People who exercise to lose weight are likelier to stick to a regimen when they have a full-time coach there to monitor, challenge, and encourage.
Study participants were highly committed.
Marketers knew that when people got 252 free meals, they would feel obliged to complete the program successfully. And when they were given a free personal coach for 12 weeks, they would feel even more obligated.
Informed people know that diet is responsible for 80% of weight loss while exercise accounts for only 20%.
Because the NordicTrack Incline Trainer you buy does not come with 252 free diet-specific meals or 12 weeks with a free personal trainer, you’re not likely to be one of those who loses 20 pounds.
As a matter of fact, the chances are very good that you won’t lose any weight at all.