The Helen Miller Acai Berry Diet Scam

While you can find numerous online articles listing general weight loss tips that have the byline of Helen Miller, the articles encourage you to visit other websites, which either no longer exist or are apparently fraudulent.  Whether there’s ever actually been a real diet associated with a real person named Helen Miller is unlikely.  The so-called Helen Miller diet appears to be the creation of scam marketers.The name Helen Miller is part of a sales pitch for acai berry products.  Various blogs and product review websites feature testimonials from various individuals, including Helen Miller.  Through the miracles of computer programming, Miller’s place of residence changes to match the location of the individual viewing the website.  These websites offer free samples but require the customer to provide a credit card number for a shipping charge.  Complaints have been made about exorbitant shipping charges and products never arriving.An online notice from the Better Business Bureau, dated May 2, 2011, warns consumers about fake news announcements offering free acai berry diet products.  The announcements are published on websites that look like they represent reputable news organizations, such as Fox News and ABC.  The websites claim that these supplements cause significant weight loss without diet or exercise.  A nationwide law enforcement initiative is cracking down on these operations, according to the BBB.

Acai berry supplements, even from reputable companies, are not necessarily going to help you lose weight.  While supplement manufacturers market acai products as useful for weight loss, obesity, high cholesterol, detoxification and even erectile dysfunction, research is lacking to support the effectiveness of acai for any health purposes, according to U.S. National Library of Medicine website MedlinePlus.  These berries do have a high level of antioxidants; antioxidants may help protect against aging and disease.

Weight loss articles with the Helen Miller byline that link to defunct websites generally list common recommendations for dieting, with no magic bullets.  Count calories, eat fewer calories than you burn off, avoid eating too much too often, and avoid eating so few calories that you disrupt your metabolism.  In addition, exercise regularly, and don’t set your expectations too high for fast weight loss results.

It’s an old marketing/rhetorical tool; tell an audience a great volume of general truths that they can accept, then sneak in a concept like acai berry being a magic bullet for weight loss. Based on some of the sales figures that have been reported for these supplements, if they really were the super pills they’re sometimes made out to be there would be a lot more fit looking people walking the streets.

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