Kardashians Face Legal Trouble Over QuickTrim Diet Product
In modern society the concept of celebrity culture is extremely prominent in everyday life, there are pictures sprawled over glossy magazines remarking on how much weight some celebrities have gained or lost.
They also appear on TV talk shows to ensure that their ideas as well as their image are communicated constantly. All of this coverage results in celebrities having a major influence on many people and as such they have a responsibility to uphold moral values and keep themselves away from controversy. However, it occurs all too often that celebrities abuse this coverage and shirk the responsibilities that have been thrust upon them.
In terms of diet and exercise, there are also examples of celebrities taking unadvisable actions to ensure they meet the demands of the role. In the case of male actors this includes the taking of steroids from ‘male health clinics’ in order to gain muscle mass quickly. In the course of a year such actors will show massive fluctuations in weight causing inevitable health problems in the long term.
In the case of female actors this includes taking drastic action to lose weight as quickly as possible such as starvation diets. The focus of this article is specifically about celebrity endorsements, you would hope that celebrities would endorse a product because it is genuinely helpful rather than just a ploy to gain some publicity.
This does not seem to be the case with Kim and Khloe Kardashian and their endorsement of QuickTrim. Kim Kardashian caused a stir by claiming she lost fifteen pounds in a matter of weeks, however within the exercise field it is advised that optimum weight loss should be between one and three pounds per week. Any additional weight lost will be lean muscle mass which results in a sluggish metabolism and actually increases the proportion of fat. Certainly to lose fifteen pounds in a matter of weeks is very dangerous at best.
However the majority of people who take diet pills are often not entirely aware of the relationship between diet and weight loss, especially those who take advice from the Kardashians perhaps and this could be substantial considering Kim Kardashian has upwards of 13 million twitter followers.
The pair faces a pending law suit as the QuickTrim product contains large amounts of caffeine which is harmful as excessive intake has the potential to promote heart attacks. It would be unfair to claim that the Kardashians were aware that the product was potentially dangerous; it is probably more likely that the pair failed to adequately research what they were endorsing.
What is QuickTrim?
The QuickTrim website claims to rid the body of excess water weight, belly bloating and intestinal bulk. As with the majority of diet products it advises the product should be taken in conjunction with a low calorie diet and regular exercise which immediately puts into question the effectiveness of the product.
The product also advises that people should avoid grains and protein completely, this advice is poor at best. A previous article on this site examined the main ingredients to avoid and explained that whole grains are in fact very beneficial; therefore to avoid all grains is foolish.
Avoiding protein is also inadvisable, this is because protein is used to build lean muscle mass which will in turn increase the speed of your metabolism and will assist with extra weight loss even when you are not exercising. The product is currently retailing in over 25,000 stores across the United States but could be taken off the shelves entirely based upon the outcome of this lawsuit.
A total of four plaintiffs are suing both the Kardashian sisters and QuickTrim for a total of $5 million dollars which is approximately the total earnings of Kim Kardashian per calendar year (forbes.com). The law firm Burton and Fisher are representing the plaintiffs but the lawsuit requires certification from a judge in order for it to include additional plaintiffs or to potentially become a class action lawsuit.
The plaintiffs argue that the claims made by the QuickTrim product were ‘false, misleading and unsubstantiated.’ Additionally, the active ingredients of the product showed no ‘competent or reliable scientific evidence to support the advertised claims’. At the time of writing this article, representatives for both the Kardashian sisters and QuickTrim are unwilling to comment at this stage although the Kardashians have sought to distance themselves from their own endorsement.
What are the effects of caffeine intake?
Caffeine is classed as a stimulant, this means that it increases activity within the brain and makes you feel more alert and energised. Once ingested, caffeine is rapidly absorbed into the body through the stomach lining and within about 45 minutes is present in the bloodstream. It is metabolised in the liver and spread out across the body in equal proportions.
The effects of caffeine are generally thought to last up to four hours but in pregnant women this figure can double. The effects of caffeine itself is a double edged sword, that is to say there are just as many negatives associated with caffeine as there are positives. Benefits of caffeine ingestion are increased alertness, clearer cognitive ability and better co-ordination. However when more than two grams of caffeine are ingested there can be complications such as restlessness, a loss of complex motor control, insomnia, tremors and irregular breathing patterns.
At doses greater than 12 grams there is a significant probability of heart attacks especially if taken over a sustained period of time (Fredholm et al, 1999). Caffeine is also an addictive substance as withdrawal symptoms and physical cravings have been recorded on a regular basis in studies examining addictive personalities.
However, a study conducted by (Pasman et al, 1995) examining the effect of caffeine in a cycling endurance test indicated that consuming a carefully calculated dose of caffeine improved performance with caffeine increasing aerobic performance by a mean of fifteen minutes.
Additionally, the athletes who ingested caffeine burnt a higher proportion of fat in relation to carbohydrate than the group who ingested no caffeine. Therefore when caffeine ingestion is carefully controlled there is the potential for benefits to take place. But as the makers of QuickTrim refuse to divulge the exact content of caffeine there product contains, there remains a suspicion that the caffeine content is dangerously high and the product should be considered a health risk. You can understand then why a lack of some straightforward research by the Kardashian sisters has resulted in them being in a spot of trouble.
An additional aspect of the product is its reliance on herbal ingredients that are known for the laxative properties that they possess. As Quicktrim is packed with these stimulant laxatives it can cause regular intestinal function to become dependent on them therefore when they are removed serious and prolonged constipation may occur (Wald, 2003).
Why are there claims this product doesn’t work?
Essentially this product follows the general rule of most diet pills which is that they fundamentally do not work in the long term. It is granted that the product may work on a short term basis but the problem lies in the whole psychology surrounding diet pills.
For a start, diet pills are not a valid long term weight loss solution as excessive exposure can often result in health complications with sometimes fatal consequences. Therefore they are advertised as short term fixes for a problem, perhaps encouraged by such promises consumers often want to lose weight for a specific time period such as a summer beach body for example.
Therefore they will take the course of the diet pill (usually 60-90 tablets) and then stop taking them once the course has ended. This is where the problem lies, consumers take the diet pill as an easy way out and so no fundamental diet behaviour change has taken place, therefore when the course has finished the consumer puts all the weight back on again and claims that the diet didn’t work. It is unclear whether the fault should lie with the consumer wanting to look good for a specific time period rather than all year round or lie with the diet pill product for offering an easy way out in the first place.
This is where celebrities once again set a bad example; you will often see articles in magazines describing how to lose weight for beach season such as seeing pictures of bikini clad women who were carrying more weight around them earlier in the year. On the male side you may see articles outlining how to get ‘shredded for the optimal beach body’ or something with a similar theme. People actively follow such celebrities and want to emulate what they have instead of focusing on their own development.
As the makers of QuickTrim refuse to divulge the exact caffeine content of their product, it can be assumed that it is fairly high and thus dangerous to consume, combined with the high laxative content this product is not advised regardless of any endorsement, especially from a non-health and fitness professional.
It can almost be guaranteed that this case will not be the last and celebrity endorsement of diet pills will not ever share a happy relationship. The exact outcome of this case cannot be known at this time nor accurately predicted but what is evident is that the Kardashians have not researched what they are endorsing.
It is as if weight loss has been treated as the be all and end all and that the method is irrelevant as long as the superficial outcome is met. There is a need to fundamentally change the approach to dieting to ensure that the effects are seen long after the courses of pills have been completed. This can only occur with actual behaviour change and not reliance on artificial diet remedies.
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