Women’s Shapewear Can ‘Melt Away’ Fat; Doctor Says ‘Ludicrous’

NEWS FLASH! A new women’s underwear is available that not only lifts and compresses (so you look tight and toned in that slinky dress you’ve been eyeing), but it also melts away the fat in the process, eventually giving you a real life slim and trim body.

That’s what South Australian company Brazcomm Imports say their Scala Shapewear undergarments can do. The company claims the underwear contains “ActiveBioCrystals” that “emit Far Infra Red” energy rays. And ads state the rays “kick-start what is known as the BioPromise effect,” which can supposedly reduce signs of cellulite and “melt fat away.” Here’s an image from the company explaining how it works:

Too good to be true? Dr. Ken Harvey, an adjunct associate professor of public health at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia says, “It’s classic pseudoscience with words that look like they might mean something. It’s ludicrous.” As for the “BioPromise,” “Biocrystals” and “Far Infra Red Rays,” Dr. Harvey said, “None of this stuff has ever been written about scientifically. It’s clearly pseudoscience designed to give an extra sales gimmick.”

Dr Harvey complained about the marketing copy to the Therapeutic Products Advertising Complaints resolution panel in Australia, and they’re reviewing the matter. He claims the ads contain statements that cannot be verified, are likely to mislead, and exploit consumers’ lack of knowledge.

In response,  Brazcomm imports hauled out their managing director Dr. Tim Nielsen, who has a PhD in biochemistry. He says terms like “ActiveBiocrystals” are simply used for marketing purposes, but that there is scientific proof the infra red energy ray reduced cellulite and reduced “swelling and measurements.” Indeed, he produced five journal articles for Australian website news.com.au that he believes justify the science of the product.

“(Those terms) are our way of marketing the product,” he said. “We market the goods as improving appearance. We promote the product for its cosmetic benefits only and have never promoted it for any kind of therapeutic or disease-treating use.”

That said, he adds that the company has stopped using the claim that the product “melts away” fat since June 2012. However, “The term ‘fat melts away’ is clearly a marketing term … We do not believe that the average consumer would interpret this phrase as meaning the product literally melts fat.”

Dr Nielsen added that Brazcomm received expert legal advice to ensure its advertising reports only made cosmetic, not therapeutic claims.

But even with all this news buzzing about, more than 500,000 sets of the items have been sold in Australia alone — but it’s also available internationally online and has been sold in the United Kingdom and other countries. He believes that popularity is a testament to its effectiveness.

The Therapeutic Products Advertising Complaints resolution panel is currently reviewing the allegations. Brazcomm Imports has until the end of this month to deliver its own formal response to the complaint.