Skepticism

Tea Dieting

Did you know that green tea can help you lose weight? Well, if you didn’t then you haven’t been clicking on Facebook ads enough.

Top 5 Green Tea Diets Reviewed caught my eye in particular because it had an image of John Stossel from 20/20 on it. I consider John Stossel a credible journalist because he (gasp!) actually does scientific tests on these things. Surely this would link me to his results from testing these green tea diets.

Well, no. The tests were neither done by John Stossel nor scientific. What was given? Come on, you can probably guess… It’s what they use the most when trying to sell stuff that probably doesn’t work…

Anecdotal “evidence”.

This is the powerhouse in the green tea diet industry. We were blown away at the 30 day results from this product. I was skeptical about this company at first…

Great! I assume this means you did a controlled scientific experiment to find out if it really works!

[B]ut after receiving my free trial ( 30 green tea pixies ) I thought that I had nothing to lose. I achieved the highest weight loss while testing this product ( 21 lbs in 30 days ) and continued to use it after the free trial. This is by far the best green tea I have tested.

Um, question… Were you doing diet and exercise with this? Did you have another person who was not taking green tea who did not achieve weight loss? Why were you only using one person? I’m sorry, but I can’t take this for granted. Show me your results. Tell me your method. Get it peer-reviewed. Then make your claims.

Besides the lack of scientific evidence on this site, is there any evidence anywhere else?

From my friend Rachael on the blog Imbrickle:

Loose leaf oolong tea has a gentle flavour and contains polyphenols (the magical ingredient). Polyphenols are a group of plant molecules that may or may not have health benefits. (The science is inconclusive.) Polyphenols can be found in a large variety of food sources, including fruits, vegetables, beer, chocolate and other teas. [Wikipedia]

Despite the claims of fat melting properties, the only way anyone is going to loose weight drinking oolong tea is if they drink so much of it that it becomes a replacement for high calorie drinks, like pop and coffee with cream.

So there you have it. No scientific evidence. It might help you lose weight. It might not but I’m going to take an entirely radical insane view and say that it probably won’t.

Save your money and your time clicking on Facebook ads. Until somebody does a (gasp!) controlled scientific study I’m going to stay skeptical and make myself a cup of Earl Grey tea for the best reason for drinking tea: the flavour.

(FYI, if you want to be friends with me on Facebook here’s my profile.)

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5 Comments

  1. August 16, 2008 at 10:38 pm —

    Once when I was in China, one of the guides claimed that the Chinese were lean because they always drank tea even though they ate large dinners. I’m far more skeptical of the claim now, and the fact that obesity is rising in China doesn’t help.

  2. August 17, 2008 at 3:51 am —

    Ah, but Yoo, you’re forgetting that evil coffee drinking is also on the rise in China.

    Also, if green or oolong tea helped you lose weight, I’d be a frickin’ scarecrow.

    Finally, Elles, have you ever tried Lady Grey tea? It’s like Earl Grey but subtler and more, orange-y, or something.

  3. August 18, 2008 at 10:29 am —

    Thanks for writing about this Elles – this is something I’ve been wondering about for a while. I haven’t read much about it but I do think that there is some evidence around other benefits of green tea, specifically around protection against cancer.

    Check out http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/green-tea-000255.htm where the University of Maryland Medical Center talks in detail about this, and references several studies around cancer, liver disease and cholesterol. The article does confirm your research around straight up weight loss though.

    I like green tea so I’m quite happy to drink it, even if it doesn’t make me thin. Cancer prevention’s a decent reason, too 🙂

    Also, Yoo, when I lived in Hong Kong, they told me that the Chinese drinking plain hot water was what allowed them to stay thin… The story changes with the fads, I think 🙂

  4. August 18, 2008 at 10:54 am —

    Orange is a good colour. 🙂

    I shall obtain this Lady Grey tea!

  5. August 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm —

    Earl Grey? Skeptic, please! It’s all about the Russian Caravan.

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