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Health Care Professionals

 

What claims about weight loss products and services can a weight management provider make?

All advertising or marketing practices by Weight Management Council members must give truthful and accurate information about the likelihood of success of weight loss products and services. Advertisements must not make promises of loss of a specified weight nor a promise of weight loss within a specified time and must acknowledge that an energy deficit is required to lose body fat.

Weight loss programs must provide eating plans that are safe, nutritionally adequate and capable of achieving the results claimed. No advertisement is allowed for eating plans with an energy content below 3,500 kJ per day.

Promotion of weight loss claims in respect to products claimed to ‘increase metabolic rate’ or specific products such body wraps, diuretics, inflatable garments, electrical muscle stimulators etc. are not allowed.

What level of consumer protection exists within the Code?

The Code ensures consumers are informed about their legal rights before they enter into a contract with a member. All members must provide a cooling off period, a transparent refund policy, and a documented process of complaint resolution.

What health checks are in place to ensure the safety of consumers starting a weight loss program?

All members must administer a health screening mechanism/procedure as approved by the Council as suitable for the industry sector before consumers enter a contract for weight management products and services as outlined in Section 13 of the Weight Management Code of Practice.

The health screening procedure should aim to minimise the chances of the weight reduction program or product from exacerbating a pre-existing medical issue and where applicable, involve professional medical input. A range of conditions are specified that would automatically exclude a prospective client from participation e.g. pregnancy, eating disorder, BMI below 20.

What level of staff training is required by Council members?

Weight management providers must ensure Staff Training Competencies (as outlined in Annexure 3 of the Weight Management Code of Practice) relating to their specific sector exists within their business.

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