A leading nutritionist is calling out online diet providers, saying some are "immoral" and can "mess with your mind".
Claire Turnbull from Mission Nutrition spoke to Fair Go after a woman complained to the programme that an online diet plan costing her $400 didn’t work despite coming with a 100% guarantee of success.
The woman, Megan, says the company claimed to be run by diet experts.
They provided an incredibly strict diet and exercise plan along with weekly guidance via messenger.
Megan admits to one instance of substituting one type of protein for another, but says otherwise she was careful to follow every instruction.
The diet providers, who didn’t want to be named, questioned her over whether she was "cheating", which left Megan feeling frustrated and upset.
"Why would I pay that much money and cheat?"
The company, which Fair Go agreed could remain anonymous, said that it stood by its 100% guarantee because success could mean a change in attitude to food rather than actual weight loss.
Megan doesn’t buy it and thinks this type of advertising shouldn’t be allowed.
Turnbull agrees, saying it’s the diet that failed, not Megan.
She said strict diets lead to "people becoming fixated on what they’re eating which can lead to a dysfunctional relationship with food".
Turnbull said a diet isn’t sustainable if a simple switch of a few foods means the difference between failure and success.
She recommends that anyone wanting to lose weight seeks help from a registered nutritionist who’s had five years of training and is continually monitored for their standard of care.
She’d like to see greater regulation of the industry which she claims is currently a "free for all", with anyone able to advise on when and what you should eat.
Megan has now been offered help by Mission Nutrition for free, and after Fair Go spoke to the online diet provider, they provided Megan with a refund.