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Behind the Scenes of Celebrity Weight Loss Endorsements

Page Six reported this morning that Kim and Khloe Kardashian are facing a possible class-action lawsuit over their diet product QuickTrim, which detractors say contains high levels of caffeine, an ingredient that’s “not safe or effective for weight loss.”

Now there is a shocker.

Weight loss pills are a myth, much like unicorns and smudge free self tanner. You know weight loss pills are basically like speed, right? They might curb your appetite for a few days, but you won’t be able to sleep and your coworkers will wonder why you talk too fast and you keep doing karate kicks on your way to the bathroom. It is probably the closest you can get to understanding Lindsay Lohan, without having to lose your teeth, hair, or integrity.

You can’t lose weight without eating healthy lower calorie foods and exercising. We should all know this by now. So popping a pill, eating a bag of Doritos, and then playing Xbox all day isn’t going to do the trick. I hate to be a Debbie Downer.  Because I imagine those are the kind of people who buy a pill endorsed by the Kardashians. They are the kind of people who think you can drink a 6 pack as long as it is Light beer. You know why the Kardashians look skinny-ish? Three layers of Spanx and airbrushing.

From Celebrity Inc. by Jo Piazza:

Most celebrity endorsement packages are structured similarly. The endorsement is built with an upfront-fee, a yearly contract, and incentive riders. Endorsement fees can range from the $700,000 paid to soap opera star Genie Frances (Medifast) to the $2 million a year paid to Sarah Ferguson (Weight Watchers). A celebrity earns their full paycheck when they meet the weight-loss goals announced at the commencement of the campaign. The average amount of weight a celebrity will lose as a spokesperson is thirty pounds. The payout often continues if they are able to maintain their weight.

Not exactly the ideal situation for Jenny Craig who hired Kirstie Alley. She wasn't exactly honest about her beginning weight and then went onto embellish the details of her modest weight loss. Plus the pictures of her sitting in her car outside a House of Pies shop devouring her purchases did not help either. Her chosen exercise during this period? Dancing. In her living room to the rhythmic sounds of a hand drum.

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Mariah Carey claimed she lost 70 pounds on Jenny Craig. Remember her commercial featuring her in dark mood lighting, a spray tan, and a bandeau skirt that magically seemed to cover any problem areas?

Her chosen exercise to maximize weight loss? Water aerobics. Yes, the same workout sweeping the retirement communities of America. It would also explain why she needed to be dropped from the ceiling when she made her appearance on The Rosie show.

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Because why walk when you don't need to?

Why would a celebrity agree to be a weight loss spokesperson?

Outside of the money they earn losing the pounds, they are ensured ample media coverage. Celebrities can experience a windfall from getting fat, as marketers pay millions to exploit their weight gain and loss, packaging it to consumers with inspirational can-do story lines. The four major revenue streams that overweight celebrities can take advantage of, besides the product endorsements, are magazine stories, book deals, and reality TV contracts.

I can't wait for the Jessica Simpson weight loss ads this fall.

-Kate Casey

Kate Casey is a Pop Culture Lover. PR Pro. New mom. Comedy nerd. Celebrity gossip fan. Follow her on Twitter @KateCasey


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