Is it true that soaking your feet in cold water with this weight loss tablet will help a person lose weight as soon as the first night? No, that's not true: A registered dietician nutritionist (RDN) told Lead Stories there is not a "magical portal in your pinky toe" to help you absorb a chemical. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics cautions their readers against pursuing fad diets or treatments, saying that if the diet or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The claim appeared in a Facebook post on August 12, 2022, with the bold caption "Essential Oil Foot Bath Effervescent Tablets." The caption continued with:
It helped me shape my body in just four weeks. I saw results within the first night of use. I love using it in cold water, it's cool and comfortable and a godsend to relieve the summer heat. I feel like all the toxins are out of my body. I feel healthier than ever
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Aug 22 17:34:40 2022 UTC)
The link at the bottom of the caption leads users to the website where people can buy the tablets. There are not many specifics on how the tablets are expected to help people lose weight. The website claims that feet are the body's "second heart" and that detoxification of weight, body toxins and gynecological diseases, happens through the feet. Lead Stories has debunked the claim that getting rid of toxins through the feet works; only the kidneys and liver detoxify the body.
In an August 22, 2022, phone call, Lead Stories spoke to Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com, and author of "Read It Before You Eat It - Taking You from Label to Table" about this claim. Taub-Dix said:
If there was some sort of magical portal in your pinky toe that helped you to absorb this chemical ... that would be monumental. So with this, if you're sitting and soaking your feet, and not moving your body, there's a good chance weight loss is not going to happen.
We also spoke with a representative at EatRight.com, a website created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Although a spokesperson could not comment on this claim because it includes a branded product, we were given links to how consumers should approach fad diets and healthy ways to lose weight. A main takeaway from Esther Ellis, RDN, the author of the fad diet article from EatRight, is that if the diet or product sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
More Lead Stories fact checks about claims on how to lose weight are here, here and here.