Experts do not recommend them.
From TeaTox to BooTea and all the brands in between, there is a worrying trend of those seeking to lose weight buying these detox tea products online.
Most of the time it is through the likes of Instagram and from celebrities endorsements that these products gain attention.
For anyone who still isn’t aware, these celebrities are paid thousands if not more to post an image of themselves sipping on or even holding a box of these tea products.
The danger is that we decide to order something online, without knowing where it is coming from, what it contains or how it affects your body, but because Kylie Jenner is holding a box we trust that it will make our waist small and our bodies toned.
— YowMomma.com (@yowmommacom) November 24, 2015
Eating disorder charity, Bodywhys, say that the products are concerning and that detoxing, in general, is not advised.
”There is a concern that products may be used as part of dietary or weight management behaviours, without professional medical supervision.”
”The idea of detoxing can be underlined by big eye-catching claims, but the effectiveness of the products are not necessarily backed up by scientific evidence. It’s always important to seek professional advice before making any changes in relation to your health, particularly with food or diet.”
We spoke to EatWell Dietitian Sarah Keogh about how she, as an expert, feels about these teas.
Sarah stressed that she would never recommend it and that the popularity is down to people’s want for quick fixes.
”People are always looking for the miracle that will mean that tomorrow all the weight is going to go. The reality is, you have to look at the whole way you live, eat and exercise and you have to do it for a long period.”
Sarah adds that if you are overweight it is not due to the lack of detox tea.
”The weight you have on is always going to be about your habits, you’re not overweight because you didn’t drink a herbal tea. You’re overweight because you ate a couple hundred calories more than you needed. There is no evidence that they actually have a weight-loss influence but unfortunately you can buy them on the internet. We’ve even seen people in the UK dying after taking some of them. There is no regualtion on those things.”
”As a dietician, if I thought there was a tea that worked or a supplement that worked , I’d be the first person to say ‘this is what you have to take’. I read the evidence and constantly carry out research and if there was a quick fix I would be the richest dietician.” She says.
”I think most people know it, but they get desperate about the claims made about it, some claims are pretty crazy.”
The influx of celebrity promotions is adding to the popularity of the teas, which have not been proven in any way effective.
”There is always and issue with celebrities because they have power as they have a huge following. People can mistakenly take what they’re saying as being fact.
Whether they act or play sports, famous people need to take a responsibility for the products that they promote.”
While most of them available in Irish stores are not harmful, the danger lies in people drinking this instead of eating and replacing meals with the popular tea. In terms of ones that are available in shops in Ireland, there is a tight control over what’s allowed onto the market. Anything that’s sold as a supplement has to go through the Food Safety Authority for safety, however, not all of them are examined before they are sold.
The most popular teas are being bought online, which Sarah says is a different story.
”When it comes to online purchaches, I’ve heard about people having seizures or even dying after taking supplements. They may not have gotten the proper testing and you don’t even know what’s in it.”
Because it is January, there is always going to be some newly motivated people looking to be healthier and while tea from Instagram won’t do it, Sarah insists the solution is pretty simple.
”It is easy, it’s balancing your plate properly,”
Sarah says your dinner plate should be bigger than your hand spread out wide.
”Half your plate should be veg, a quarter should be carbs and a quarter should be protein. Most of the people who are struggling with weight, who I work with, find it is snacking that’s a problem. I should be three meals and maybe one snack.”
However, it is It’s never one thing, it could be an emotional issue or the person might not be getting enough sleep but there are small, easy steps to make a change.
Essentially, bin the tea and watch your plate.