(NEW YORK) -- Many weight loss products promise to melt away pounds, but few of them take this idea to such a literal extreme as the new ice cube diet. The premise is simple: you simply pop a "Hoodia satiety cube" into the drink of your choice once a day. The cubes naturally curb appetite so you snack less and ultimately, weigh less.
Desert Labs, the company that markets the cubes, says the magic ingredient is hoodia, an herbal supplement South African bushmen have used for centuries to control hunger pangs while hunting game. But Jennifer Neily, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Dallas Dietetic Association, is skeptical.
"Hoodia is very rare and protected by strict environmental laws," she says. "So my question is how can all these products that claim to contain it, actually contain it?"
Even assuming the cubes are 97 percent hoodia, as it says on the box, that doesn't guarantee they're a dieter's secret weapon, either. The few independent studies analyzing the supplement's effect on weight loss have been disappointing or inconclusive. A private study conducted by the ice cube makers and posted on their website claims that 88 percent of the participants lost a significant amount of weight, but they don't specify any of the details.
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