It is not just the diet industry that suffers from overstatement of the results. Here are prime examples.
The diet industry, meditation industry, the whole self-help industry, the drug industry all have this in common, they contain a bit of information/treatment but far oversell the benefits.
Obesity and the obese takes a great deal of abuse from the media and through the media. Obesity is caused by overeating which in turn has many causes. Comfort eating, to overcome the abuse heaped on by the media, is not helpful to this problem. Neither is the abuse.
Now the media may say that it is just reporting, but they manufacture much of the stories, hype them up, without understanding the actually the problem.
The remaining choice is to shut off all media.
Other reasons this may be a good choice is baiting for food by the food industry drives the desire to eat, and the obese do not need that, for to the obese it is additional abuse. It is not just fast food, for we can forbid ourselves to eat that but the commercials stimulate appetite in general. If the government wants to do something about the obesity problem, the first action should be to ban all food commercials. Period. Until they do, the government does not care, regardless of what they say. There actions and speech do not match. We as a population have not adapted to dealing with the new media effectively.
There are many industries, government included that are hype based, not reality based. Much of the strife that the "mentally ill" face is culturally based issues. Many of these "mentally ill" are really the ends of the normal distribution of personality characteristics. These occur naturally, and can be trained out with effort, should anyone desire to and take the time to figure out how to train it out. Much is a result of our modern culture, hype based industry, rush for money, greed is good society, of which I was part of for many years. Now that I have had some time to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest it, it is apparent that much is just rhetoric without foundation, currently referred to as bullshit.
Bullshit is spread by people who just talk without concern for the correctness of what they are saying. This is different than lying, for in that case the speaker knows they are wrong. The difference is in the knowing of the truth. Much is just bullshit. Actually, the bullshit has a random chance of being correct, as the stopped watch is correct twice a day.
So after that digression, how does one separate the tails of the normal distribution from the mentally ill? Does it make any difference? Does anyone care? How much of this is culturally driven? As it turns out, the definition of acceptable behavior is totally culturally driven. So any mismatch is a function of culture except where there is an organic problem, although adapting to a rapidly changing culture is not easy, and we may step between cultures in our day to day lives. Each occupation and even employer has it's own culture, as do families, nationalities, districts, ethical origins and the like.
We do change, and often in steps. We will no longer tolerate something, and switch off something. It can be sudden and dramatic or slow and gradual to the point we do not even notice. We can foster this change, or it can occur at a unconscious level. Obesity recovery is often a trained in change, and it may be unpleasant for those who do it, and also for those around those that make the change. Much is a necessary push against the culture we live in, and those around may find it unpleasant, but that is their problem. It is up to each of us to decide the kind of person we are going to be and then do it.
Food commercials are abuse to the obese, so the media are abusers.