Before and After Weight Loss Pictures – How Reliable Are They?

By on May 31, 2013

For companies that want to promote health and beauty products showing before and after pictures is a common strategy. As a matter of fact, it is hard to navigate through any website without spotting an ad that shows you before and after weight loss pictures while claiming that you are missing out on some kind of super miracle remedy that will take all of your problems away. At first sight, these before and after pictures are quite convincing, because after all, they show what people looked like before they used the product, and what they looked like after using it. However, upon closer examination it becomes increasingly apparent that one needs to be extremely careful in which pictures they choose to place their trust in, especially on the internet.

Why the Pictures Ought to be Doubted

For starters, it has to be said that you don’t really have any way of knowing when the pictures were taken… perhaps the way the person is in the “after” picture is actually the way he was before he got out of shape specifically to take the “before” picture.

In addition to that, the “before” pictures are always made to showcase people as ugly; the next time you are examining before and after weight loss pictures, simply pay attention to the person’s pose and the background lighting. Usually, in the first photo the person will stand in the most unattractive angle possible, they will have a depressed facial expression while the lighting will be very bright and artificial. However, in the “after” picture, you will always see them smiling, standing in a more confident pose, and basking in warm natural light. In other words, the pictures may be exaggerating the effects a certain product has on them.

Also, take good care to notice if there is any text under the pictures themselves. In some cases, there will be a text reading something along the lines “*dramatization stock photo”. This means that not only are the pictures not accurately representing what the product does, but their subjects haven’t even tried the product in question.

When Before and After Pictures Can be Trusted

With all of that being said, it doesn’t mean that you should never trust before and after pictures. How to know which ones tell the truth? For starters, if both pictures actually depict the same person under the same shooting conditions, then it’s already a sign of honesty. Also, in many cases, when the before and after weight loss pictures are actually real, the person depicted in them leaves his or her testimony, or at least some kind of signature as a proof of legitimacy.

Finally, it has to be added that the most reliable source to see how people fare before and after weight loss products and systems is a video diary. Many people chronicle their experience with various products over a certain amount of time, and needless to say, when you see the same person appearing in dozens of videos, using a product and sharing their progress with the rest of the world, there can be little doubt left as to whether or not what they are showing is the truth.