Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.
Weight gain is often caused by an imbalance of energy intake and energy expenditure. Physical activity is important for achieving such balance and an increase in exercise is likely to increase energy expenditure. Provided energy intake is maintained at the same level, increasing exercise should result in some weight loss.
• Hold evidence
• Take muscle mass into consideration
• Don’t exaggerate
• Don’t cause offence
Claims such as “trim”, “tone”, “tighten” “shape” or “look slimmer” are likely to be acceptable in ads for exercise programmes, but marketers should hold robust evidence to show that the programme is effective at achieving the stated results.
Advertisers should remember that muscle tissue is more dense than fat and as such, exercise designed to increase muscle mass (for example, high-intensity weight training) may not lead to a loss of weight. Marketers of exercise regimes as weight-loss aids should therefore consider this factor when determining the balance between energy input and output.
Advertisers should not suggest or imply that exercise regimes will definitely lead to weight or inch loss, that any such loss will be permanent, or that willpower is not required.
See Weight control: General, Weight control: Exercise devices and other “Weight control” entries.