The bald, pot-bellied man walked into the Revive Weight Loss Clinic and asked a female employee wearing scrubs whether he and his wife could get on the HCG weight loss diet advertised on the clinic’s Web site.
Not only did the employee say the man and his wife could do so at the clinic, located directly across from MountainView Hospital, she pointed out that her svelte figure and those of her colleagues were a result of the HCG diet.
Forty weeks of a daily regimen of HCG would cost around $550, she said; 26 weeks, about $300. “It will be up to the doctor to determine how much you need,” she said, giving the man who appeared to be a potential client a brochure while explaining how HCG works in conjunction with a 500-calorie-a-day diet.
Since the 2007 publication of controversial infomercial king Kevin Trudeau’s best-selling book on HCG, “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You To Know About,” it hasn’t been difficult to find doctors and clinics cross the United States selling the diet.
More than a half century ago, a British researcher, Dr. Albert B. Simeons, argued that injections of HCG would allow dieters to exist comfortably on a 500-calorie daily diet, a claim later largely discredited by a series of studies by scientists worldwide.
That the HCG weight loss diet is available in Nevada may seem strange when this fact is considered: It is illegal in the Silver State for a physician to prescribe HCG for weight loss. Yet Las Vegas doctors and clinics advertise what is a synthetic version of the hormone as a way to lose up to 30 pounds in a month. HCG is legal in many other states.
Las Vegas plastic surgeon Terry Higgins touts the diet in the latest edition of the glossy “Las Vegas Woman” magazine, writing that the “regimen has continually shown a weight loss of between 1-2 pounds a day.”