In a world where thin is in, many frequent dieters often notice that when using diet pills that they gain weight instead. Amit Battacharjee, an assistant professor at The Tuck School of Business, isn’t surprised. Battacharjee told the Washington Post, "There's a funny, kind of counterintuitive thing that happens when many people take weight-loss drugs: they gain weight, but it isn't necessarily because the drugs themselves don't work.” 

Battacharjee's new study, "The Perils of Marketing Weight-Management Remedies," examines the way how diet drugs are marketed can drastically affect how people use and understand them. In it, Battacharjee and co-authors Lisa Bolton of the Smeal College of Business and Americus Reed II of The Wharton School discover that when remedies are marketed as "drugs," our notions of excercising and a sensible diet in addition to taking diet pills goes right out the window usually under the misbegotten belief that the pills will instantly cancel out all the pints of icecream and slices of cake we eat. However, when they're marketed as "supplements", users are apt to be more cautious as supplements are perceived to be less powerful and precise. Perhaps that's for the best as supplements are less regulated than diet drugs.

Not surprisingly our wishful thinking has a name: motivated reasoning. For those of you don't have your DSM-5 handy, it's an emotion-based decision-making process that allows us to cling to inaccurate beliefs despite what reality tells us. It's no wonder than that we yo-yo or boomerang, proving the old adage "if it's too good to be true, it probably is" true. Consider that, food for thought. Or don't, we're all on diets, remember?