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Are the various slimming equipments harmful to the body in any way?

Q: The market has been inundated with electronic slimming and fitness systems/electronic exercise systems (usually in the form of a belt) which, as claimed by the manufacturers, can be used for toning and slimming the body by removing excess fat from various parts of the body like stomach, hips, etc. Different muscles of the body are toned using electronic signals without any strenuous time consuming exercises. All one needs to do is use it for just 10 minutes 3-4 times a day to get the desired result! If possible, please have a look at the following URLs to get a clear idea of the products I am referring to: http://shopping.rediff.com/srchnew/productdisplay.jsp?prrfnbr=998764&fromp g=AbSlimmingBelt_shpidx http://shopping.rediff.com/srchnew/productdisplay.jsp?prrfnbr=974279&menbr =38477 http://shopping.rediff.com/srchnew/productdisplay.jsp?prrfnbr=974280&menbr =38477 I was told by someone that such equipment could have an adverse effect on the heart! Is that true? Other than the heart, can use of such equipment have a negative effect on any other part of the body? Lastly, is such equipment really an ideal alternative to normal physical exercise?

A:I have gone through the sites you have mentioned. I would personally not suggest such equipment as no particulars of the equipment are mentioned as to what currents, wavelengths and other medical specifications are used. Secondly, passive stimulation, contractions can never burn fat. You need to do aerobic exercises and have planned diet to get the desired results. For burning just 1 kg. of waist fat, the abdominal muscles have to create an output of 7000 cals and for that you have to perform about 10 thousand sit ups! There are general dangers and contradictions of stimulating currents, such as: (1) Injury to healthy tissue due to excessive mechanical stress. (2) Since all currents are applied through the skin, you can get open wounds due to variations in the resistance. (3)These currents may cause polar effects and may lead to irritation and skin damage. (4) Stimulation is often considered a risk in that it might provoke cardiac arrhythmias, but, again there is no evidence for this. I do not think this equipment is an alternative to aerobic exercises and a planned diet and a good lifestyle.

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