Original Article

Weight Problems and Spam E-mail for Weight Loss Products

Authors: Joshua Fogel, PhD, Sam Shlivko, BS


Background: This study focuses on young adult behaviors with regard to spam e-mails that sell weight loss products.

Methods: Participants (N = 200) with and without weight problems were asked if they received, opened, and bought products from spam e-mail about weight loss topics in the past year. Psychological factors of self-esteem and perceived stress were measured.

Results: Those with weight problems had significantly greater percentages than those without weight problems for receiving (87.7% vs. 73.3%, P = 0.02), opening (41.5% vs. 17.8%, P <0.001), and buying products (18.5% vs. 5.2%, P = 0.003). In the multivariate logistic regression analyses, weight problems were significantly associated with receiving (OR: 3.39, 95% CI: 1.31, 8.82), opening (OR: 3.10, 95% CI: 1.53, 6.29), and buying products (OR: 3.38, 95% CI: 1.16, 9.82).

Conclusion: Physicians should consider discussing with patients the potential risks of opening and/or purchasing weight loss products from spam e-mails.

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