Henry’s rating 0.0 out of 5
Just as I am still ”shaken up” over my review of Shakeology, I came across another diet product that is much more about increasing Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) profits – than it is about reducing waistlines. This time the offender is Body by Vi, also known as, Visalus, or Visalus Body by Vi, and it has much more to bark at than Shakeology.
At least I had some good things to say about the nutrition, and the formulas of the shakes themselves, in Shakeology. And I truly believed that as far as a business plan, the makers of Shakeology did put healthy living and weight loss first, and MLM memberships second. Not so with Body by Vi. Visalus is first and foremost, and always has been a multi-level marketing profit center. Many of the top earners in the Visalus 90-day Challenge — are the same jokers that brought you “MonaVie” – another purported heath product—whose only “health benefit” was to the bank accounts of the distributors at the top of the neighborhood pyramid!
You have no doubt seen a lot of hype about Body by Vi. Do not let it fool you! That is exactly how MLM works, you have hundreds of people signing up to make money distributing the system, all using the same templated websites, landing pages, press releases, etc – provided by the top of the chain. So just like MonaVie, and dozens of other similar types of MLM online pitches from “male enhancement” products to worthless acne cures and dietary supplements – you are going to see tons of “positive reviews” of Body by Vi all over the web.
Now, I am all for people wanting to better themselves, financially as well as physically. And I am not saying that all MLM companies are scammers and scoundrels. But as a public health activist, I pay particularly close attention to any MLM that is involved in selling and distributing supplements, or other fitness and weightloss products. And I urge any Hound readers that are looking to get into the supplement distribution business to look very carefully at the product first. There is nothing wrong in and of itself with making a profit, even a healthy profit – on a good product. Any fitness or diet product that you intend to market or distribute, as part of a MLM company should:
A) Be 100% safe and put the health of its users first.
B) Have long term health benefits for its users
C) Be moderately priced
D) Not be distributed by a publically traded company that puts profits and shareholders above the health benefits and safety of its products.
Visalus fails miserably on all of the above.
OK, forget for a minute the three-paragraph rant I just went on over the evils of MLM and Visalus as a Company. Just looking at the product itself – a Shake Powder that is to be used as a meal replacement during the “90 day challenge – I would still say to avoid it. There is nothing particularly healthy, nutritious or groundbreaking about the ingredients in the powder. And in fact, one of the main ingredients could be harmful. The main ingredients in the Body by Vi Shake is “Soy Protein Isolate.” Did you know that 91% of U.S Soy is genetically modified or engineered? A number of studies over the past decade have revealed the many serious health risks GMO foods pose to humans, animals and the environment. Visalus claims that their soy is “Non GMO,” but they offer no proof of this. Furthermore, many environmental activists (The Hound included) believe there is no such thing as “Non-GMO” soy grown anywhere in this country due to cross-pollination from the large GMO crops of huge agribusinesses.
But even taken at face value – and if the soy is non-GMO, any soy, taken in huge quantities, on an otherwise restricted diet, as you would following the Body by Vi 90 day Challenge, could have serious heath risks. Here is a list of just some of the health problems associated with too much soy:
- Increased risk of Breast cancer
- Damage to brain and nerve cells
- Birth defects
- Thyroid abnormalities
- Increased risk of kidney stones
- Impaired immune function
- Increased risk of prostate cancer and male sexual dysfunction
How to Benefit From the Visalus Diet Plan
The people trying to get you to buy into the 90-Day Body by Vi Challenge would have you believe the benefit is to lose weight by using the product. But, this really is a very thinly-veiled pyramid scheme – and as much as I tried to find information, strictly talking about the health benefits of the program, I was always steered in the direction to sign up as a distributor – and the real “benefit” came in the money you can make on your “original investment” after signing up just two other downstream distributors. Classic pyramid scheme lingo, and do not even get me started on the “Free BMW.”
Who Should Use It?
According to the manufactures, anyone who is struggling with weight. According to The Hound — no one.
None that I can honestly point to. I really tried to find one.
Besides all of “the bad” I have already laid out for you about Body by Vi, it is ridiculously expensive. If you bought enough of the “Transformation Kits” – at 249.00 for a 30-day supply – to take the full “90 day challenge” you would be 750.00 in the hole. Beyond that, and the soy problems, there are other issues with many of the ingredients in the shakes, which also contains sucralose- and other artificial colors and artificial ingredients. Consumer complaints about the product and the company abound. There are even many reports of people who gained weight on the 90-day plan.
The Bottom Line
Since the incarnation of Henry the Health Hound I do not recall ever giving anything “0” stars. Even prescription diet pills, or really bad diets I gave 1 star to for their good intentions, or for at least some value in weight loss. But Body by Vi/Visalus goes into my “Hall of Shame” and earns my first “0” out of five stars for an inferior at best, dangerous at worst weight loss product, coupled with a pyramid scam. I urge all of my readers to steer clear of the Body by Vi 90 Day Rip-off.