In the age of social media, there are tons of diets and food supplements that gain popularity through channels like Instagram and Twitter. This is what helped Tanya Zuckerbrot and her company F-Factor gain momentum, but after recent anonymous stories have been shared with another social media influencer, Emily Gellis Lande, consumers are questioning the legitimacy and safety of Zuckerbrot and her products.
Who is Tanya Zuckerbrot?
Tanya Zuckerbrot is a registered dietician who has worked in a private practice in Manhattan for 20 years. She created the F-Factor diet and has published two books The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss published in 2006 and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear–with Fiber! in 2012. Her clients include some high profile individuals, according to Refinery 29, and her following on Instagram is upwards of 117,000.
What is the F-Factor Diet?
The F-Factor diet is a diet plan that “focuses on combining lean proteins with high-fiber carbohydrates, which are low in calories and keep you feeling full throughout the day. Typical feelings of hunger and deprivation that are usually associated with weight loss are eliminated with the F-Factor Program,” according to the website.
The website also promises additional perks with the diet like weight loss, clear skin, improved sleeping, and more. F-Factor sells a line of powders and bars that are meant to boost metabolism and build muscle and they promote a “diet tip” called the “three bite rule,” which allows individuals to take just three bites of their favorite indulgent desserts to keep them on track without sacrificing sweets. It’s also worth noting that the edible F-Factor products contain a Prop 65 Warning for the state of California, which means the products could potentially expose consumers to chemicals that include lead.
What is the recent controversy?
The controversy surrounding the F-Factor Diet and Tanya Zuckerbrot was spearheaded by Emily Gellis Lande, a fashion and lifestyle influencer. In early August, she began sharing anonymous stories she was getting in her DMs about individuals who had negative experiences with the F-Factor diet. Screenshots of these stories were shared on her public Instagram story to her over 173,000 followers, and are still available on Gellis Lande’s profile under “Discussion” highlights.
The stories claimed that the F-Factor diet plan triggered relapses into eating disorders and promoted unhealthy relationships with food. Additionally, women cited serious health issues after eating the F-Factor powders and bars like abdominal pain, rashes, bloating, nausea, metal poisoning, urinary tract infections, and in some cases, miscarriages.
In a report by the New York Times, women came forward with medical records to show proof they visited the hospital to address these concerns they believe to be cause by F-Factor products. It turns out that one of the alleged stories talking about a miscarriage in relation to the products was a hoax sent in by Alison Brettschneider, a former influencer, who told the outlet it was a way to counteract rampant cancel culture online. It’s important to consider that Brettschneider’s cousin, Amanda Karp, is the lead dietitian at F-Factor, the New York Times discovered.
So, now what?
Stories are still being shared on Emily Gellis Lande’s Instagram account daily, and Tanya Zuckerbrot has posted on IGTV video addressing the situation. In the video, she does not directly mention any of the stories that have been shared. She did, however, double down on the fact that all of F-Factor’s edible products are tested and made in facilities with stric food safety guidelines. Zuckerbrot also said that she was being “cyberstalked” with the intent to “slander, harass, and discredit” her, the F-Factor Diet, and their products.
Gellis Lande has since made a Google form for individuals to continue submitting their experiences with the F-Factor Diet. The next immediate plan of action is calling on Zuckerbrot and F-Factor to release a certificate of analysis of their products. This would require a third party lab to confirm if the foods and powders contain microbes, pesticides, or heavy metals. A statement put out on the F-Factor Instagram page announced that they will be releasing the Certificate of Analysis soon.
F-Factor did not immediately respond to Delish.com’s request for comment.
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