Christmas and New Year saw revelers pack on the pounds; and January will soon witness the party-goers make a beeline for popular "detox" products - which will do absolutely nothing to help them recover.
A report by Voice of Young Science (VoYS), representing more than 300 post-graduate and post-doctorate science students, found that no two companies use the same definition of "detox" and their claims were largely "meaningless".
AdvertisementThey found that the word "detox" was being used on "everything from foot patches to hair straighteners" but without reliable or consistent explanations of what the "detox" process involved.
VoYS argued that "detox" has no meaning outside of clinical treatment for drug addiction or poisoning.
"Detox is marketed as the idea that modern living fills us with invisible nasties that our bodies can't cope with unless we buy the latest jargon-filled remedy," said biologist Harriet Ball, one of the report's authors.
"Our investigation into detox products has convinced us that there is little or no proof that these products work, except to part people from their cash and downplay all the amazing ways in which our bodies can look after themselves."
In response, retailers defended their products.
Boots said: "The Boots Five-Day Detox Plan encourages people to drink water and includes a daily drink and tablet with ingredients that battle against toxins and help protect from the dangers of free radicals to leave you feeling revitalised and re-energised."
A spokesman for Garnier said their Clean Detox Anti-Dullness Foaming Gel "detoxifies the skin's surface by removing impurities such as dirt and grime that accumulate over the course of the day.
"All Garnier products undergo rigorous testing and evaluation to ensure that our claims are accurate and noticeable by our consumers."
Physicist Oliver Fenwick admitted that the "detox" industry has become a huge success.
"However, the industry seems to be based almost entirely on a marketing slogan since when you look a little closer you find that most of these products do nothing more than can be achieved by your body on its own."