A woman weighs herself on a digital scale. (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A woman weighs herself on a digital scale. (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Texans are shelling out big bucks to lose weight and we’re doing it at a rate 20-percent higher than the average American.

According to a new study, Americans will spend nearly $40 billion this year on weight loss items, like diet foods and fat burning supplements.

Unfortunately, UT Health Science Center Dr. Sue Cunningham says a vast majority of that money is being spent on scam products. “The bulk of that $38 billion is undoubtedly spent on products that are not proven to be effective,” she said.

When it comes to weight loss claims Dr. Cunningham said common sense is a good judge. “If it’s such a miracle why aren’t I hearing about this on the nightly news instead of on a commercial.”

Medical experts say the amount of money being spent is unnecessary because losing weight doesn’t have to be expensive.

The report, Food Formulation and Ingredient Trends: Health & Wellness, also showed that Texans are 10-percent less likely to focus on what they’re eating as a means of losing weight — a method Dr. Cunningham says isn’t generally successful. “They have to look at their diet. They have to increase exercise.”

To help get started on an achievable weight loss plan, Dr. Cunningham suggests that you start with getting the needed fat in your diet from olive oil, peanuts and fish, and not from French fries, baked goods and potato chips.

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