The Puzzling Multifast Take Shape for Life MLM Plan

November 12, 2012

The Puzzling Multifast Take Shape for Life MLM Plan

Scams happen in all industries, including the weight loss and health industries. One such program suspected of being a pyramid scheme is the Medifast Take Shape for Life. This is a prepackaged diet plan where a customer has to eat all of his or her food made from the Medifast Take Shape for Life parent company, Medifast. The customer also gets counseling from a Medifast Take Shape for Life coach.

But not only does Medifast encourage customers to buy their food and try their diet, but they also encourage customers to become sellers of Medifast Meals and become Take Shape for Life coaches. It will cost the customer about $200 USD in order to enroll in this program, pass a written exam and become a Take Shape for Life Coach. Even if the customer is already a licensed medical professional, the $200 fee applies.

Why Sell the Stuff?

Medifast claims that their program is meant to help a person physically through the diet and financially through the life coach plan. Success in these areas can help a person’s overall well-being. Medifast claims that a person only needs to put in about 15 hours per week in order to make money in the program.

Coaches get a 20% commission, which means they have a big incentive to find people wanting to lose weight. If those people decide to become life coaches, then their coach gets a hefty bonus. In a 2009 report, most of the money earned through commissions went to the same 20% of life coaches because they were some of the original coaches. This means that about 80% of coaches do not make significant money in the program.

MLM or Scam?

Medifast claims they are doing nothing more than multi-level marketing (MLM.) But unhappy customers claim there’s more going on than meets the eye. Apparently, the exam is so easy that anyone that can read can pass. Customers claim that they were expecting medical professionals as their Take Shape for Life coaches and basically got nothing more than a salesperson with an instruction manual.

The definition of a pyramid scheme states that the business model is non-sustainable and only a top few people get any money. So far, this has not been proven with Medifast and Take Shape for Life. If you buy something from the company, the product arrives. What you do with it is up to you. This is different from most pyramid schemes which promise real estate, stock market returns or machinery but then never send anything.

In Conclusion

In 2011, Medifast made 55% of its earnings from MLM plans. Clearly, they rely on people paying a few hundred dollars for food and then another $200 for a business opportunity in order to make a profit. There is no definite proof that Medifast wants their coaches to fail so that they will never earn commissions, although some customers complain that it sure seems that way.

But what, really, does an MLM marketing plan have to do with losing weight and keeping it off?

Category: Articles