Weight Loss Fraud – What a Surprise – Not!


FTC Cracks Down on Weight Loss Fraud

Sensa weight lossOn the heels of our Slim Chance Awards, which called out the most egregious weight loss schemes of 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this week charged four companies with weight loss fraud.

  • Sensa, the makers of a powder that you sprinkle to your food to “make you feel fuller faster”
  • L’Occitane, which markets skin creams that supposedly trim inches from your body
  • HCG Diet Direct, which sells hormone supplements that the FTC says have been “falsely promoted for decades as weight loss supplements”
  • LeanSpa, marketers of acai berry and colon cleanse weight loss supplements

The companies are supposed to reimburse consumers to the tune of $34 million but according to reports, several of the companies can’t pony up.  Appears they just don’t have the money.  Hmmm.

The Future for Weight Loss Claims & Gimmicks

This is part of a on-again, off-again effort by the FTC to bring accountability to the over $60 billion industry of diet products and programs. The twist this time: They’re asking the media to vet the ads they choose to accept. Fingers crossed, eyes too.

They’re also saying that in the future they will only accept double-blind, placebo-controlled studies to document the medical effectiveness of diet plans.   Let’s hope they require an adequate length of time for the studies.  That is, study participants need to be followed for a minimum of two, ideally five, years to see whether any weight they might lose on a particular plan stays lost.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case with most weight loss studies.

In the meantime, we’ll stick to our guns in saying that a non-diet, health-focused plan for healthy living is the best bet for achieving a healthy weight and staying there.  And living a fun, full life, too.

You can’t put that in a bottle.

One response to “Weight Loss Fraud – What a Surprise – Not!”

  1. Debbish says:

    It’s great to hear. I wish there was more of it here in Oz.

    Oh… and as for those dodgy ads I always see on Facebook. Grrrr…. (Twice now I’ve heard of people’s pictures being used in a misleading way!)

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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