FTC Cracks Down on Weight Loss Fraud
On 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.