The Fraud Behind Weight Loss Products

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • If it seems too good to be true, that’s because it is. Get an injection or drip a few drops of liquid magic beneath your tongue and jump start your metabolism. Sprinkle magic chemicals onto your food and eat less. Eat the magic fruit and grow thin. Rub the magic solvent in and there goes the cellulite. Sounds great, and sign me up. Unfortunately, many people did exactly that.  

    Let’s Elaborate
    The HCG diet maintained that a hormone drawn from human placenta would increase metabolism. An injection or sublingual application would reduce the appetite and the lucky user would lose one pound a day. All one had to do was ingest the hormone and maintain a 500 calorie diet. Hmmm. The diet became popular and some folks got rich from it.

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    Sensa products claimed to have a chemical that caused the user to lose weight without having to go to a gym or diet. All you had to do was sprinkle a bit of their chemical onto food and your fork would do the rest. They even had an ad maintaining it was clinically proven to be effective. Well then, there you go.


    The truth of the advertising was that Sensa Products sold a chemical. That’s about it though.


    LeanSpa marketed exotic fruit they claimed would boost metabolism and ensure weight loss. They even had a fake news websites to promote acai berry and colon cleanse products as part of the biggest natural food products fraud of all time.


    L’Occitane produces skin products and has 2,000 boutiques in 90 countries. They marketed two skin creams that they alleged were clinically proven to reduce cellulite. Just rub the solvent in and then b-i-n-g-o. Sorry consumers. F-r-a-u-d.   

    Gotcha!
    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged all four of the companies above with deceptively marketing weight loss products. The companies will now pay $34 million dollars in refunds, although they neither admitted nor denied the allegations of fraud. 

    L’Occitane released a statement that it has tightened its policies and procedures to ensure that their products will now adhere with FTC guidelines. They also agreed to pay $450,000 to refund their customers.


    The commission also settled claims against HCG Diet Direct as well as charges against LeanSpa that the company used fake websites to promote their bogus products.


    The FTC imposed a $46.5 million judgment on Sensa who had sold $364 million of their product in the United States. The company will pay just over half of the amount settled upon claiming an inability to pay.   


    One More Thing
    Those before and after photos that show a somewhat oversized version of a person in a photo that is next to a much more slimmed down version of the same person are not necessarily legitimate. 

    The FTC is pointing an accusatory finger toward these ads. For instance, Wu-Yi Tea offered up a testimonial from one satisfied customer who claims to have lost 68 pounds while using their product. The woman credited with giving the testimonial states that she does not drink tea, has never drank tea, and has never heard of the product she 

  • was credited with endorsing.   

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    References:
    Huffington Post

    The New York Times
    Today 

Published On: March 12, 2014