U.S. cracks down on fad weight-loss powders, skin creams
(Reuters) – Americans putting their faith in so-called miracle cures to shed unwanted pounds are bound to be disappointed, U.S. regulators said on Tuesday in announcing settlements with four companies accused of deceptively advertising such weight-loss products.
The Federal Trade Commission won agreements from L’Occitane, Inc.; Sensa Products LLC; HCG Diet Direct LLC; and Leanspa LLC. The settlements required them to drop unsubstantiated claims from their ads and, in some cases, to return money to consumers.
The FTC also urged media outlets to scrutinize advertisements more carefully to avoid publishing potentially misleading ads, noting that some of the advertisements for the products – from food additives to skin creams – appeared in mainstream publications.
The commission provided guidance for publishers and broadcasters on how to screen weight-loss claims in advertisements.
The only slim element of the products is their chance of success, said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
“Resolutions to lose weight are easy to make but hard to keep. And the chances of being successful just by sprinkling something on your food, rubbing cream on your thighs, or using a supplement are slim to none,” Rich said.
Stephen: People are wanting a quick fix to lose weight. It is getting more popular to take a pill thinking that will solve all their problems. Can you explain this?
Dr: When we’re looking at weight control, a lot of people would like to believe, and it’s just like going to Lotto. You take your numbers and you hope that you’re going to win Lotto that particular weekend and it’s the same with weight management if people believe that one particular medication is going to reverse everything. Weight management is a complex issue and there’s not easy road. If you start to listen to that particular concept that it is not easy but it is reversible with a lot of effort, you will have a successful outcome but you have to be consistent. See a lot of people say – a snapshot – I’ll do this for a little while – I’ve got a wedding to go to, I need to fit into a particular dress, I’ve got to look good for my daughter or my son and basically they’ll put in an effort and they’ll go to all of these weight-reducing programs and they’ll spend heaps of money on medications because there are medications that will help you. But all of these particular programs, whilst you are pursuing it, the guarantee is of course you will lose weight and that’s true whilst you pursue the rules and you stick to the diet and you reduce your calorie input and you increase your exercise output then you’re going to reduce your weight. But the problem is like everyone which is a natural response, after the wedding, the shackles come off, the complacency comes back in, a lot of people go to their old habits, nibble here and nibbled there and suddenly that magic program that they were involved in with a lot of heart, sweat and dedication suddenly is all gone out the window and people will put on weight again. Do you consider one tablet to do all of this is false.