Miracle weight loss wonders and fat blockers? Here is the official list to check weight loss claims that seem to good to be true!
Operation Failed Resolution
You saw me write about the Senate cracking down on weight loss fads and bogus supplements in connection with the committee hearing of Dr. Mehmet Oz.
That made loads of waves, but it’s only part of a major FTC crackdown on misleading weight loss advertisements.
The entire effort the FTC aptly (and with a dry sense of humor you don’t expect of bureaucrats) called “Operation Failed Resolution.” It was also responsible for their investigating Sensa, Inc. and telling them they have to “stop being frauds” or else.
The 7-Point Gut Check
But it was during the meeting where Dr. Oz was
grilled heard that the FTC proposed a seven-point “gut check” against whom you should check if diet claims are too good to be true. Here it is. According to the FTC, a weight loss product is a scam if the advertisement claims it…
- causes weight loss of two pounds or more a week for a month or more without dieting or exercise;
- causes substantial weight loss no matter what or how much the consumer eats;
- causes permanent weight loss even after the consumer stops using product;
- blocks the absorption of fat or calories to enable consumers to lose substantial weight;
- safely enables consumers to lose more than three pounds per week for more than four weeks;
- causes substantial weight loss for all users; or
- causes substantial weight loss by wearing a product on the body or rubbing it into the skin.
The FTC has a very good and detailed explanation of each over on their website. Have a look, it’s worth it.
But Wait, There’s More!
The list actually isn’t for consumers, but for those media people responsible for screening ads before they publish them on their websites or magazines. To them the FTC sent the list with a letter (PDF):
Every time a con artist is able to place an ad for a bogus weight loss product on a television or radio station, in a newspaper or magazine, or on a legitimate website, it undermines the credibility of advertising and does incalculable damage to the reputation for accuracy that broadcasters and publishers work hard to earn.
The good people behind Women’s Health mag can’t help but agree:
Of course, it all boils down to the same message: If a diet product seems too good to be true, it probably is. The best way to drop pounds is to make sustainable lifestyle changes that will also make you healthier overall.
Nice. We’re all in it for the good fight. Now check the link at the top of the Women’s Health website, that looks exactly like those linking to real, honest-to-goodness editorial content, “Drop 30 Pounds in 30 Days!”:
That link takes you to this website.
Picture courtesy of Petr Kratchovil.