Losing some of the pounds you put on during the holidays is a common New Year’s resolution for many.
The temptation is strong to look for a quick and easy method. Unfortunately, most of those advertised weight-loss claims that seem to come at consumers from every direction are scams. The only thing that will weigh less after you try those products is your wallet.
Here is our advice for those wondering whether to purchase that miracle weight-loss product: Keep your money.
The Federal Trade Commission, an independent agency of the U.S. government charged with consumer protection, says most of those pills, patches and creams are a waste of money. They may even be a threat to your health.
Last year the BBB received more than 4,600 complaints nationally about weight control services, and health and diet products. Commonly consumers said they either never received the product or the results were not as advertised or the product caused an adverse reaction.
Recently the FTC released information about several products that were charged with making deceptive claims in their advertisements.
The marketers of Sensa had claimed that all you will need to do is “sprinkle, eat and lose weight.” Sprinkling the product on your food was supposed to help you eat less, feel less hungry and even change your metabolism. Between 2008 and 2012 its sales totaled over $364 million.
The company will now be paying $26.5 million as settlement for the FTC’s charges that it deceived consumers. The money will be sent to Sensa’s customers as refunds.
Also charged by the agency was a company called L’Occitane, which marketed creams that had been claiming weight loss for users, but lacked scientific proof that it worked. L’Occitane’s products were called Almond Beautiful Shape and Almond Shaping Delight.
HCG Diet Direct has marketed an unproven human hormone as a weight-loss treatment for a quarter century and was charged by the FTC as well.
Additionally a partial settlement was reached with an operation called LeanSpa, which was alleged to have deceptively promoted acai berry and “colon-cleanse” weight loss supplements in falsified news websites.
Claims to watch out for
These are some of the oh-so-appealing – but oh-so-deceptive – claims to watch out for in weight-loss product ads.
The claims are extravagant and wild. And they are false.
If you have tried one of these products and learned the hard way that they are scams, file a complaint with the FTC by going to ftccomplaintassistant.gov.