Bogus Weight Loss Fads and Their Companies

This past Tuesday, the FTC announced over $34 million in settlements with four different companies that advertised and marketed their weight loss products falsely, and blatantly incorrectly.

These companies have stated that the use of their products will result in drastic weight loss with little to no effort. A closer look at these products will reveal that they are nothing more than a money scam that reaps monetary benefits off of the vulnerability of its customers.

Below is a list of the companies and the products in question that should be avoided:

1.    Sensa: This Manhattan Beach, California based company claimed that their powder-based food additive would simply cause its users to lose weight without changing their diet or engaging in any exercise. The powder was intended to enhance the flavor of the foods, consequently causing the user to eat less. This claim is not scientifically proven, and the Sensa company is charged to pay $26.5 million to the FTC for their falsified claims.

2.    L’Occitane Inc.: This beauty products supply chain claimed its two products, Almond Shaping Delight and Almond Beautiful Shape creams, would help slim down waistlines, fight pesky cellulite, and produce a firmer and slimmer figure. The FTC settlement amount for this Luxembourg-based company is $450,000 for advertising and selling a ‘bogus’ product.

3.    LeanSpa: This company in Connecticut created and used fake websites to promote their various weight loss products such as the ‘acai berry’ and ‘colon cleanse’. These fake websites were often sent as links in spam emails, and were designed to look like legitimate news websites, taking on fake news names like ‘channel8health.com’. LeanSpa agreed to end the settlement and surrender $7.3 million in assets to the FTC.

4.    HCG Diet Direct: This Arizona based company advertised that their liquid hormone drops, called human chorionic gonadotropin, which is naturally produced in the placenta of mothers and in pregnant mother’s urine, would increase weight loss and overall health. The company advertised extensively on YouTube and their personal website, charging a steep $200/40-day supply. The FTC warned HCG Diet back in late 2011 that its claims “ran afoul of federal law”. The settlement amount to the FTC is $3.2 million, however it has been suspended due to HCG’s inability to pay.

Sources: World Newspaper Company