More Weight Loss Lies & Diet Product Scams

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More Weight Loss Lies & Diet Product Scams

Enviga Beverage Weight-Loss Claims ‘Curbed’

Coke, Nestle, and Beverage Partnership Worldwide (BPW) have settled charges that they falsely advertised that Enviga, a green tea beverage, can result in weight loss by burning extra calories.

The charges were brought by coalition of 26 states and the District of Columbia, led by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. The companies have agreed to re-label Enviga and any similar product to add disclosures, to disclaim any weight loss benefit, and to note that weight loss is only possible through diet and exercise.

They also agreed to pay $650,000 to the states. In 2007, Blumenthal began investigating questionable claims that drinking Enviga would burn more calories than it contains and implying that consuming the product would lead to weight loss. The claims were based on a small 3-day study that could not establish that any calorie burning associated with Enviga could be sustained over time.

The settlement requires that in any marketing of Enviga, or a similarly formulated beverage, that uses the terms “the calorie burner,” “negative calories,” “drink negative,” or makes any claims explicitly or implicitly that consumers will burn calories by drinking Enviga, there must be a clear and conspicuous disclosure that the product does not produce weight loss without diet and exercise.

The other participating states were Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and the District of Columbia.

[Attorney General announces settlement resolving weight loss and calorie-burning claims about Enviga. Press release, Connecticut Attorney General, Feb 26, 2009] http://www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/view.asp?A=3673&Q=434756

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Women Pay Heed: ‘Slim Chance’ Awards Issued

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Women Pay Heed: ‘Slim Chance’ Awards Issued

Frances M. Berg, M.S., who operates the Healthy Weight Network http://www.healthyweightnetwork.com has issued the 20th annual set of “Slim Chance Awards” to weight-loss scheme promoters, diet scammers, and fitness gimmick pushers.

Her 2008 picks are:

**Most outrageous claim: Kevin Trudeau infomercials. Trudeau told listeners they could easily follow the diet protocol at home, even though his book calls for human growth hormone injections that must be provided by a licensed practitioner. FTC action resulted in a court order for a $5+ million assessment and a three-year ban from doing infomercials.

**Worst gimmick: Skineez jeans ($139). The jeans were said to be impregnated with retinol and chitosan that would be released by friction and absorbed in to the body to fight “cellulite.”

**Worst claim:
AbGONE. Throughout 2008 full-page ads touted AbGONE as “proven to promote pot belly loss,” increase fat metabolism”and calorie burn, promote appetite suppression, and inhibit future abdominal fat deposits.

The ads featured before-and-after shots of models, cut-away sketches of the abdomen with and without belly fat, and a white-coated researcher with a chart purportedly confirming success of 5 times reduction in fat mass, 4 times lower BMI, and 4 times greater weight loss than placebo. The ads stated that no added diet and exercise were needed, but a fine-print disclaimer said “diet and exercise are essential.”

**Worst product:
Kimkins diet. Heidi “Kimmer” Diaz promised loss of up to 5% of body weight in 10 days. She also claimed to have lost 198 pounds in 11 months and showed before-and-after pictures that turned out to be fakes. Many users developed chest pains, hair loss, heart palpitations, irritability, and menstrual irregularities caused by the near-starvation (500 calorie per day) diet.

Watch every diet product commercial and read every weight loss or fitness gimmick advertisement with a suspicious eye and a clear mind. These companies can get away with a lot of BS until enough complaints are filed or someone dies.

Don’t fall for this stuff.

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