Weight Loss Advertisements Criticised
The Federal Trade Commission reviewed advertisements from a wide variety of weight-loss approaches from popular weight loss plans like the Atkins Diet to relatively obscure Apple Cider Vinegar Capsules and Synadrene-HCL.
At least 40 per cent of the 300 advertisements reviewed in the two-year study made at least one false representation, such as ‘can eat as much as you want and still lose weight’, the report said.
The FTC said that with nearly 70 million Americans trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain at any given time, shady promoters in the $35 billion weight loss industry were raising false hopes and dooming weight loss efforts to failure.
FTC chairman Timothy Muris said: ‘We have known for some time now that there is a serious problem with weight-loss product advertising. This report demonstrates the extent of that problem.’
Over half of the advertisements made either false statements or statements that were very likely to be false, including the suggestion that weight could be shed without cutting calories and increasing physical activity and the promise of a steady weight loss of 3-5 kg a week.
Other advertisements made unproven claims about safety and effectiveness and still others purported that their products produced long-term permanent weight loss.
While the report included a list of the programmes and products reviewed, it stopped short of specifying which ones had been found to have false or misleading advertising, saying that was beyond its scope.
‘Success will come when the public is convinced that there is no magic bullet,’ the FTC said.
SOURCE: Federal Trade Commission.