Diet Supplement Claims

  
     
April 30, 2014

Spring is the time when people are trying to slim down for summer. While some turn to the gym or a healthy diet to achieve their goals, others turn to diet pills.  BBB warns consumers to be cautious of weight loss supplements that claim you can lose weight over a short period of time without changing your lifestyle.

 According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there have been over $35 million in fines for several national companies making unrealistic claims against weight loss. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also put out warnings that fraudulent supplements could be tainted, causing injury or even death.

These products may show unrealistic “before and after” photos, promise to burn as much as 45 pounds a month without diet or exercise,  guarantee permanent weight loss, fail to disclose whether results are typical, or use logos of news organizations with fake or altered media coverage of the pills.

The advertisements may also claim to be an alternative to prescription medication and some may be marketed as “totally safe” or “treat and cure” diseases.

 To avoid the danger of these diet aids: 

  • Consult your healthcare provider – Certain products or their ingredients can interfere with performance of prescription medication, worsen existing health conditions or cause problems for women who are pregnant or nursing. 
  • Research the supplement – Check out products’ and manufacturers’ Business Reviews at www.bbb.org.  The Food and Drug Administration, www.fda.gov, also is a resource for researching supplements and their ingredients.  
  • Be skeptical of exaggerated claims – Ignore any product that promises out-of-the-ordinary results or dramatic changes within a short period.  There are no instant fixes.  
  • Be selective about your online research – Rather than doing a quick search through an online search engine, when you look for information on supplements, use respected websites run by the government, a university or reputable medical database. 

For more information on scams, visit www.bbb.org