What do Gel-a-Thin, Ultra LipoLean, the Himalayan Diet Breakthrough, and Biotrim have in common? All are bogus weight loss products cited by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's Operation Big Fat Lie, a law enforcement sweep to stop deceptive weight loss advertising.
The FTC has taken action against companies for seven types of false claims, which the agency is publicizing as part of an education campaign. The goal of the campaign is to help consumers spot claims that almost always signal a diet rip-off.
There's no magic way to lose weight quickly and effortlessly. Be wary of any weight loss program that:
Promises or implies weight loss of more than 2 pounds per week. (Fact: Slow, gradual weight loss is more likely to consist of fat loss and is safer than a rapid weight change.)
Promises or implies that weight can be lost and weight loss can be maintained without exercise and other lifestyle changes.
Promotes magical or miracle foods. (Fact: No foods can undo the long-term effects of overeating and not exercising, and none can melt away fat.)
Is based on consuming only one food or a limited number of foods, or advocates consuming certain foods in large quantities or calls for specific food combinations.
Relies on undocumented case histories, testimonials, and anecdotes but has no scientific research to back up claims.
Promotes unproven or spurious weight loss aids such as herbs, amino acid supplements, body wraps, pills, or other products.
Makes promises that sound too good to be true. They probably are.