Dr. Mehmet Oz is one of America’s most trusted physicians whose syndicated television show is seen by more than three million people daily, which is why it was disappointing to watch his testimony earlier this week before the Senate subcommittee on consumer protection regarding weight loss scams. Americans spend 2.4 billion dollars on weight loss programs each year and, unfortunately, many of those dollars are wasted on scams. Senator Claire McCaskill took Dr. Oz to task during the hearings in particular for describing particular supplements of questionable efficacy as “magic weight loss cures” and “the number one miracle in a bottle.” One of the supplements touted by Dr. Oz was Pure Green Coffee beans which its makers claim enabled users to lose twenty pounds in four weeks and 16% of body fat in three months. The Federal Trade Commission is presently suing the makers of Pure Green Coffee beans for false advertising.
Although the FTC is doing a good job in trying to crack down on the makers of phony weight loss products, it is an impossible task to accomplish because there are just so many companies peddling phony weight loss products. Ultimately, the best place to look for a helping hand when it comes to avoiding weight-loss scams is at the end of your own arm. Merely because you see an advertisement on a television show or a website that you know is legitimate does not mean that the particular weight loss product is legitimate. Be skeptical. The Federal Trade Commission came up with what they call seven “gut check” claims that should make you wary. They are:
1. causes weight loss of two pounds or more a week for a month or more without dieting or exercising; 2. causes substantial weight loss o matter what or how much you eat; 3. causes permanent weight loss even after you stop using the product; 4. blocks the absorption of fat or calories 5. safely enable you to lose more than three pounds per week for more than four weeks; 6. causes substantial weight loss for all users; 7. causes substantial weight loss by wearing a product or rubbing it on your skin.