Last week, the Federal Trade Commission targeted the marketing of four weight-loss pills, fining them $25 million for false advertising claims. Xenadrine EFX, One A Day Weight Smart, CortiSlim and TrimSpa were assessed fines for advertising unproven product efficacy, from claims about swift weight loss to the prevention of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The products will remain on shelves but must adjust their marketing campaigns to remove false claims.
FTC chairperson Deborah Platt Majoras suggested that in a study investigating the weight-loss efficacy Xenadrine, for example, those who took the pill actually lost less weight than those taking a placebo. Still, diet pills represent a 1.6 billion dollar industry, fueled largely, as we see, by celebrity endorsements and emotional pipe dreams.