Sometimes, things that sound too good to be true usually are. After a December study stated that no supporting evidence was found for one out of every three recommendations provided by The Dr. Oz Show, another so-called miracle product is in the news. This time, it’s green coffee bean extract. It’s been approved by Dr. Oz himself and could be seen all over being marketed as “The Dieter’s Secret Weapon.”
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that the maker of the supplement has agreed to settle charges that he and his companies deceptively touted the the weight-loss benefits of green coffee bean extract. “Lindsey Duncan and his companies made millions by falsely claiming that green coffee bean supplements cause significant and rapid weight loss,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Duncan’s companies, Pure Health LLC and Genesis Today, claimed that consumers could lose 17 pounds and 16 percent of body fat in just 12 weeks without dietary changes or exercise (without diet OR exercise? C’mon!).
According to the FTC’s complaint, shortly after Duncan agreed to appear as a “celebrity nutritionist” on The Dr. Oz Show, but before the show aired, he began manufacturing and selling the product. Crafting key phrases that he would later repeat on the show, Duncan created an online marketing campaign to exploit what’s known as the “Oz effect,” or the flood of Web searches and consumer demand for weight-loss supplements after a particular episode airs.
According to the FTC’s complaint, Duncan did not disclose to The Dr. Oz Show producer his relationship to Pure Health.
As a result of the settlement, Duncan and his companies must pay $9 million to refund customers who bought the supplement and stop making weight-loss claims until the extract’s properties can be substantiated by two well-controlled clinical studies.
The first study on the extract, which was initially cited by The Dr. Oz Show, was considered “severely flawed” and a FTC complaint against the study’s sponsor was settled in September 2014.
So if you’re up late and at home watching one of those great-looking infomercials that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here are three ways to spot a diet scam:
I. If you lose weight by doing absolutely nothing but a pill – Weight loss requires some effort. Plain and simple. Some programs require more than others, but the consistent thing is effort.
II. Anything that guarantees substantial weight loss in a short period of time – To be blunt, anybody, anywhere can lose a lot of weight in a short period of time, but it will never be healthy and won’t last. So don’t fall victim to that.
III. You’ll lose weight permanently – and never have to do anything else ever again – Ok, so never ever ever? Even those celebrities who have the best bodies ever, are still eating a certain kind of way, exercising a number a days a week, among other things, but they do it because it’s their lifestyle. Not a diet.