Tag Archives: legal

Sensa’s False Advertising Costs Them $800,000

Nine counties in California weren’t buying the “too good to be true” claims of Sensa, also known as “the sprinkle diet.” The counties took the product to court arguing that the company made false claims regarding their product’s weight loss efficacy. The attorneys won and now Sensa has to pay.

The counties of Santa Cruz, Alameda, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma took the company, Intelligent Beauty, Inc., the makers of Sensa, to court this week after the product had freely advertised that users could lose weight by sprinkling flavored crystals on their food. As part of the settlement, Sensa, can no longer make any claims of weight loss without having scientific evidence to back the claims. The company was required to pay $800,000 in penalties and will go toward the enforcement of consumer protection laws. (more…)

Ab Circle Pro is a Fraud and Must Pay up to $25 Million in Refunds

Depending on the number of unsatisfied Ab Circle Pro customers who come forward, the fitness gimmick brand stands to pay out $15 million to $25 million in refunds, per a settlement between the brand and the FTC. The government agency has cracked down on over-hyped health claims in recent years to protect citizens from idiotic, empty promises like the Ab Circle Pro delivers. 

Honestly? Three minutes a day of mild exercise to lose 10 pounds in two weeks should be filed under “too good to be true,” and it is. The FTC isn’t having any of that noise.

According to the announcement on the FTC.gov site, “the defendants promised that a three-minute workout on the Ab Circle Pro – a fiberglass disk with stationary handlebars and two knee rests that roll on the edge of the disk, allowing consumers to kneel and rotate side-to-side – was equivalent to doing 100 sit ups. In the infomercial, pitchwoman Jennifer Nicole Lee compared the Ab Circle Pro to a gym workout, saying, “You can either do 30 minutes of abs and cardio or just three minutes a day. The choice is yours.”

Nothing is ever a substitute for hard work, not even a nearly non-existent workout. With a calorie-reduced diet and exercising at least 30 minutes moderate to high intensity workouts most days of the week, a healthy rate of weight loss is one to two pounds each week. A claim of 10 pounds in 2 weeks is not only not realistic but it isn’t healthy either. As far as toning your abs goes, well, that takes a lot more commitment to overall lifestyle than three minutes a day. If your entire workout regimen can happen in less time than a TV commercial break – you’re doing it wrong.

“Three minutes time is less than a warm up. Your muscles don’t even get loose in 3 minutes time – it takes about 5 to 10 minutes,” commented fitness expert Kelly Turner. “But let’s assume you did 5-10 minutes of light exercise before you hopped on. I can do 71 crunches in a minutes. Three sets of 71 crunches isn’t even an entire ab workout. No exercise, no matter what you are doing, is intense enough to create massive changes within your body in three minutes- even if done every single day.” (more…)

Zumba Madam Charged in Small Town Prostitution Scandal

Twenty-nine-year-old Zumba instructor Alexis Wright of Kennebunkport, Maine has been charged with 106 counts of prostitution, invasion of privacy, and more. She’s also giving Zumba class a bad name.

The Zumba and fitness instructor has been charging men for sex for the past 18 months, which has generated about $150,000 in income. Police suspect around 150 people of being clients, and they’ve now begun releasing the list of names of those involved. So far only 21 have been named and can be found on the local newspaper’s (York County Coast Star) website.

Wright is also being charged for secretly video taping some of her clients. These incidents appeared to have occurred in Wright’s dance studio as well as an office space she had rented out across the street. Some people were suspicious of the young woman while others were clueless of the illegal activity taking place. (more…)

$6 Million in Refunds for Lipodrene and Thermalean Customers Start Paying Out Today

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is refunding consumers who purchased popular weight loss pills under guise of false claims. The courts ruled that consumers were deceived by the supplement marketer and that the company must pay. Today, the checks start rolling out.

The weight loss supplements attached to these false claims are Thermalean and Lipodrene. These supplements were marketed by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals and were advertised to be clinically proven to cause substantial weight loss. The weight loss claims also included a 19 percent loss in total body fat.

Rebecca Tushnet covered the specifics of the trial when it was in progress on her False Advertising and More blog. During the trial, it was discovered that the products had not been tested, just the individual ingredients. Some of the specific claims about the supplements stated that one could lose 30 pounds in two months, up to 125 pounds. These statements were found false due to the fact that the only evidence was that the active ingredient could lead to a two-pound weight loss per month. (more…)

Paleo Blogger Files First Amendment Lawsuit Against North Carolina, State Bites Back

As a food blogger, I understand the responsibility I have to my readers. It’s my personal conviction that I should always provide them with the most honest and straight forward information I can. But when it comes to diet advice, some states don’t leave it up to personal conviction; such is the case in North Carolina where a dispute over the advice a blogger was giving his readers came into question. As a result, it’s raised a firestorm of controversy over whether “censorship” is an issue of free speech or a state simply protecting the health of its citizens. 

Steve Cooksey is a blogger who used to be overweight and diabetic, but changed his health and his life by following the paleo diet – a diet that mimics the eating habits of our earliest hunter-gatherer ancestors who primarily subsisted on meat, vegetables and fruit. This means no grains and no dairy, because it wasn’t available then and paleo proponents believe we don’t need it now, nor that it is healthy for our bodies.

Because of Cooksey’s dramatic transformation following the paleo diet, it’s understandable that he was enthusiastic about sharing his newly-found successful diet on his blog, Diabetes-Warrior.net – “Diabetes Management from a Paleolithic Perspective.” And whether he expected it or not, his readership blossomed as people began flocking to his site to learn more about his journey. (more…)