FTC damns weight loss products that Dr. Oz praised / by sylvia kronstadt
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|Thu, 01-09-2014 - 6:18am|
FTC action proves yet again that Oz's ethics and expertise need to gain weight
Four companies that sell weight-loss products, three of which have been promoted by "The Dr. Oz Show," have been charged with deceptive marketing practices and fined $34 million, according to an article in yesterday's New York Times.
This is really quite an anticlimax. Anyone who follows Oz, and who has half a brain, realizes that MOST of the "astonishing," "miraculous," "surefire," and "life-changing" strategies he proposes for weight loss, wrinkle prevention, and a mind-numbing list of other health concerns, are simply bogus. He must have hired "Daily Show"-wannabe interns who simply make most of it up, laughing hysterically as they do so.
The FDA repudiated claims by the HCG diet, Sensa, and LeanSpa (which peddles acai extract), and vowed to crack down on an industry that is rife with unsubstantiated claims, adulterated products and deception.
Remember Raspberry Ketones? And green coffee beans? And Garcinia Cambogia Extract ("Just take 15000 mg. daily and watch the magic.") Remember T-Fal Actifry, which "lets you indulge in some of your favorite junk foods – French fries, potato chips, chicken wings – without worrying about fat and calories!" Remember how to "Eat twice as much and lose 10 pounds this month"?
The list goes on forever (http://kronstantinople.blogspot.com/2013/01/is-there-dr-oz-in-house.html). The best one was "hypnotize yourself into thinking you've had weight-loss surgery!" That cutie-pie "doctor" has given us some fun memories.
Effective? Lisa Oz is gorgeous, but she is quite a meaty girl.
A 'STARVATION' DIET: OZ DECIDES TO EAT IT UP
"Dr. Oz spent the bulk of the show obtaining testimonials from HCG sellers and dieters, spent a scant amount of time with HCG detractors, mentioned that the complete and utter lack of medical evidence to support its use was counter-balanced by the four people he had in his audience who had succeeded in losing weight, called for further study, suggested it was worth a try, and wondered if future research into it may in fact lead to a cure for obesity," wrote WeightyMatters.com Yoni Freedhoff, an Ottawa physician. "He totally sold himself out."
In December, 2011, the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission had said over-the-counter weight loss products containing human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) are fraudulent and illegal, and the agencies ordered seven manufacturers to stop selling them.
If it's from the placenta, it must be miraculous, right?
Despite all the controversy, the scathing attacks from the scientific community and regulatory action, Dr. Oz stood by HCG in a 2013 interview with iVillage. He said new research, has made him "more supportive" of the weight loss regimen than ever.
"It's got to be done carefully, has to be done with a doctor who's reputable," he told iVillage. "We don't know enough to guarantee it's going to be effective. It's still an experiment but this is not some crazy wacky idea. It deserves to be studied."
But he's proposed so many "transformative" weight-loss strategies before and since HCG -- many of which involve "just lying there," or "eating whatever you want" -- that HCG seems like "just another brick in the wall." Why bother with something that isn't "surefire"?
THIS MAKES "SENSE" TO OZ, BUT NOT TO THE FTC
Sensa, which "helps you feel satisfied from less food," and "kicks your cravings to the curb," is a granulated product that you simply sprinkle on your meal "and you just eat less of it!" according to the firm's web site.
How do these miracles keep happening? There must be a God after all -- a Diet God.
In a November 2012 blog post, Dr. Oz asked, "Sensa: Is this Right for You?" His conclusion lacked scientific rigor, which is par for the course, and was as limp as his hair was before he started using mousse. "Because the FDA has deemed the ingredients in Sensa to be safe, there’s no harm in trying this program," he wrote. "It might work for some, but it may not work for others."
It MAY not work? And this is a billionaire, Harvard-educated, best-selling medical doctor who is advising his millions of fans about the life-and-death issue of obesity?
He often refers to his "crack team of experts and researchers" who help put his show together. I guess the word "crack" makes real sense, when you think about the haze these people must be in to formulate these "medical opinions."
A BERRY THAT'S SO VERY OVERSOLD
Over the years, Oz has enticed us with countless "secrets from the furthest reaches of the globe." (He's hyped so many "rainforest treasures" -- acai, guarana, graviola, cat's claw, Tamanu oil, gogi, mangosteen, Tongkat Ali, African Mango, red palm oil -- that one wonders if his program, which is aired around the world, is not ripping asunder this precious ecosystem.)
If any one of his "truly earth-shattering" weight-loss secrets was effective, he wouldn't be hauling more of them out -- day after day, year after year. And aren't most of us still kind of chubby?
The FTC fined LeanSpa for marketing acai and colon cleanses as diet solutions, or -- as Oz prefers to phrase it -- as "belly blasters" and "butt busters."
Oz's promotion of acai on his show caused the usual stampede, both online and on the highways and byways of America, as desperate women scrambled to buy some before everybody else scooped it all up.
On his web site, he wasn't such a huckster, but he certainly didn't say anything to dampen the enthusiasm.
"There are many claims that acai berry supplements cause rapid weight loss. While these claims are difficult to substantiate, acai berries do contain healthful constituents that could aid in a weight loss program that is based on proper nutrition and exercise. In particular, acai berries contain healthy fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which may increase the body's metabolism, enabling it to burn unwanted fat stores. Acai berries also contain high levels of fiber, which aid in digestion and may make an individual feel fuller for a longer period of time. It is important to purchase acai products from a reputable source, such as a trusted natural food store."
It is important not to purchase them at all, for weight loss, according to the FTC.
Let's just keep rubbing coffee grounds, and squid ink, and mashed jicama spiked with cayenne, and meringue with strawberry puree, and horseradish, and almond creme (another FTC target) into our "Thunder Thighs," taking freezing-cold showers (burns calories like crazy!), and eating five pistachios 30 minutes before dinner. If these measures doesn't work, Oz says, nothing will.
But, seriously, if they don't, he's got oceanfront property in Arizona that is guaranteed to give you "the body of your dreams."