The Federal Trade Commission calls out this diet treatment for false advertising and remind people there is no magic powder, cream or pill.
The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday cracked down on Sensa Products, an El Segundo company that sells a weight-loss powder that users sprinkle on food to help curb their appetite.
The powder, which is marketed as activating the part of the brain that helps control appetite, is said to make users feel fuller faster so they eat less.
Sensa Products now has to return $26.5 million to consumers who bought its product because the company used faulty science in its marketing to mislead consumers, the FTC said. Federal regulators also announced a settlement with two other companies over the marketing of weight-loss products.
The FTC said the study and claims by Sensa Products were based on faulty science. The settlement accused Sensa Products, its parent firm Sensa Inc., and two individuals — Adam Goldenberg, chief executive of the parent company and Alan Hirsch, a doctor who is part owner — of deceptive advertising.
The FTC also said the company paid consumers in cash and with travel for their endorsements of the product. It said Hirsch, who conducted studies cited in the ads and wrote a promotional book, gave expert endorsements that were not supported by science.
Sensa responded that it was making changes to its advertising to comply with the FTC order and but still (amazingly) defended its products. The company said the settlement did not include admission of wrongful conduct. That might ruin sales. (They didn’t admit that, I did.)
The FTC also accused two other companies of deceptive marketing – L’Occitane Inc. which is claimed to be a “slimming” skin cream and HCG Diet Direct which is an untested hormone-based treatment.
Here is the FTC press release.
Notice the pictures of the rock hard abs in the ads for Sensa-Free, as if a sprinkle of this powder will make miracles happen. There is no quick fix to weight loss and nothing but a ridiculous amount of exercise will get you to look like this.
Also, an FTC spokesperson had to state the obvious…
“Resolutions to lose weight are easy to make but hard to keep,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “And the chances of being successful just by sprinkling something on your food, rubbing cream on your thighs, or using a supplement are slim to none. The science just isn’t there.”