Consumer Protection
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How to Protect Yourself: Weight Loss Fraud
Source: The Florida Attorney General's Office


The lure of losing weight immediately without dieting or exercising but by merely taking a magic pill is irresistible to some consumers. Medical science has yet to create such a pill. Weight loss promotions that offer the magic cure will only thin your bank account and not your figure. The operating principle is always "be skeptical."

Look For The Magic Words
Be concerned when the advertisements use words such as "breakthrough discovery," "secret," "exclusive," or "miraculous." These words have no scientific meaning, but are words to grab your attention.

Be Wary of Claims that Sound-Too-Good-To-Be-True
There is no pill that allows you to lose weight permanently without dieting and exercise. There is no pill that makes "pounds simply melt away." Often these "magic pills" are strong laxatives or diuretics that can cause serious health problems.

Be Careful of Glowing Testimonials
Often they are impossible to verify. (Try finding "Mary S. from New York City"). Fancy sounding clinics of European or Asian origin are often phony and do not exist.

Check With Your Doctor Before Purchasing a Weight Control Product
Before you purchase any weight loss product or program, consult with a physician, a licensed nutritionist or a registered dietitian.

Check for Consumer Complaints
To see if there are any prior complaints or lawsuits pending, check with the local Better Business Bureau, and governmental agencies like the Office of the Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration. For an out-of-state company, you may wish to call the appropriate agencies and authorities in the state where the company maintains its headquarters.