healthy diet

Acai Scam Settlement

Posted by 2 July, 2009 As acai,diet forum,diet pills,diet supplements,healthy diet,magic diet,magic pill (0) Comment

Attorney General Reaches National Settlement with Dietary Supplement Company


~ Companies marketed Acai berry supplements, among others ~

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that his office has reached a national settlement with an internet-based company that markets non-prescription dietary and health supplements. The settlement resolves allegations that the company, Aton Solutions, and its subsidiaries were offering free trials of their products, including Acai berry supplements, but customers were unable to cancel their subscriptions before being billed. Since the Attorney General began investigating, Aton has made nearly $10 million in customer refunds nationwide.

Palm Beach County-based Aton Solutions and subsidiaries GIC LLC, SFL Nutrition LLC, Globalnet Pharmacies LLC and Glades Distribution Services LLC offer 15-day free trials of several products, but the trials triggered an automatic subscription and customers had to cancel the subscriptions before the end of the trial so they would not be billed for the products. The Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Division received thousands of complaints from consumers and opened an investigation in December 2008.

According to the complaints filed with the Attorney General’s Office, customers claimed they were unable to contact the companies by telephone, e-mail or through the company’s websites to cancel future orders under the terms of the free trial offer. As a result, thousands of consumers were continuously billed a monthly fee of $80 or more for products that they neither ordered nor wanted.

Under the settlement, Aton Solutions and its subsidiaries will openly describe all terms and conditions of any trial offer located on the company’s website and will clearly disclose how and when products may be returned. Additionally, the company will maintain adequate customer service personnel to field cancellation requests in compliance with the terms and conditions of the free trial offer and will continue to examine, address and resolve all complaints related to the company’s business, products and trial offers.

In addition to the consumer refunds, Aton has agreed to pay $250,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs and will continue to issue refunds to any consumers who have complaints. The companies have fully cooperated with Attorney General’s investigation.

The company that agreed to the settlement sells Acai Berry Supreme and Extreme Acai Berry, among others. While I applaud the Attorney General for looking into this scam, I can not help wonder how much difference it will make. At least some people will get some of their money back, but how many just gave up when they couldn’t reach anybody to cancel the autoship? While they might have had their credit card company stop further payments, many of them are likely out of the money for the first couple of shipments. Clearly, this company has made a lot of money on this product as they agreed to a settlement of $10 million in refunds.

The company is also allowed to continue to sell these in my opinion useless products. The requirement to “clearly disclose how and when products may be returned” is technically fulfilled, but who checks the “Terms and Conditions” before placing a $3.95 order for a “Risk Free Trial?” Or, understands the statement about “a negative option” that has been added to the bottom of the page?

†I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS CONSUMER TRANSACTION INVOLVES A NEGATIVE OPTION AND THAT I MAY BE LIABLE FOR PAYMENT OF FUTURE GOODS AND SERVICES, UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, IF I FAIL TO NOTIFY THE SUPPLIER NOT TO SUPPLY THE GOODS OR SERVICES DESCRIBED.

It is also annoying that the supposed benefits of this product were not questioned. Acai Berry continues to be sold as a detox and weight loss supplement despite there being no proof of these claims. None. The only studies that have been done have confirmed a relatively high amount of antioxidants but then there are no studies that show that antioxidants are beneficial to us in the first place.

FTC Charges Hoodia Marketers

Posted by 5 May, 2009 As diet forum,diet pills,diet supplements,healthy diet,magic diet,magic pill,weight loss forum (0) Comment

FTC Charges Marketers of ‘Hoodia’ Weight Loss Supplements With Deceptive Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission has charged the suppliers of supposed Hoodia gordonii, also known as hoodia, with deceptive advertising for claiming that using their product would lead to weight loss and appetite suppression.

In its complaint, the FTC alleges that the defendants not only made false and deceptive claims about what hoodia could do, but also, on one or more occasions, claimed that their product was Hoodia gordonii, a plant native to southern Africa, when it was not.

The FTC has requested that the court order the defendants not to make false or deceptive statements or destroy documents pending trial. The Commission seeks to permanently bar the defendants from deceptively advertising hoodia, and to obtain disgorgement of the defendants’ profits from their hoodia sales.

The defendants allegedly made false and deceptive claims when advertising their fake hoodia to trade customers who manufactured and marketed supplements.

NOTE: The Commission authorizes the filing of a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. A complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendants have actually violated the law.

It is interesting to see how the FTC continues to pursue these companies that make a living by selling weight loss products with claims that are not backed up by facts. This Hoodia charge follows closely on the Hydroxycut warning, the settlement with QVC and the FDA releasing a list of weight loss supplements considered unsafe.

There is still much work to do though. Will the Acai scam and Colon Cleanse come next? I hope so.

We can also hope that these type of cases result in some legislation for deceptive marketing as a whole. That would prevent dangerous diets such as Kimkins to establish themselves on the internet

Stop Taking Hydroxycut

Posted by 1 May, 2009 As diet pills,diet supplements,health,healthy diet,magic diet,magic pill (0) Comment

A few months ago, FDA released a list with names of diet pills that were considered unsafe. Hydroxycut was not one of them, but FDA now warns consumers to immediately stop taking this popular diet pill.

The FDA Press Release states:

FDA Warns Consumers to Stop Using Hydroxycut Products
Dietary Supplements Linked to One Death; Pose Risk of Liver Injury

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to immediately stop using Hydroxycut products by Iovate Health Sciences Inc., of Oakville, Ontario and distributed by Iovate Health Sciences USA Inc. of Blasdell, N.Y. Some Hydroxycut products are associated with a number of serious liver injuries. Iovate has agreed to recall Hydroxycut products from the market.

The FDA has received 23 reports of serious health problems ranging from jaundice and elevated liver enzymes, an indicator of potential liver injury, to liver damage requiring liver transplant. One death due to liver failure has been reported to the FDA. Other health problems reported include seizures; cardiovascular disorders; and rhabdomyolysis, a type of muscle damage that can lead to other serious health problems such as kidney failure.

Liver injury, although rare, was reported by patients at the doses of Hydroxycut recommended on the bottle. Symptoms of liver injury include jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes) and brown urine. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, light-colored stools, excessive fatigue, weakness, stomach or abdominal pain, itching, and loss of appetite.

“The FDA urges consumers to discontinue use of Hydroxycut products in order to avoid any undue risk. Adverse events are rare, but exist. Consumers should consult a physician or other health care professional if they are experiencing symptoms possibly associated with these products,” said Linda Katz, M.D., interim chief medical officer of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Hydroxycut products are dietary supplements that are marketed for weight-loss, as fat burners, as energy-enhancers, as low carb diet aids, and for water loss under the Iovate and MuscleTech brand names. The list of products being recalled by Iovate currently includes:

Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Max Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix)
Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Liquid Shots
Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink)
Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed
Hydroxycut 24
Hydroxycut Carb Control
Hydroxycut Natural

Although the FDA has not received reports of serious liver-related adverse reactions for all Hydroxycut products, Iovate has agreed to recall all the products listed above. Hydroxycut Cleanse and Hoodia products are not affected by the recall. Consumers who have any of the products involved in the recall are advised to stop using them and to return them to the place of purchase. The agency has not yet determined which ingredients, dosages, or other health-related factors may be associated with risks related to these Hydroxycut products. The products contain a variety of ingredients and herbal extracts.

Health care professionals and consumers are encouraged to report serious adverse events (side effects) or product quality problems with the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online, by regular mail, fax or phone.

  • Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Regular Mail: Use FDA postage paid form 3500 found at: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/getforms.htm and mail to MedWatch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787
  • Fax: 800-FDA-0178
  • Phone: 800-FDA-1088

The FDA continues to investigate the potential relationship between Hydroxycut dietary supplements and liver injury or other potentially serious side effects.

The main Hydroxycut website is putting a little milder spin on it. hydroxycut.com is redirected to hydroxycutinformation.com where they state:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a consumer advisory about certain Hydroxycut-branded products. According to the advisory, the FDA has received 23 reports over the years about consumers having experienced serious liver-related problems coinciding with the time they were taking Hydroxycut-branded products. The advisory states that, “Although the liver damage appears to be relatively rare, FDA believes consumers should not be exposed to unnecessary risk.”

While this is a small number of reports relative to the many millions of people who have used Hydroxycut products over the years, out of an abundance of caution and because consumer safety is our top priority, we are voluntarily recalling these Hydroxycut-branded products.

Hmm. The Hydroxycut company must have received a different version of the advisory as compared to the press release. Or, could it be that they are stretching the truth a little?

FDA said nothing about “over the years,” “liver-related problems,” “exposed to unnecessary risk,” nor mentioned “millions of people.”

FDA said “serious liver injuries” and “urges consumers to discontinue use of Hydroxycut products in order to avoid any undue risk.”

Also note that the “standard blame” that people exceed the recommended dose (as was done with Ephedra) cannot be used in this case. FDA states

Liver injury, although rare, was reported by patients at the doses of Hydroxycut recommended on the bottle. Symptoms of liver injury include jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes) and brown urine. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, light-colored stools, excessive fatigue, weakness, stomach or abdominal pain, itching, and loss of appetite.

Please stop taking this “supplement” immediately. I would also suggest not to go in search of another miracle pill to take it’s place. Surely, it’s just a matter of time before they find that pill to be harmful as well.

Note. Iovate Health Sciences USA Inc, the manufacturer of Hydroxycut, will provide a refund if you return the bottle to the place of purchase.

Dry Roasted Peanuts

Posted by 1 February, 2009 As diet,healthy diet,low carb,peanuts,weight loss (0) Comment

Why would people buy them? I think they taste awful and rather go without than to eat any. Now, standard (party) peanuts I like just fine.

Is this a result of the low fat craze? Then it’s gone horribly bad, as with many other “low-fat” products.

Reading from the jar, 1 oz of dry roasted peanuts has 160 calories. The party peanuts have 170 calories. So you save 10 calories by choosing the vile dry roasted variety. That would mean that instead of eating 39 nuts (1 oz) of the party peanuts, you can have about 2 (two!) more of the dry roasted variety to end up with the same amount of calories! And for this, I am supposed to sacrifice taste? I don’t think so.

Even worse, if you are on a low carb diet, you are better off with the party peanuts. They have 5 grams of carbs (2 fiber) for 1 oz as compared to 6 grams (still 2 fiber) for the dry roasted. So where did the extra carb come from?

The answer is pretty obvious when looking at the ingredients.

Party peanuts contain: Peanuts, peanut and/or canola and/or cottonseed oil, salt.

Dry roasted peanuts contain: Peanuts, salt, corn starch, sugar, maltodextrin, yeast extract, corn suryp solids, dried yeast, paprika and other spices, hydrolyzed soy protein, natural flavor, onion and garlic powder.

Which one would you choose?

I think it’s a good idea to avoid any artificial additives as much as possible. I’m sure I get enough chemicals in my body even when doing my best to avoid them. I will not willingly add any if I have a choice. It’s obvious with this example that they had to add a lot of things to the dry roasted to make them edible. (I still find them not to be.) And for what? A measly 10 calories!

Losing Weight or Keeping It Off

Posted by 31 January, 2009 As diet,health,healthy diet,maintain weight loss,quick weight loss,weight loss (0) Comment

What is most important? Losing weight or keeping it off? The answer seems to be losing. Fast.

Every dieter is looking for the formula that will provide the quickest weight loss possible. Of course, time is critical as we know by experience that we will not be able to stick to the diet for any longer period of time. Sooner or later there will be off plan eating. Sooner or later, the deprivation will lead to a binge. We just hope that it will never happen. Still, it always does.

A “successful” diet is one where the on-plan eating produces a larger pound loss than what is regained during off-plan incidents. We might even reach goal. Yay! And then what?

There is no glory in maintenance. No rewards. Not seeing a lower scale number every day. Nobody telling you: “Wow, you are just as thin now as six months ago!”

Media is not helpful. Programs like the Biggest Loser reinforce the idea that it’s all about losing weight. Quickly. At all costs. Diet sites feature weight loss success stories like “Cindy lost 100 pounds in 8 months.”

Or, the ridiculous Kimkins newsletters that try to sell that diet by saying that someone lost 10 pounds in a week. And that will tell me just what? If you have a substantial amount of weight to lose, it is not difficult to drop 10 pounds in a week by not eating. But how long can you continue to do that? Will those 10 pounds stay off even a month? A year? 10 years?

What’s the point in losing weight if it doesn’t stay off?

Restrictive diets don’t work. Find a way of eating that you can do for life. With healthy choices (and you know what those are) you might not end up model thin, but there is a good chance that you will reach a healthy weight range. That you can maintain.

Beware of “Natural” Weight Loss Supplements

Posted by 10 January, 2009 As diet,diet pills,diet supplements,health,healthy diet,quick weight loss,weight loss (0) Comment

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that there is a range of diet pills being sold nationwide, as well as over the internet, that are now considered unsafe.

FDA suggests to consult with your health care professional before taking dietary supplements to treat obesity or other diseases. All consumers should be familiar with the following signs of health fraud:

  • Promises of an “easy” fix for problems like excess weight, hair loss, or impotency.
  • Claims such as “scientific breakthrough,” “miraculous cure,” “secret ingredient,” and “ancient remedy.”
  • Impressive-sounding terms, such as “hunger stimulation point” and “thermogenesis” for a weight loss product.
  • Claims that the product is safe because it is “natural.”
  • Undocumented case histories or personal testimonials by consumers or doctors claiming amazing results.
  • Promises of no-risk, money-back guarantees.

I would like to add “studies suggest” or “extensive research indicates” or “patented.” None of these statements really say that what was studied, researched or patented actually did anything.

But when I first saw this announcement a couple of weeks back, I was under the impression that while these pills / supplements were completely useless, they might not really pose much danger. Not so. Reading closer, I find that these “natural supplements” may “contain prescription drugs in amounts that greatly exceed their maximum recommended dose.”

The updated (01/08/2009) list includes the following products:

Contains Sibutramine

  • 2 Day Diet
  • 2 Day Diet Slim Advance
  • 2x Powerful Slimming
  • 3 Day Diet
  • 3 Days Fit
  • 3x Slimming Power
  • 5x Imelda Perfect Slimming
  • 7 Day Herbal Slim
  • 7 Days Diet
  • 7 Diet
  • 7 Diet Day/Night Formula
  • 8 Factor Diet
  • Eight Factor Diet
  • 21 Double Slim
  • 24 Hours Diet
  • 999 Fitness Essence
  • BioEmagrecim
  • Body Creator
  • Body Shaping
  • Body Slimming
  • Cosmo Slim
  • Extrim Plus
  • Extrim Plus 24 Hour Reburn
  • Fasting Diet
  • Fatloss Slimming
  • GMP
  • Imelda Fat Reducer
  • Imelda Perfect Slim
  • JM Fat Reducer
  • Lida DaiDaihua
  • Meili
  • Meizitang
  • Miaozi MeiMiaoQianZiJiaoNang
  • Miaozi Slim Capsules
  • Natural Model
  • Perfect Slim
  • Perfect Slim 5x
  • Perfect Slim Up
  • Powerful Slim
  • ProSlim Plus
  • Reduce Weight
  • Royal Slimming Formula
  • Sana Plus
  • Slim 3 in 1
  • Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Formula
  • Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Waist Formula
  • Slim 3 in 1 M18 Royal Diet
  • Slim 3 in 1 Slim Formula
  • Slim Burn
  • Slim Express 4 in 1
  • Slim Express 360
  • Slim Fast
  • Slim Tech
  • Slim Up
  • Slim Waist Formula
  • Slim Waistline
  • Sliminate
  • Slimming Formula
  • Somotrim
  • Super Fat Burner
  • Superslim
  • Super Slimming
  • Trim 2 Plus
  • Triple Slim
  • Venom Hyperdrive 3.0
  • Waist Strength Formula
  • Zhen de Shou

Contains Rimonabant

  • Phyto Shape

Contains Phenytoin

  • 3x Slimming Power
  • Extrim Plus

Contains Phenolphthalein

  • 8 Factor Diet
  • 24 Hours Diet
  • Fatloss Slimming
  • Imelda Perfect Slim
  • Perfect Slim 5x
  • Royal Slimming Formula
  • Superslim
  • Zhen de Shou

Contains Bumetanide

  • Starcaps

FDA details what these ingredients do:

Sibutramine is a Schedule IV controlled substance and the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Meridia, an approved prescription drug to treat obesity. Some of the identified products recommend taking more than 3 times the recommended daily dosage of sibutramine. Because of this, even consumers without a history of health problems that take these high doses of sibutramine may suffer serious adverse effects if they take these products, such as increased blood pressure, tachycardia, palpitations, and seizure.

Rimonabant is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Zimulti which has not been approved in the United States. In Europe the drug is known as Acomplia. In June 2007, the FDA Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee unanimously voted not to recommend approval of the drug because of increased risk of neurological and psychiatric side effects—seizures, depression, anxiety, insomnia, aggressiveness, and suicidal thoughts among patients. In June of 2008, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the United Kingdom linked rimonabant to 5 deaths and 720 adverse reactions over the past two years. In October, the European Medicines Agency recommended that marketing and sales of Accomplia be suspended due to safety concerns.

Phenolphthalein was an ingredient in some Over-the-Counter laxative products until 1999 when the FDA reclassified the drug as “not generally recognized as safe and effective” after studies indicated that phenolphthalein presented a potential carcinogenic risk. Phenolphthalein has also been found to be genotoxic in that it can damage or cause mutations to DNA.

Phenytoin is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Dilantin, an approved anti-seizure medication.

Bumetanide is a the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Bumex, a prescription diuretic. Potential risks associated with the use of Bumetanide include serious and significant fluid and electrolyte loss and an elevation in uric acid concentrations.

Tipping the Scales to Health

Posted by 20 December, 2008 As diet,diet forum,health,healthy diet,maintain weight loss,weight loss,weight loss forum (0) Comment

Tipping the Scales to Health

is now open!

The online world has a wonderful new resource
for desperate dieters and
anybody else who is determined to make health a priority in 2009.

Join old friends and new as we kick the New Year off
with a renewed dedication to health and weight loss