BBB: The ‘skinny’ on weight-loss scams

BBB: The ‘skinny’ on weight-loss scams
(Source: pixabay)

BATON ROUGE, LA - If you made a resolution to shed a few pounds this year, don’t be fooled by get-slim-quick pills, powders, or juices. It may be tempting to think of slathering on a cream or drinking “detox” tea to drop a size, but all you’d likely lose is money.

To help avoid losing money to a weight-loss scam, the FDA advises consumers to look for the red flags that a product won’t do what it claims.

Weight-Loss Scam Warning Signs:

  • Quick-fix promises, like “lose 10 pounds in one week!”
  • Language like “scientific breakthrough” or “guaranteed”
  • Products marketed through mass emails or in a foreign language
  • “Herbal supplements” claiming similar effects to FDA-approved or prescription drugs

Losing Weight Without the Scams:

Check with your doctor or registered dietician about losing weight healthfully or introducing dietary supplements.

Visit to check the company’s BBB Business Review for a record of consumer complaints.

Go with your gut. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Be wary of big claims. If the product promises to help shed an unrealistic amount of weight very quickly, it’s probably a scam.

Avoid the extreme. Look for phrases such as “quick and effective” and “totally safe.”

Be skeptical about testimonials. Don’t trust stories of fast weight loss or incredible results from using diet products.

If you’d like to report an online diet product you believe may be tainted, the FDA urges you to report that information. Be sure to check for news of weight-loss product claims, to file a complaint, or to find out more about businesses you can - or can’t - trust.