Smart Woman: Deceptive Weight Loss Ads

Published 06/17 2014 06:21PM

Updated 06/17 2014 06:42PM

Deceptive advertisements that promise to help you loose weight are everywhere. Some lawmakers in Washington are tired of it and held a hearing to address the issue.

Over the past 5 seasons of his syndicated show, Dr. Mehmet Oz has touted a series of exotic diet aids. Oz's advice is so influential, one mention of a product can case sales to skyrocket. The phenomenon even has its own name, the "Dr. Oz Effect." 

After Dr. Oz touted a substance called "Green Coffee Extract" one company in Florida sold half a million bottles, only to be sued by the Federal Trade Commission for false advertising. 

Senator Claire McCaskill argues Dr. Oz is fueling a diet industry filled with unfounded and expensive products.

"I have no problem with celebrity endorsements of any product, but I do have a problem when a science based doctor says something is a miracle when there is no science to back it up."

In a statement to CBS, Dr. Oz says, "The issue of scams connected to products I talk about has plagued me since long before I launched the Dr. Oz show...I have constantly reminded viewers never to buy anything that uses my name or a clip from my show and that I do not sell any products."  

McCaskill says the problem goes well beyond one TV Show. She argues broadcasters and major websites need to do a better job weeding out dubious advertisers who promise their product will help Americans lose 30 pounds in 30 days, or burn fat without diet or exercise. 

"They are accepting so much advertising that's false on its face. It is pretty clear tat most of what they are claiming is just not true." 

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