Weight-Loss Quick Fixes Slim Wallets
The FDA is warning consumers against weight-loss scams, but with the number of new products that hit markets, officials say they find it difficult to keep up.
The most dangerous thing, experts say, is consumers thinking they have found a solution in a pill or gimmick. If a pill existed that cured the weight-loss problem, we'd know about it.
The season's half over and you still can't fit into that bikini. Some super-savvy marketers of weight-loss products hope they've got your number.
Pills and diet plans promising to help shed pounds in days have made the weight-loss industry a more than $62-billion-a-year business, up from about $38 billion 10 years ago, estimates Market Data. But most diet pills haven't been approved for safe weight loss by the Food and Drug Administration, and products often make unsubstantiated scientific claims, consumer experts say. Dietary supplements don't need to register with the FDA nor get approval before going on sale; the FDA only takes action if the product later proves to be unsafe.
Several companies, however, promise their products will help you slip into that little black dress. And consumers seem as eager as ever to reach deep into their wallets for a quick, easy fix.
The FDA -- which just approved two new diet pills this summer for the first time in 13 years, Qsymia and Belviq -- tries to warn consumers against dangerous products by updating its list of "tainted" weight-loss supplements, meaning it has identified hidden active ingredients, and the Federal Trade Commission looks for misleading and false advertising. But with the number of new products that hit markets, officials say they find it difficult to keep up.
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