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FTC Issues Media Guide To Screen Diet Ads

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WASHINGTON, Dec 09, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The Federal Trade Commission announced an education campaign Tuesday to assist the media in screening out too good to be true weight-loss product ads.

To support the voluntary initiative, the FTC released a media reference guide entitled, "Red Flag: Bogus Weight Loss Claims."

"Unfortunately, there are way too many ads for scientifically impossible weight-loss products in the media," FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris said in a statement. "The media should institute screening programs to 'red flag' deceitful weight-loss ads and refuse to run them."

The media guide builds upon the FTC's 2002 workshop that explored new approaches to stop false weight-loss advertising and its subsequent report, Deception in Weight-Loss Advertising Workshop: Seizing Opportunities and Building Partnerships to Stop Weight-Loss Fraud.

The report provides an analysis of the scientific feasibility of several weight-loss claims and offers recommendations to screen out ads with claims that include: weight loss of two pounds or more a week without dieting or exercise: substantial weight loss, no matter how much one eats; or causes substantial weight loss by wearing something on the body or rubbing it into the skin.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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