Millions being tricked into buying useless diet food products or supplements



American pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company has agreed to plead guilty and pay $1.415 billion for promoting its drug Zyprexa for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Justice announced. This resolution includes a criminal fine of $515 million, the largest ever in a health care case, and the

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Globally every year, obese people waste billions of pounds on food products that ‘imply’ that they aid weight loss, but are totally ineffective, says a nutritional expert on bmj.com.

Professor Lean from the University of Glasgow, is hopeful that a new European Union (EU) Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices, adopted this year in UK, will finally protect vulnerable consumers who are tricked into to buying useless food products or supplements in attempts to combat their disease.

Unlike medicines, food products that are marketed for health reasons are not subject to the same stringent research trials and control, and consumers are often misled.

It is already illegal for unsubstantiated claims to be made about the composition or nutritional function of food products, eg. that they are low in fat, high in fibre or help lower cholesterol, and it is also illegal to claim that a food can treat or prevent any disease-including obesity. However, many unsubstantiated health claims are still made, or implied. Misleading marketing can be found within brand names and images on packaging, in shelf or shop names, or on websites which suggest that products help weight control, are slimming, or are “Health Foods”, when there is no evidence.

Lean is concerned that obese people have been fooled into parting with billions of pounds every year on products that cannot help them. In 2000, people in the US spent $35bn (£22bn) on weight loss products, many of them making false and unsubstantiated claims.

The “commercial exploitation of vulnerable patients with quack medicines” will hopefully be brought to an end with the introduction of the new EU directive, say Lean. However, the laws need to be enforced proactively to enable doctors and consumers to move towards managing diseases confidently with evidence based treatment and diet programmes.

He points out that, of all the hundreds of products currently on sale to help people lose weight, only energy-restricted diets and exercise, the drugs orlistat and sibutramine, and in some cases bariatric surgery, are safe, effective and cost-effective. The remainder, he says, are either not effective or not safe.

The new regulations “may even help with the bigger battle to prevent obesity, by prohibiting advertisements across the EU that encourage children to buy energy dense products or to pester their parents to buy them”, he adds.

http://www.bma.org.uk

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A British nutrition expert says billions of dollars are being wasted on ‘quack’ health food products. According to Professor Michael Lean from the University of Glasgow, globally every year, obese people waste billions of pounds on food products that ‘imply’ that they aid weight loss, which are actually totally ineffective. Professor Lean says the distinction

Full Post: Expert says billions of dollars wasted on ‘quack’ health food products



The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that Wilderness Family Naturals LLC of Silver Bay, Minn., and its owners have signed a consent decree that prohibits them from manufacturing and distributing any products with unapproved claims that the products cure, treat, mitigate or prevent diseases. Wilderness Family is a manufacturer and distributor of conventional

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Soft drink giant Coca-Cola has been accused of making deceptive and unsubstantiated health claims about its Vitaminwater beverages. According to the American consumer group the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Coca-Cola have made a range of claims about Vitaminwater that go beyond those allowed by the Food and Drug Administration. The CSPI

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a Class 1 recall today for two unapproved and uncleared devices whose manufacturers claimed could treat various medical conditions. A Class 1 recall means that there is a reasonable probability that the use of a device will cause adverse health consequences or death. The manufacturers, VIBE Technologies

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Obesity gradually numbs the taste sensation of rats to sweet foods and drives them to consume larger and ever-sweeter meals, according to neuroscientists. Findings from the Penn State study could uncover a critical link between taste and body weight, and reveal how flab hooks the brain on sugary food. “When you have a reduced sensitivity

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