Caffeinated underwear makers’ weight loss claims scrutinized by FTC

(NaturalNews) Weight loss is such an obsession that anything promising to help one lose weight or unsightly fat is almost a guaranteed sale. You’ll hear radio ads explaining that there’s still time to get involved in their free trial if you call 1-800-NEW-SLIM in the next 10 minutes.

There are plenty of potions promising that. But it goes beyond ridiculousness when it comes to clothing that will help you lose weight. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) jumped on a couple of clothing manufacturers who claimed that their caffeine-soaked undergarments could trim fat to ensure weight loss if worn eight hours daily for 28 days.

Do they also help you stay awake and alert on long drives? Just in case you think that soaking your skivvies in coffee may produce the same results, it’s not quite that way.

Norm Thompson Outfitters, Inc., and Wacoal America, Inc., have been selling “shapewear” undergarments that are infused with microencapsulated caffeine, retinol, vitamin E and aloe vera. Depending on the type of undergarment, prices range from $44 to $85 for Lytess brand fabric undergarments and iPants ordered online or with old-fashioned mail-order purchases.

They claimed that their shapewear could trim one’s waistline by an inch in a month. Wacoal America even boasted that Dr. Oz had endorsed their product. That wasn’t the case. There were no Dr. Oz endorsements. But that’s a surefire way to boost sales rapidly, and according to Wacoal’s large refund settlement, they did sell a lot more than Norm Thompson.

The two companies also claimed that they even had studies to prove that their shapewear undergarments would work. But the FTC claimed that the studies were “skewed” to misrepresent their efficacy. Golly, these characters are as bad as pharmaceutical companies who skew their study reports to get FDA approvals. But guess what, they’re too big to go after.

One thing is for sure, those undergarments won’t measure up to claims of reducing weight, getting rid of cellulite or trimming anyone’s waistline. But they won’t kill anyone or create adverse side effects the way Vioxx did and the way many vaccines do. The FTC considers advertising false when it can’t be scientifically proven.

So where is the FTC with Big Pharma’s skewed studies? It appears that the FTC is gung ho for going after small, alternative, natural health suppliers with what they consider false advertising, but when it comes to Big Pharma, it’s wait and see if the body count keeps rising and the lawsuits stack up.

In addition to the FTC’s ban on those two companies’ advertising claims, they are being ordered to refund customers’ money. The FTC has agreed to a settlement with Norm Thompson Outfitters of Oregon to set aside $230,000 from which customers can claim refunds, while Wacoal America of New Jersey needs to have $1.3 million set aside.

Presumably, the FTC is the broker for these refunds, totaling $1.5 million. From the FTC’s own press release:

Interested parties can submit written comments on the proposed settlements with Norm Thompson Outfitters and Wacoal America electronically or in paper form by following the instructions in the “Invitation To Comment” part of the “Supplementary Information” section of the Federal Register notice.

Really, how many customers are going to be aware of getting refunds and following up through this system within a month. And who will get the change? Oh well, it’s a fine then.

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