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'It's About Time,' Says the National Eating Disorders Association

NEDA Applauds Federal Trade Commission's Move to Charge Popular Weight-Loss Companies With Fraud. $34 Million to be Refunded to Misled Consumers.

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) applauds the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for deeming marketing claims by companies selling popular dietary supplements, food additives and skin creams as "unfounded promises."

The decision came on Tuesday as the FTC charged Sensa Products, L'Occitane, HCG Diet Direct and LeanSpa with fraud, ordering the companies to collectively pay $34 million in settlement funds which will be refunded to consumers who bought products with the promise of miraculous weight loss.

Commented Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA, "For years, the eating disorders field has been sounding the alarm on fad dieting. The damage to public health runs deeper than corporate profitability. Not only do 95% of all dieters regain their lost weight within five years, dieting causes many to use unhealthy weight control behaviors. For those genetically predisposed, this can lead to a life-threatening eating disorder. We are ecstatic to see the FTC hold these companies accountable for their false science and deceptive advertising."

Jessica Rich, director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement, "Resolutions to lose weight are easy to make but hard to keep. And the chances of being successful just by sprinkling something on your food, rubbing cream on your thighs or using a supplement are slim to none. The science just isn't there."

In 2014, consumers are expected to spend about $66 billion on diet soft drinks, health club memberships, dietary supplements and other products aimed at weight loss, according to Marketdata Enterprises.

STATISTICS ON DIETING: 46% of 9-to 11-year-olds are "sometimes" or "very often" on diets and 82% of their families are "sometimes" or "very often" on diets (Gustafson-Larson & Terry, 1992) ● 35-57% of adolescent girls engage in crash dieting, fasting, self-induced vomiting, diet pills, or laxatives (Boutelle, Neumark-Sztainer, Story, & Resnick, 2002; Neumark-Sztainer & Hannan, 2001; Wertheim et al., 2009) ● Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives (Neumark-Sztainer, 2005) ● Even among clearly non-overweight girls, over one-third report dieting (Wertheim et al., 2009) ● Girls who diet frequently are 12 times as likely to binge as girls who don't diet (Neumark-Sztainer, 2005) ● 95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight in one to five years (Grodstein, Levine, Spencer, Colditz, & Stampfer, 1996; Neumark-Sztainer, Haines, Wall, & Eisenberg, 2007) ● 35% of "normal dieters" progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders (Shisslak, Crago, & Estes, 1995).

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
Feb. 22 - March 1
The 27th annual National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is Feb. 22-March 1 and NEDA is once again waging war in communities across the country against eating disorders and unrealistic "body-perfect" ideals - as well as fighting for more research, support and access to treatment for these life-threatening illnesses.

For a list of activities in your community (new updates will be added regularly), visit:

About the National Eating Disorders Association
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in New York City, is the leading U.S. non-profit organization supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Each year, NEDA helps millions of people across the country find information and appropriate treatment resources through its toll-free, live helpline, its many outreach programs and website. NEDA advocates for advancements in the field and envisions a world without eating disorders. For more information, visit

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For Treatment Referrals, Visit
Or Contact NEDA's Live Helpline: 800-931-2237
Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. (EST)
Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (EST)


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Categories: Exercise and Physical Fitness

Tags: Eating Disorders, FTC, Health, NEDA, Sensa, weight loss

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Vicki Greenleaf
Greenleaf & Associates
Greenleaf & Associates
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