Wallingford, CT—More than 4,300 complaints concerning weight-loss supplements were filed last year with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) across the United States, according to the Connecticut BBB in an alert that warns customers about the products.
The complaints included grievances related to misleading advertising, failure to receive merchandise that was paid for, refund and exchange issues and adverse reactions from use of a supplement, the Connecticut BBB said. The Connecticut BBB noted the FTC has levied $35 million in fines against four national companies that made unsubstantiated claims about their weight-loss supplements.
"Claims about dramatic results from weight loss supplements are not new," Connecticut BBB President Paulette Scarpetti said in a statement. “Unfortunately, internet ads are exposing many more consumers to products that don’t deliver what they promise."
Early this year, the FTC announced that the marketers of the powdered food additive Sensa entered an agreement to return $26.5 million to consumers in what is the second-biggest deceptive advertising settlement in the history of the agency. The agreement was announced as part of "Operation Failed Resolution," an FTC initiative to crack down on unsubstantiated claims by weight-loss marketers touting food additives, skin cream and dietary supplements.
In an effort to protect consumers from dangerous or worthless products, the BBB advises consumers to consult their healthcare provider, research supplements, be wary of exaggerated claims, and conduct research through venerated websites operated by the government, a university or esteemed medical database.