WASHINGTON—The former CEO of an Atlanta-based marketing operation has agreed to be banned from the weight-loss industry, the FTC announced last week, after the agency accused the executive and the company he co-founded of making unsubstantiated claims that consumers could rapidly drop a significant amount of pounds by taking supplements.
The FTC approved two final orders settling charges that John Matthew Dwyer III and HealthyLife Sciences, LLC made deceptive claims that their Healthe Trim supplements would burn fat, increase metabolism and suppress appetite, the agency said in a news release.
One of the advertisements quoted by the FTC said: “How’s it going? It’s Skeery Jones. A lot of people have been asking me over the past year about this all-natural supplement I’ve been taking, which has allowed me to lose a whole bunch of weight and still eat the foods I like when I want them. It’s called Healthe Trim at HealthyTrim.com."
Healthe Trim Original Formula was introduced in 2009, and the company brought to market additional weight-loss products in 2012 and 2013, according to FTC’s complaint. The price for a one-month supply of the products ranged from approximately $49.95 to $64.95, with the company’s gross sales (minus refunds) through the end of last year exceeding $76 million. The weight-loss supplements were mostly sold through the website, www.healthytrim.com, and Original Formula was also sold in retail stores including CVS, GNC and Walgreens.
FTC said Dwyer has agreed to be banned from the weight-loss industry, and he cannot make or market weight-loss products.
“HealthyLife Sciences is banned from making any of the seven weight-loss claims that the FTC has publicly advised are scientifically infeasible, with respect to any supplement, over-the-counter drug, or any product rubbed into or worn on the skin," the agency added in the news release. “The settlement with HealthyLife Sciences also requires that the company have two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trials to support other claims relating to weight loss, increased metabolism, or appetite suppression."
Atlanta-based HealthyLife Sciences did not immediately respond Monday to an emailed request for comment.