Weight reduction and control
The advertising of products and services for the reduction, gain and control of weight is acceptable and must comply with established nutritional evidence and medical opinion, as well as the guidelines set forth below. Advertising for weight control in areas directed to kids or teens is not acceptable.
The FTC has stated that the following claims are deceptive and are therefore prohibited:
- The product will lead to substantial weight loss for all users.
- The product will lead to permanent weight loss.
- Users of the product can eat as much as they want (or can consume unlimited amounts of high calorie foods) and still lose weight.
- Users of the product can lose fat from specific body parts.
- The product blocks or absorbs fat or calories.
- The product works when applied to the body or skin.
- The product leads to substantial weight loss (more than 2 pounds per week) without need for exercise or calorie reduction.
- Users of the product can safely lose more than three pounds per week for four or more weeks.
Advertising should avoid overemphasizing any one factor in the weight-reduction process, since there are many varied factors which must be taken into consideration.
Due to the individual nature of weight loss, references to a specific number of pounds lost, a specific change in clothing size, a specific period of time involved in the process or a change in a specific area of the body are generally not permitted. However, such claims may be permissible if the advertiser has sufficient substantiation for the claims made in the advertisement, the claims are made in the form of a consumer testimonial or the claims are qualified with a clear and conspicuous disclosure that results are not typical and the typical results are provided.
Advertisements that contain before and after photos must depict actual users of the weight-loss product or service. Ads with photos that appear to have been altered may not be accepted.
Advertisements must be in good taste, and may not stigmatize overweight individuals.
Such advertising must neither depict children using the products and services nor be directed to them.