It must be so tempting for unscrupulous entrepreneurs:
Find an obscure weight loss product from somewhere overseas. Re-brand it. Hype it up. Create an infomercial. Make millions.
This time it’s Slim Coffee. The claims are impressive:
- Reduce appetite.
- Clinically tested.
- Lose 5 pounds per week.
All from drinking coffee with a few supplements added (or so they say).
The makers of Slim Coffee have been pursued by the FTC – resulting in a $923,000 settlement. From the FTC settlement report:
According to a complaint filed by the FTC in federal district court, the defendants’ weight-loss claims for Slim Coffee were false and unsupported by any reliable scientific studies, in violation of the FTC Act. Among other things, the Commission’s complaint alleged that neither Slim Coffee nor any of its individual ingredients, including hoodia, would enable its users to lose as much as two to five pounds per week, without reducing caloric intake or increasing physical activity.
The Compelling Slim Coffee Infomercial
You can see the that TV ad (complete with testimonials, rippling abs, and bronzed bikini bodies) is pretty nutty. They even managed to get a certified personal trainer to endorse the product!
Same Thing as Silhouette Express-o
As for the clinical trials – I managed to trace the product back to a European product called “Silhouette Express-o”. The site is Russian – and gives a telephone number that leads to Moscow. As for the “clinical tests” the only clue we have is this: “Prompt result is confirmed by clinical tests, carried on in Belgium and Italy.”
Hoodia, a cactus that grows in the Kalahari Desert, has received a lot of press for being a weight-loss revelation, but many medical experts don’t believe the hype. Celebrity health guru Dr. Andrew Weil offers some advice about Hoodia:
We may learn someday that there are hoodia benefits and it does promote weight loss by effectively suppressing appetite, but until we do, I wouldn’t waste money on products that haven’t been proven to work and may not contain any hoodia at all.
It’s probably a good idea to side with the doc on this one.