New Health Discovery? The Doctor Oz Effect

In 2015, Lindsey Duncan and the companies he controlled have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they deceptively touted the supposed weight-loss benefits of green coffee bean extract through a campaign that included appearances on The Dr. Oz Show, The View, and other television programs.

Under the FTC settlement the defendants are barred from making deceptive claims about the health benefits or efficacy of any dietary supplement or drug product, and will pay $9 million for consumer redress.

The FTC charged that Duncan and his companies, Pure Health LLC and Genesis Today, Inc. deceptively claimed that the supplement could cause consumers to lose 17 pounds and 16 percent of their body fat in just 12 weeks without diet or exercise, and the claim was backed up by clinical study.  In September 2014, the FTC settled charges against the company that sponsored the severely flawed study that Duncan discussed on Dr. Oz show.

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Teaching Suggestions

  • Prepare a list of activities individuals can do to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Choose a current issue of Consumer Reports, Money, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, or other magazines and summarize an article that relates to losing weight.

Discussion Questions

  1. How can you reduce personal health care costs, including losing weight?
  2. Why is it important for consumers to carefully evaluate products?
  3. What are the keys to successful weight loss?

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