With its claims of rapid weight loss, the HCG diet is now the focus of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuit involving false claims allegations.
The lawsuit claims allege that Right Way Nutrition and Kevin Wright, an Arizona resident who, says CBS 5/KPHO Broadcasting Corporation, is the owner of the company, have long been endangering consumers with their rapid weight loss promises. The claims are bogus, the FTC says. The lawsuit also alleges that Right Way Nutrition and Wright have been earning millions of dollars on these bogus weight loss claims, according to CBS 5.HCG Platinum, which contains a hormone produced during pregnancy, is advertised with promises that users can lose one to two pounds daily for weeks and that the program is safe and proven to lower weight and cholesterol and burn fat, according to CBS 5. Users of HCG Platinum are instructed to take a few drops three times daily and to also eat two meals a day that are comprised of meat and vegetables as well as two fruits a day, for no more than 500 calories total.
Registered Dietician Monika Woolsey told CBS 5 that it is the low calorie diet, not the HCG Platinum, that is leading to weight loss and that, on this diet, people are starving themselves. People consuming “less than 1200 calories a day, you are not sustaining life. And the type of weight you are losing is not fat, it’s muscle. And your heart is a muscle so you are potentially setting yourself up for some serious medical problems,” Woolsey added.
Kevin Wright told CBS 5 News that he is working to resolve the matter and has stopped sales and distribution of the products named in the lawsuit.
The FTC brought the lawsuit in Arizona federal court over allegations that the products’ claims are false and lack appropriate substantiation. The FTC’s complaint for permanent injunction and other equitable relief concerns the way in which the diet products, manufactured by HCG Platinum LLC and Right Way Nutrition LLC, were advertised and marketed, according to Law360.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone found in the human placenta that, says the FTC, “for decades has been falsely promoted by various marketers for weight loss,” according to Law360.
Wright and his companies, HCG Platinum and Right Way Nutrition LLC, marketed the HCG Platinum liquid drops through their own websites as well as through stores that included GNC, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. The defendants also made claims on Facebook, in product packaging, in Internet pop-up advertisements, and in magazines, according to the FTC. The charge for the products is between $60 and $149 for a 30-day supply of one of the three HCG Platinum formulations.
The advertising also indicates that the one-to-two pound daily weight loss can be maintained for multiple weeks for up to a total loss of 127 pounds, Law360 reported. To date, more than $13 million worth of HCG Platinum products have been sold since 2010.