John Matthew Dwyer III, co-founder and CEO of HealthyLife Sciences, based in Atlanta, GA, marketed a line of products under the Healthe Trim brand name that promised that users would “Get High School Skinny.” The products supposedly burned fat, increased metabolism and suppressed appetite.
Dwyer and HealthyLife Sciences advertised that their Healthe Trim supplements - which were sold online and at CVS, GNC, and Walgreens for up to $65 for a month's supply - would cause rapid and substantial weight loss of as much as 165 pounds, according to the FTC. HealthyLife Sciences sold an Original Formula that purportedly contained hoodia gordonii as well as formulas containing raspberry ketone, green coffee bean, and garcinia cambogia.
The advertising relied heavily on consumer testimonials, which portrayed losing weight as easy. Weight loss claims listing specific totals of potential pounds to be lost and that portray losing weight as trouble-free are a sure-fire way to get the agency’s attention, experts have said.
"Losing weight is rarely easy, and it would be a miracle if a pill made it so," said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Consumers should be skeptical when a product like this one claims to make weight loss easy."
Under the settlements, Dwyer is banned from manufacturing and marketing weight-loss products. HealthyLife Sciences is banned from advertising that its products cause weight loss of two pounds or more a week for a month or more without dieting or exercise; cause substantial weight loss no matter what or how much the user eats; cause permanent weight loss; block the absorption of fat or calories to enable the user to lose substantial weight; safely enable users to lose more than three pounds per week for more than four weeks; cause substantial weight loss for all users; or cause substantial weight loss by wearing a product on the body or rubbing it into the skin.