The Federal Trade Commission on Monday charged that Body Flex, a weight-loss program featured in television infomercials, did not help users quickly lose fat and inches off their waists, contrary to its claims.
The agency filed a lawsuit against the promoters of Body Flex in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, saying they made claims that weren't true.
Body Flex spent $22 million this year to air its infomercial more than 2,000 times, claiming its program, which involves a breathing regimen and exercises with a plastic bar and elastic band, would help users drop 4 to 14 inches across six body areas in a week. The company says the routine could be done sitting down in 18 to 20 minutes a day.
"These claims of fast, easy inch loss without diet or exercise exploit the millions of overweight Americans looking for an effective weight-loss and exercise program," said Howard Beales, the FTC's consumer protection bureau director. "Frankly, we think Body Flex's breathtaking claims are full of hot air."
Joe Costa, lawyer for the California companies that market Body Flex, Savvier Inc. and Savvier LP, said the product had been sold for 10 years to customers who love it.
"To the best of our knowledge, the FTC has not yet had an opportunity to review the substantiation and the studies supporting the Body Flex products," Costa said. "We look forward to working with the FTC in providing them with this information, and are confident that once the FTC has fully had an opportunity to review and analyze the clinical substantiation for this product, the situation will be resolved."