BBB sheds weighty concerns on HCG products

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

Summer’s swim attire is in full swing. We spent the weekend at the park on Lake Lowell by the dam. Ahem … so did hundreds of others trying to escape the heat.

During a pause in all the disk throwing, volleyball and dog chasing, I overheard a discussion between two women who were near our blanket. They were talking about dieting and slimming down for summer attire.

The first woman mentioned taking a product known as HCG.

Oddly enough, when I walked into the office on Monday, there was a notification about a group of people selling HCG in the Meridian area, and a warning about those products.

HCG manufacturers claim these diet supplements will reset metabolisms, change abnormal eating patterns and shed 20-30 pounds in 30-40 days. According to Elizabeth Miller, a pharmacist of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), HCG is marketed with an extremely unhealthy caloric intake of 500 per day; the average person’s intake is around 2000 calories a day.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and FDA issued seven letters in December of 2011 to businesses selling HCG, warning them they’re selling illegal weight-loss drugs that are not FDA approved.

You cannot sell products claiming to contain HCG as an over-the-counter drug product. It’s illegal, according to Brad Pace, regulatory counsel at FDA’s Health Fraud and Consumer Outreach Branch.

“If these companies don’t heed our warnings, they could face enforcement actions, legal penalties or criminal prosecution,” he says.

The company – Goin Home dba ThinSlim – professes to have a new, FDA-approved product called vibrational hCG, which is energetically charge HCG and transferred into a stable substance –glycerine.

Independent research papers and articles have identified radionics – the energetically charging of products – as being based in mysticism and superstition with no scientific basis behind its theories, according to an American Cancer Society report.

Based on the psuedoscientific process used to produce “vibrational hCG” – radionics – it is likely the product sold by Dave Smith of HCG4U, in Utah, and Lori Godfrey, of Thin Slim Store, in Meridian and Orem, Utah, is simply over-the-counter glycerin sold at a 6000% markup, according to a report from the Custer Agency.

BBB advises consumers to follow these tips when buying diet supplements:

  • Do your research. It is important to know the risks of diet supplements since many are untested and unreliable. Most are composed of caffeine, appetite suppressant, fat blockers and more. Even “natural” supplements are made up of unhealthy ingredients.
  • Know the side effects. Diet supplements are full of ingredients that cause adverse effects such as nausea, increased blood pressure, stroke, seizures, headache, insomnia, and much more.
  • How realistic are those results? Shed those extra pounds, have increased energy, feel fuller faster – are these guaranteed results? Most diet supplements are marketed with extreme dieting and exercise regimes that are not only unhealthy but also dangerous.
  • Don’t forget the fine print. Many manufacturers of diet supplements don’t offer money-back guarantees. Can you return any unused product? Will you be charged monthly for auto-shipping? Be sure to read all disclaimers and know what you’re signing up for before you buy any products.

This column first appeared in the Idaho Statesman

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2 Comments

Filed under Investigation, News You Can Trust

2 responses to “BBB sheds weighty concerns on HCG products

  1. Mark Burrows

    Number one red flag. The comment about resetting your metabolism. You can’t do that. Your metabolism is like a fingerprint of who you are. You can’t reset what is always there. Some people are simply heavyset and there is not a diet that will change that, they can of course change flab to muscle. Eating sensibly is a conscious choice, so is exercising. There is not one set of rules or combination that fits all.
    Do not take diet pills or products, they are more dangerous to your health and well being than some narcotics. If you are over your comfort weight, it really is simple. Cut out the junk food and get off the couch, try turning off your computer. Sure, you will miss my witty comments. Ask yourself. “How did I get flabby?” Truth is, you don’t want to answer that question, but I will. You spend 8 hours behind a desk and work, come home boot up the computer and spend another 4 hours there, realize that you have not eaten, scramble for the phone and order pizza and soda, maybe add some chicken wings. Then you go to bed. Ouch! Sound familiar?
    What really happens is your metabolism groans, it is still there, but you are not making the effort to support it.
    As I said, some people are simply bigger, that is the way they are set, they may not have been born big and looked so cute as a little baby, but then they grew. Then the childhood taunts of being fat, and the parents frustration on not knowing what to do or not understanding, are unable to give an intelligent explanation to their child. Teen years become worse. Then as an adult it eases off because bigger people can find styles, trends, and grooves that suit them and make them more attractive.
    Actually people who have heavier metabolisms are generally more accepting of their physique and don’t fret about it. There is a huge difference between being large and being obese.
    Also note when I say large, I do not mean as in tall, I mean as in heavyset. Men tend to have barrel chests, women are simply much more curvy. It does not matter that they weigh more that the book says about their height. It matters that they are comfortable with who they are and otherwise in excellent health both body and mind.
    If such people attempt to become one of their skinny pals, then they will actually really upset their metabolism. They will become gaunt, muscles become sore around the joints. If they are big boned, their is nothing sadder looking than a big boned skinny persons. They look mummified.

    Mark Burrows

  2. Stephanie Johnson

    Untrue.. Thinslim store DOES NOT claim to have HCG approved by FDA. They have natural botanical herb solution that works like the HCG – you may want to contact them and do some better research. Vibrational is not homeopathic which was banned 12/11/2011… Vibrational is a different bonding method has nothing to do whether something has HCG in it or not. Our blend does NOT contain HCG hormone. You are welcome to get a bottle and have it independently tested.

    Our company is the only company who goes into foreign countries and registers with each government. For example, all of our products have an NPN number via health canada. Again, there is NO HCG in any of our products.

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