CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is urging consumers to be cautious when evaluating ways to lose those extra pounds, perhaps as a New Year’s resolution.
Quick-fix solutions are easily available but may not be the healthiest choice for consumers or the best option for long-term results.
“Weight loss resolutions are frequently made at the start of a new year,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “While this is a good goal, it is important for consumers to research their options and lose weight in a healthy, legitimate and financially smart way.”
Consumers should avoid weight loss advertisements for miracle pills or creams, others that guarantee permanent weight loss without lifestyle changes and those that promise results without diet or exercise.
Some weight-loss products, many of which are imported and sold online, have been found to be tainted with ingredients that have serious side effects, such as heart problems and strokes. It is also important to know whether prescribed medication can be impacted by the ingredients in a weight-loss product.
“Natural” dietary supplements have also been found to have hidden active ingredients contained in prescription drugs.
For instance, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration issued approximately 18 public notifications for tainted weight loss products from 2020-2022.
Consumers should also be wary of free trials and closely read terms and conditions for each offer. Some companies use free trials as an opportunity to sign up the consumer for additional products, which the consumer is billed for until cancellation.
Attorney General Morrisey is also urging consumers to read and understand the fine print when considering gym memberships. Those looking to join a gym should visit the facility before doing so to see if it’s a good fit. They should carefully read every document before signing to ensure they know what they’re agreeing to and understand all the terms and conditions.
Additionally, businesses primarily involved in the sale of memberships, providing instruction or use of facilities in a program of physical exercise, are required to be registered with the Attorney General’s Office.
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 or visit the office online at www.ago.wv.gov.