The Jenny Craig weight-loss program has settled a federal deceptive advertising complaint by agreeing to provide more complete information on success rates, health risks and pricing.
The agreement, announced Thursday by the Federal Trade Commission, is the fourth deceptive advertising settlement this decade with some of the nation’s most popular weight-loss programs. About 8 million Americans join such diet programs each year.
“The FTC has been extremely active in this area for a very long time,” said FTC spokeswoman Bonnie Jansen.
As with agreements reached in the early 1990s with Diet Center, Nutri/System and Physicians Weight Loss Center, Jenny Craig Inc. did not admit any wrongdoing and is not subject to any fine.
“The company does not anticipate any changes in its advertising practices as a result of today’s announcement,” the La Jolla, Calif.-based company said in a statement.
“In fact, the company strongly believes that its advertising, for several years, has followed the guidelines that the consent agreement simply formalizes.”
Under the settlement, Jenny Craig agreed to substantiate weight-loss claims in advertising and include a disclaimer that weight loss is temporary for most dieters. Testimonials used in ads must reflect what most customers experience; otherwise, the examples must be depicted as unique.
In advertising or response to consumer inquiries on prices, Jenny Craig must reveal all associated costs, including any special foods or vitamins that might accompany the base plan.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, said the settlement did not go far enough.
The group wants weight-loss programs to detail all costs, risks and guarantees in writing before the customer signs up, said Leila Farzan, senior staff attorney.
“We just want up-front information,” said Farzan, who contends the settlement only compels full disclosure when it is requested.
The settlement is subject to a 60-day public comment review.
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