Lawsuit ignores fine print

The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday it is taking action against the makers of popular electronic ab-belts. Two lawsuits accuse 12 different companies of issuing false medical claims and cheating consumers out of anywhere from $40 to $100 per belt. The reality is not that these companies are deceiving consumers but that most consumers are suckers. The lawsuit is ridiculous, and these companies should not be punished for selling people exactly what they want.
According to an AOL Health report, the FTC is taking legal action against companies such as AB Energizer, AbTronic and Fast Abs, producers in this new wave of easy-does-it fitness. All three companies have reported in various commercials and infomercials that their products, which are variously designed belts with electrical devices that stimulate abdominal muscles, will help you “get rock hard abs with no sweat” and “lose four inches in 30 days guaranteed.”
The Food and Drug Administration says that these claims have no medical backing and could possibly be in violation of false advertising rules. Perhaps the FDA or FTC should read the fine print at the bottom of the screen that says: “Results not typical. For use with diet and exercise program.” Judging by $100 million that was spent on these machines in 2001, consumers didn’t pay attention to that message either. Did people really think the toned and tanned blonde with her perfect body and her muscled boyfriend in the Jacuzzi looked that way after a week of using an ab-belt?
As a society, Americans look for an easy way to do most things, and from that aspect, these machines look pretty good. In reality, all these shock-treatment machines are proven to do is help prevent atrophy in little-used muscles. Instead of spending millions on an absurd lawsuit, maybe the FTC should send out a pamphlet that lists the legitimate ways a person can lose weight.