Consumer Health Digest #20-01

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
January 5, 2020


Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H., with help from Stephen Barrett, M.D. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making. Its primary focus is on health, but occasionally it includes non-health scams and practical tips.


Low-carbohydrate diet claims scrutinized. The National Lipid Association has issued a statement based on a comprehensive review of recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses on the effects of low- and very-low-carbohydrate diets on body weight, lipoprotein levels, blood sugar levels, and other risk factors for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. [Kirkpatrick CF. and others. Review of current evidence and clinical recommendations on the effects of low-carbohydrate and very-low-carbohydrate (including ketogenic) diets for the management of body weight and other cardiometabolic risk factors. Journal of Clinical Lipidology 13:689-711, 2019] The statement's key conclusions include:


FTC attacks fake online promotions. The Federal Trade Commission has settled two cases that involved fake online activity. In one case, the Texas-based cosmetics firm Sunday Riley Modern Skincare, LLC and its CEO, Sunday Riley, agreed to settle a complaint that they posted fake product reviews. The complaint stated:

The proposed settlement prohibits the defendants from engaging in similar practices in the future but does not include a financial penalty. Two of five FTC commissioners thought this was insufficient. They stated:

In the other case, the FTC  settled with now defunct Devumi LLC and its owner and CEO, German Callas, Jr. This was the first-ever complaint challenging the sale of fake indicators of social media influence. Devumi allegedly sold fake Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers, and LinkedIn followers to its clients.

Source: Devumi, owner and CEO settle FTC charges they sold fake indicators of social media influence; cosmetics firm Sunday Riley, CEO settle FTC charges that employees posted fake online reviews at CEO's direction. FTC press release. Oct 21, 2019.


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This page was posted on January 6, 2020.