If you've ever attempted to curb a bad night's sleep by watching infomercials, you've probably seen Kevin Trudeau pitching one of his self-help books. Well, you won't anymore. Monday he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his ads touting The Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You to Know About.
Trudeau, who has been in an out of courtrooms ever since the '90s because of his connection to various scams, reportedly made $39 million in revenue by selling more than 850,000 copies of the weight-loss book. And after a 2004 court order banned him from running false ads promoting the book, he still ran them at least 32,000 more times, according to prosecutors.
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So what was so bad about the infomercials promoting The Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You to Know About? According to the judge, they enticed viewers with "a simple no-hunger...diet-free method of losing weight." However, once readers cracked open the book, they found a grueling 500-calorie-a-day diet sandwiched between hormone treatments. Not exactly what was advertised—and definitely not healthy.
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At his sentencing, Trudeau told the judge, "If I ever do an infomercial again...I promise: no embellishments, no puffery, no lies."
We hope. Either way, the case is a good reminder that you can't always take weight-loss programs' claims at face value. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That doesn't mean that all weight-loss plans are bogus. But the ones that suggest smaller, more sustainable lifestyle changes are generally going to be healthier—and ultimately more effective—than ones that are all about quick fixes and dropping tons of weight quickly.
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