"Easy-To-Follow" Diet Requires Injections, Colonics, And More

Let’s say you bought a diet book that was advertised to provide an easy-to-follow diet that you can do at home and that allows you to eat whatever you want—and then, once you buy the book, you find out that it “describes a complex, grueling plan that requires severe dieting, daily injections of a prescription drug that consumers cannot easily get, and lifelong dietary restrictions.” The FTC apparently thinks that’s misleading, and they’re going after Kevin Trudeau (yet again) for it.

The FTC has sued Trudeau in 1998 and 2003 for making false claims about his products. In 2004, Trudeau settled with the FTC over similar charges that he misrepresented a calcium-based “cancer curing” product along with other quack cures and treatments. As part of the settlement, he “was banned from using infomercials to sell any product, service, or program,” according to Consumer Affairs. There was an exception for books, though, provided he didn’t misrepresent the contents of them.

Compare his own comments about the book (quoted from the Consumer Affairs article):

  • “I can attest, it was the easiest, simplest, most effective thing I’ve ever done.”
  • “I can eat whatever I want now, anything and as much as I want any time I want. No restrictions now. And the weight’s not coming back. You don’t gain the weight back.”

With the actual program details:

  • It requires intramuscular injections of a prescription drug that’s not approved by the FDA for weight loss—a drug you’d have to go overseas to get or find a US doctor willing to prescribe;
  • You have to follow a 500 calorie/day diet for 21 to 45 days;
  • You can’t use any medicines, including OTC and prescription drugs, as well as other skin products during this initial phase;
  • In another phase, you can eat only organic food, with no sweeteners, starches, nitrites or trans fats;
  • You’re supposed to get massages, take homeopathic human growth hormone, limit your exposure to air conditioning and flourescent lighting, get over a dozen colonics, walk outside for one hour eaach day, eat six times a day, eat only organic meat and dairy, eat 100 grams of organic meat right before going to bed.

Hilariously, it goes on—you can read it all at Consumer Affairs.

“Feds Sue Informercial Maestro Trudeau Again” [Consumer Affairs]

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Reviews of Trudeau’s products and services from Consumer Affairs readers

Comments

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  1. blue_duck says:

    There’s a reason this guy is on tv around 3am only…

  2. bonzombiekitty says:

    This guy is a sleezy jerk. I’d use other choice words to describe what I think about him, but I’m going to be a good boy.

  3. phanie says:

    Can they please put this guy in prison again? He just oozes smarm and I doubt thats from any “diet plan”. And his books are still best sellers.

  4. humphrmi says:

    This guy has been in trouble before. He used to sell a diet plan that (I am not making this up) provided you with vials of chemicals (he called them “pens”) that you sniffed, and that created a chemical reaction that controlled your appetite. The FDA had a hard time differentiating his product from “poppers” (e.g. Amyl Nitrate).

  5. You have to follow a 500 calorie/day diet for 21 to 45 days;

    So he instructs people to kill themselves through starvation. I can see how being dead would make you lose weight but it defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? Furthermore, I fail to see why you need the injections if the plan is to be dead in 4-6 weeks anyway.

  6. Antediluvian says:

    Perhaps “easy-to-follow” referred to how clearly it’s laid out in the book? For example, this is an easy-to-follow plan to get rich quick:
    1. Inherit tons of money.

    See? Clear and easy-to-follow directions.

    Just not so simple to implement.

  7. tracilyns says:

    i’m surprised it doesn’t say you’re supposed to do all of this under the light of a full moon while jumping backwards in an freshly-plowed corn field. crazy. 500 calories a day? can you live for 21 days on that few calories?

  8. blue_duck says:

    His next diet plan “The 90-Day Crystal Meth Program”

  9. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    There is so much bad press about this guy and his products that anyone that buys anything related to him is obviously an idiot. At some point you have to just realize that people will buy anything for a quick fix.

  10. hypnotik_jello says:

    what part of, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”, don’t people understand?

  11. veraikon says:

    I kinda wonder…is this the type of extreme “diet” some movie stars and models follow? If so, then it clearly does work; it just consumes your every waking moment and probably destroys your insides.

    As for Trudeau: I guess snake oil salesmen will always be with us…

  12. dregina says:

    There is a special place in hell for this guy. And anyone who builds a career preying on the desperate hopes of the sick and dying.

  13. spinachdip says:

    Not that this guy isn’t sleazy, but all diets are scams. No short term plan is going to help you lose weight AND keep that weight off.

    Weight Watchers is about the only decent thing out there, and that’s not really a diet.

  14. vanilla-fro says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: I think the shots keep you alive like in universal soldier (if anyone other than me has seen it).
    Really this guy is terrible and should be put away just because.

  15. Kifune says:

    I do part-time work out of my home as an independent contractor for a virtual call center company that handles order calls for many infomercial products.

    I love the work — flexible scheduling, I’m at home in my pajamas, nice boost of extra cash for me to get some debts paid down, etc.

    But this guy’s books make up soooo many of the calls that I’m starting to get sick to my stomach.

    The latest offering is that you get his two “Natural Cures” books for free, all you pay is the s/h — which is $9.95 each! Then he also has his “Weight Loss Cure They Don’t Want You To Know About” for an additional $14.95 retail, plus another $9.95!!

    And he also tries to rope people into some newslette with website access, free for 30 days then another $9.95 per month if they don’t cancel — which I’m sure many don’t. On top of all that it’s upsell after upsell of his audio book, his “Stop Smoking Cure” on CD (no cravings!), another $9.95 for rush shipping if you don’t want to wait 4-6 weeks for your books…you get the idea.

    I dread it when my phone rings and I see this script pop up. Half the time people are calling to complain or once they find out how much the s/h is they get pissed and cancel their order.

    It’s becoming an integrity issue for me that I’m even taking these orders, but I suppose if they are stupid enough to fall for this huckster, someone will take their order and it might as well be me to get that extra cash for my extra work.

  16. lestat730 says:

    Is this some kind of sick joke? Seriously… injections, human growth hormones, no other prescription drugs, colonics, 500 calories a day, and no air conditioning? If anyone was actually stupid enough to try and following his book to the letter, they could potentially hurt themselves. Just imagine what will go through a doctors head as someone comes into his office asking to be prescribed intramuscular injections of some strange drug that isn’t even approved for weight loss and then proceeds to talk about their new ‘diet plan.’ This guy is no doctor and yet he tries to represent himself as some kind of authority on dieting. I hope he gets whats coming to him….

  17. hc5duke says:

    @Antediluvian: The Dogbert method is
    1) Have your parents commit a crime (that pays off)
    2) Inherit this money

    Hey, worked for the Kennedys…

  18. Fujikopez says:

    I

  19. acambras says:

    500 calories a day? Geez.

    And how is someone supposed to avoid fluorescent lighting for so long? Most workplaces have fluorescent lights, right? Of course I’d be out of a job pretty quickly, because I’d get pretty loopy on 500 calories a day.

  20. Fujikopez says:

    What I hate most about all of this is that he has absolutely NO medical or scientific training or education and people still will eat up whatever he has to say. Sure, I could write a book on things I read on the intarwebs, but does that make me qualified (provided the book isn’t on the intarwebs themselves)?

    I used to work at BB&B and for some unholy reason we sold his “Natural Cures They Don’t Want You To Know About” and it was hard for me not to rip the covers off of every book and toss the whole lot into the parking lot and set it ablaze.

  21. Fujikopez says:

    @Fujikopez:
    Weird, I had a two-paragraph post but it’s only showing the letter “I”. Either my computer is broken or your comments are. Summation of post: KT is bad, mmmkay?

  22. kimsama says:

    Yeah, when I think of injections that keep you skinny, I’m thinking of a different weightloss plan…(hmm, which is worse, heroin or colonics?)

  23. backbroken says:

    ATTENTION WORLD: PLEASE STOP BUYING KEVIN TRUDEAU’S BOOKS. THANK YOU.

    Next article please.

  24. Chaosium says:

    Anyone stupid enough to follow a homeopathic treatment is dumb enough to believe anything Trudeau says.

  25. Chaosium says:

    @backbroken: Anyone stupid enough to follow a homeopathic treatment is dumb enough to believe anything Trudeau says.

  26. dwarf74 says:

    I had a friend who used to work for this guy’s company, MegaSystems, back when he was shilling MegaMemory and stuff like that. Funny thing, though – even though the commercial was about remembering people’s names flawlessly, he never did remember his employees’.

  27. mwshook says:

    I did a bit of Googling. The injections are apparently HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). It’s a pregnancy hormone, and it’s what pregnancy tests look for. It’s also produced by certain forms of testicular cancer.

    (I’m a doctor) I’ve never heard of anybody getting injections of this for any reason. There may be a medical indication, but I can’t imagine how it would make you lose weight. And really, do you need injections to help a 500 calorie diet work correctly?

  28. TechnoDestructo says:

    @lestat730:

    “HOMEOPATHIC human growth hormone.” In other words, nothing.

  29. alice_bunnie says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    For a lot of people 500 calories a day for 21 days won’t actually kill you, but it’s not really good for you either.

  30. megnificent says:

    I haven’t taken a look at the diet book, but a few coworkers and I read through the original Natural Cures book. My favorite recommendations were to not use a clothes dryer (electromagnetism! bad!), wear only white clothes, and get e-metered by Scienos. I think he specifically says that e-metering is the single most helpful self-improvement process he knows of. It would be a lot funnier if I didn’t see so many copies crossing my counter.

  31. andrewsmash says:

    Considering the fat stores most americans are carrying around, 500 calories a day is pretty doable (you’d want to supplement with a multivitamin.) The rest of his routine is complete crap, though. Why can’t we sentence repeat offenders to prison time instead of repeated fines?

  32. Hambriq says:

    @mwshook:

    Not that Wikipedia is an authoritative source, but apparently it’s used by people in conjunction with performance enhancing drugs. Given Trudeau’s endorsement of “organic” HGH, this doesn’t seem altogether shocking.

    I personally had never heard of HCG before today, and a quick look through the catalog of our distributor shows that we can’t even order the drug to our pharmacy. McKesson, our distributor, doesn’t even stock it, and the person on the phone at the distribution center had never heard of it either.

    Do any pharmacists out there use an OV besides McKesson? I’d be curious if there’s ANY vendor who distributes human chorionic gonadotropin.

  33. Bruce says:

    An appropriate punishment for this guy would be to force him to follow his diet to the letter as administered by trained corrections specialists in a supermax prison atmosphere.

  34. Considering the fat stores most americans are carrying around, 500 calories a day is pretty doable…

    @andrewsmash: If by doable you mean tired, dizzy, sick to your stomach, and feeling almost to week to move your limbs, then yeah.

  35. peggynature says:

    @andrewsmash: Feeling hungry and weak is not a reasonable treatment for anything. 500 calories is absolutely unacceptable for normal adults. There are biochemical consequences to catabolizing massive amounts of tissue (lean or fat) and not all of them are pretty.