Diet Pills: Scam or Savior

New Media Producer: Rachel Beavin

The ads promise weight loss in a bottle.

Claims the Federal Trade Commission calls deceptive because they are not supported by scientific research. FTC Commissioner Deborah Platt Majoras the claims are costing consumers, "Unsubstantiated weight lost claims rake in millions of dollars for the promoters, but they are costing consumers dearly."

The FTC's commissioner announced the agency fined the marketers of Xenadrine, CortiSlim, One a Day Weight Smart and Trim Spa a total of 25 million dollars for making what it calls false claims of rapid weight loss.

The products will stay on store shelves, a move that has some nutritionists worried.

Dr. Louis Arrone, Director of Comprehensive Weight Control NY Presbyterian says, "I think we need more oversight of these products, we need proof that they are safe, proof they are effective before they can be marketed as such. "

But the way the products are marketed will change.

Gone are the quick-fix sells.

Endorsements by celebrities like Anna Nicole Smith and golfer John Daly are still fair game as long as what the spokesperson says can be backed up, but the FTC's Commissioner Deborah Plat Majoras has a warning for consumers, "Testimonials from individuals are not a substitute for science and that is what Americans need to understand."

Instead, the FTC says exercising and a change in eating habits is the best way to melt away those unwanted pounds.

The money and assets collected as part of the settlement will be used to reimburse customers who bought the products based on the claims.