Acai Berry Weight-Loss Ads Exposed

FTC sues companies for luring consumers with fake news stories

Jenna Bergen

News flash: The only thing acai berry weight-loss products have a good chance of lightening up is your wallet. And now, thanks to the FTC, the highly marketed products will hopefully be doing a lot less of that, too. The FTC is suing 10 companies for using fake news sites to market bogus acai berry weight-loss products to consumers. The sites are under fire for using names and logos of media heavyweights (ABC, CNN and Consumer Reports), while promoting “investigative,” “reported” articles that often end with the false claim that taking acai berry can help you lose 25 pounds in as little as four weeks. While the FTC isn’t sure how much dough consumers have plunked down thanks to these false ads, the FTC says the companies have spent upwards of $10 million in an effort to hoodwink consumers into clicking, suggesting that they’ve pocketed a hefty amount of cash.

As for what acai berries can really do, the LA Times spoke to Jeffrey Blumberg, a nutrition professor at Tufts University: “They are a natural berry fruit … rich in many antioxidants, but there have been very few studies that have been performed using them.”