Class-action suit sought against Dr. Phil diet

LOS ANGELES — Three unhappy customers suing TV psychologist “Dr. Phil” McGraw over his now discontinued Shape Up! diet plan have asked that the case be given national class-action status to include thousands of potential plaintiffs.

The Superior Court suit was filed last year claiming McGraw defrauded fans with his yearlong venture into the diet supplement business.

> He had no business being in the supplement business. Pills for Apple and Pear shaped ppeople? I hope he was taking the pills for pears himeself. I love how these high standard, evolved people, all of sudden offer such low standard products and try to pass it off the American public.

Biggest problem in health, fitness and Nutrition fields today is the pro’s treat the customer like they were in kindergarten and don’t know better. The customer is often smarter! This case proves it.

A judge could rule on the request for class-action status early next year.

Shape Up! shakes, bars and multivitamins made by Irving, Texas-based CSA Nutraceuticals were sold in supermarkets, Target, Wal-Mart and elsewhere. The plan called for 22 pills daily at $120 a month.

> It was all just a business scheme, to leverage the Dr Phil brand; eat $120 of Nutrient Rich food and watch what happens.

The lawsuit alleged McGraw made false and misleading assertions about the supplements, including claims the products would cause weight loss by promoting metabolism of fat and reducing carbohydrate cravings and appetite swings.

> That’s right; Shape Up, but don’t do it with education or smart practical living, do with yet another pill. Way to go Phil, there you go promoting success again. I think you do alot of good, but stick topsychology.

The Shape Up! campaign said the supplements reduced cravings for carbohydrates and helped dieters change their behavior to take control of their weight.

> It will change their behavior all right, consumers will now be taking pills instead of eating great tasting Nutrient Rich foods.

The plaintiffs said they lost money, not weight, and they want their money back as well as damages.

> This is no, "McDonalds made me fat" lawsuit. Dr Phil’s brand needs to be held accountable and to a higher standard. We let this man into our living rooms every day and advise us about important and intimate matters of life and self. This is fraud, and it needs to be dealt with appropriately.

McGraw and CSA Nutraceuticals attorneys have denied the false-advertising allegations and refused to comment further on the case.

> They’d better plead the 5th, for their sake. Again, I think Dr Phil is a great man, I just think his brand got leveraged inappropriately, and beyond his level of expertise.

McGraw jumped into the lucrative weight-loss market in mid-2003 with a campaign that included advice books, a prime-time special with Katie Couric on obesity and dieting, and his “Shape Up! with Dr. Phil McGraw” products.

Facing a Federal Trade Commission investigation into false-advertising concerns, CSA Nutraceuticals agreed to stop making the supplements early last year.

According to the label, the pills “contain scientifically researched levels of ingredients that can help you change your behavior to take control of your weight.”

“Well, that’s nonsense. We don’t think there were any real clinical trials of these products and no real testing,” plaintiffs’ attorney Henry Rossbacher said

> All true, this was an economic campaign, and it defrauded the American Public. Live and learn Dr Phil. We all go through it. Get your intentions back on track and keep up the good work. Leave health guidance to pro’s like Dr Fuhrman. and other members of the Nutrient Rich Lifestyle Health and Science Advisory Team.

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