Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Class action sought for 'Dr. Phil' diet suit

Class action sought for 'Dr. Phil' diet suit
Unhappy dieters say they lost dollars, not pounds

Tuesday, October 4, 2005; Posted: 1:12 p.m. EDT (17:12 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The man famous for dishing out advice on national television now needs the advice of legal counsel.

TV psychologist "Dr. Phil" McGraw, whose Texas twang and folky common sense catapulted him to stardom, is being taken to court over his discontinued "Shape Up!" diet plan.

Three disgruntled dieters on Monday asked a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge to expand their fraud claim into a national class-action lawsuit. They're seeking refunds and additional damages.

No ruling is expected until next year. If the judge rules in favor of the dieters, the suit would be opened to claims by thousands of followers of Dr. Phil's Shape Up! diet.

The suit alleges that the plan is useless. It called for dieters to take 22 herbal supplements and vitamin pills a day and cost about $120 a month. The plan also advised dieters to adopt a low-calorie diet and to exercise.

The plaintiffs allege that while they lost plenty of money on the plan, they didn't lose any weight.

Unhappy dieters told CNN Radio that after listening to McGraw they believed they could lose weight by taking the pills alone.

McGraw has not commented on the lawsuit. The diet, promoted through a book and television special, was discontinued last year.

Phone calls to Irving, Texas-based CSA Nutraceuticals, which made the Shape Up shakes, bars and multivitamins, were not returned.

CNN's Jim Roope contributed to this report.

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