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Trim to fit*

Other editors say

If those weight-loss powder remedies seem just too good to be true, well ...

Los Angeles Times

Read This Editorial and Lose Lots of Weight Fast. You'll be amazed at how effortlessly you shed pounds of fat with absolutely no effort whatsoever. Guaranteed. Easy as, well, pie. In fact, munch pork rinds while reading this and you'll be slimmer, trimmer and more attractive overnight.*

There is, of course, no evidence whatsoever to connect weight loss and reading. However belatedly, the Federal Trade Commission is finally moving against such bogus diet claims. Many in the expanding ranks of expanding Americans seem oblivious to good sense when it comes to good health.

People so full of skepticism and cynicism about government or politics eagerly obey the blather of some has-been radio personality and plunk down good money to consume all manner of powders and pills in the hopeful expectation of buying less corpulence and more health.

Which is why it's encouraging that at last the FTC and two states moved in court recently to stop the misleading ads of one prominent diet marketer. Of course, there is in these commercial charades plenty of responsibility to go around.

Consumers could become more attentive and knowledgeable on health issues and less gullible about health claims. And the FTC should be promptly vigilant. The agency took three years to investigate bogus advertising that reaped &

36;190 million in sales for the potions in question, called Body Solutions.

To be sure, commercial deception is not new to the human experience. It's unlikely that even the most informed pigeon innards could help the Oracle of Delphi predict the future. But that hasn't stopped people from believing.

The FTC, Texas and Illinois have sued Mark Nutritionals for false and unsubstantiated claims that its Body Solutions Evening Weight Loss Formula produces weight loss overnight with no diet or exercise.

About time. Yes, Americans are overweight, especially in December. Indeed, obesity is a serious health issue. But that grants no license to prey on Americans' predilection for self-improvement.

While denying lawbreaking, the company, now in bankruptcy, announced it would develop a new way to advertise its products. Swell. Maybe part of the ad research should be to require executives to wash down daily doses of pizza, doughnuts and chips with, say, a gallon or so of Body Solutions. See what they lose then.

*Individual weight-loss experience will vary according to actual food consumption, exercise patterns and reading speed. Actual results not guaranteed. Void where prohibited by common sense.