Project Overview

Student Learning Objectives


Content Material


Links to Course Competencies

Supplementary Resources




Real World Learning Objects: Science

Bogus Weight Loss Claims

Content Material

  • Student Directions:

1. Obtain student worksheet and assessment sheet. Review these with

     the instructor.


2. Access the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Red Flag website at

    Write down the 7 Red Flag advertising claims that indicate that the 

    product or weight loss program is bogus. You may use key words or

    phrases to save space.


3. Next to each claim write down two variations of that claim. Use key 

    words or  phrases. You can find the variations by clicking on the red

    flag claim.


4.  Go to

This site contains recent cases whereby the FTC took action. See if you can spot at least 4 of Red Flag Claims in 4 or more of these cases. Note the company, product and date of the claim on the student worksheet under the column headed FTC case. Click on the press release to read about the claims and the action taken. These are listed as part of the FTC’s campaign against frauds aimed at Hispanics. This site was selected because it is the most concise area for just diet claims. It is in English.


5. Go to and put in the

search words “nutrition and diet aids”. You will see 80 Nutrition and Diet Aids. Click on that. And then click on the titles for the aids. Click on the advertisements to make them bigger so you can read the newsprint.   Find ads from the 1940’s and 1950’s that represent at least 4 of the seven Red Flag Bogus claims. To enlarge the ads so the fine print can be read just click on the ad. Put the product name and date of the ad in the worksheet column headed 40’s & 50’s ad claims. Put a check mark after the ads that you think are basically similar to ads of today if the fashions were changed.


6. Write a short paragraph on the back of the student worksheet 

    answering the  following questions:

    How do you think the bogus ads have changed over time?

    What can be done to prevent people from falling for the bogus weight

    loss claims?

  • Referenced URLs:

·         medicine & Madison Ave (ads for diets & products)



·         FTC Bogus weight loss claims site lists the 7 claims


·        Recent weight loss products claims whereby legal action was taken  

Student Worksheet                                                 Name___________________

Elements of Bogus Claims

Variation 1

Variation 2

FTC Case representing claim______________

40's-50's ad representing claim_________