More Trials For Those AB Belts

The Federal Trade Commission killed the hopes and dreams of many a couch potato this week when it announced something we had already told you. Last week in our "Does it Work?" report, we featured the AB Energizer--one of three, so-called, "exercise belts". We gave it to a local volunteer for four weeks to see if it lived up to its claims. Of course, it did not. And now, the companies that make these things have, not only us on their case, they're now having to answer to the FTC. "I think it's so sad that this company has made this product so all these larger people in the world think that that's going to work. And it's not," says our volunteer, Gigi Latson. "It's not going to do anything for them except make them 60 dollars in the hole." No one's happier about the FTC's decision to sue for false advertising than Smith County's Gigi Latson. She gave our belt her best for almost 4 weeks then gave up because it started to hurt and was doing her absolutely no good. "It stung, it felt like it was pinching me." The FTC says the 3 manufacturers of these belly-busting belts stung plenty of people. Combined they've made at least 100 million dollars...fat and happy times for the makers, while their victims exercised nothing but bad judgment. "I had so many people come up to me to ask me if it really did work," says Latson. "And I told them know it did not...and these people were about to go out and spend their hard earned money to get this product and it didn't work." It took guts to show off her "before and after belly" on TV, especially just 6 months removed from having a baby. But if it reminds one person that exercise, like the aerobics class she teaches, is the only way to achieve true fitness, Gigi says she's accomplished something. And she's happy to now have the FTC sitting up and taking notice. "You have to exercise. Get sweaty. But you can't just sit still with something around your waist and lose weight." The FTC is seeking injunctions to stop the companies from making the false claims and from making money by selling the products. The makers of AB Energizer say they look forward to defending their product.