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Substitute House Bill No. 5621

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-126

AN ACT CONCERNING DIET PROGRAM DISCLOSURES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) As used in this act: (1) "Diet company" means any person, except a hospital engaged in the business of selling a product or service, the primary purpose of which is to cause weight loss in the person who uses the product or service but does not include (A) any retailer whose sales of the diet product or service is less than fifty per cent of the total sales of the establishment, or (B) any health club or other business whose primary focus is on fitness; and (2) "Consumer" means a person who uses a diet company to cause weight loss. Sec. 2. (NEW) A diet company shall not: (1) Make any written representation regarding the safety of any diet program providing less than one thousand calories per day unless the diet company provides conspicuous disclosure that a physician is monitoring the program for health risks; (2) Misrepresent the likelihood that the consumer will regain all or a significant portion of the initial weight loss; (3) Represent the success of consumers in achieving weight loss or maintaining weight control unless the diet company possesses and relies upon competent and reliable scientific evidence substantiating the representation and the diet company uses a representative sampling of consumers who have properly used the product or service for the period of time recommended by the diet company; (4) Represent that weight loss will be maintained for an extended period of time unless the diet company has evidence from a representative sampling of consumers who have properly used the diet company's product or service for the period of time recommended by the diet company that weight loss was maintained by at least two-thirds of such consumers of such diet company's product or service for at least two years after such time period; or (5) Represent that weight loss will be maintained permanently unless the diet company has evidence from a representative sampling of consumers who have properly used the diet company's product or service for the period of time recommended by the diet company that weight loss was maintained by a majority of the consumers for a period of time which is either (A) recognized by experts in the field of obesity or (B) demonstrated by competent and reliable survey evidence, as being of sufficient length to constitute a reasonable basis for predicting permanent weight loss.

Sec. 3. (NEW) Any written representation by a diet company that consumers have successfully maintained weight loss must include in clear and conspicuous type and in close proximity to such representation: (1) The average percentage of weight loss maintained by a representative sample of consumers who have properly used the diet company's product or service for the period of time recommended by the diet company; (2) the average length of time weight loss was maintained after such consumers completed use of the product or service including any maintenance program; (3) if the sample consumer population is not representative of the entire consumer population, the percentage of the entire consumer population which constitutes the sample consumer population or a statement substantially similar to the following: "These results are not representative of the entire population which properly used the product or service"; and (4) the statement "For Many Dieters, Weight Loss is Temporary" provided the diet company shall not represent that the statement does not apply to consumers of their product or service.

Sec. 4. (NEW) A violation of sections 1 to 3, inclusive, of this act shall be deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice under subsection (a) of section 42-110b of the general statutes.

Approved May 24, 1996. Effective October 1, 1996.

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