For a couple of years now, Southern California drivers have become used to seeing billboards for a medical procedure that promises to turn overweight people into the thin creatures they want to be. By calling 1-800-GETTHIN, you could sign up for a gastric Lap-Band surgery at an outpatient facility and change your life. So they claimed.
Several people who took up the offer did change their life—they died.
Last week the FDA finally noticed. The agency issued a warning letter to eight of the surgical centers promoted on the oversized advertisements. The feds told GET-THIN to stop posting misleading advertisements. It’s a violation of federal law for advertising to minimize significant risks and complications of a procedure. It’s also illegal to fail to make clear that for Lap-Band to be truly effective, it must be accompanied by a significant change in the patient's eating habits and lifestyle.
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