Misleading weight loss claims: ASC Twelve Ltd t/a Simple as Fat breaks the UK Ad Rules by claiming the Simple As Fat diet is effective for weight loss. Nor did the advertiser hold evidence to show that the Simple As Fat diet plan is nutritionally well-balanced. ASC Twelve Ltd t/a Simple as Fat were also told not to state or imply that their diet plan was a treatment for obesity or for other conditions for which medical supervision should be sought, such as Type 2 diabetes and erectile dysfunction.
Section 13 of the CAP Code states that any claim for the effectiveness or action of a weight-reduction method must be backed by rigorous trials on people, testimonials that are not supported by trials do not constitute substantiation. When a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30kg/m2 is referred to within marketing, suitably qualified supervision should be sought to treat obesity, and the lifestyle weight management programme advertised must meet responsible standards. Marketers must also be able to show that their diet plans are nutritionally well-balanced.
The ASA investigated various tweets on the Simple As Fat Twitter account which stated or implied that the Simple As Fat diet was an effective method for losing weight. Because the ASA “had not seen evidence that Simple As Fat’s diet plan could result in weight loss” and “had not seen evidence that the diet plan was conducted under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional” the ads broke the rules. The ASA also found that the ads broke the rules because “the Simple As Fat diet plan was not in line with the government’s recommendations regarding a nutritionally well-balanced diet and how to lose weight healthily”.
The Simple As Fat website, www.simpleasfat.com, continues to make claims that the Simple As Fat diet plan is an effective way to lose weight. The homepage also states that the diet can help improve a number of health issues including: Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, High blood pressure, Erectile dysfunction, Gout, Heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, Epilepsy and ADHD. For these conditions suitably qualified medical supervision should be sought. The ASA "had not seen evidence that the diet plan was conducted under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional".
Following the ruling the matter was referred to the CAP Compliance team who requested that ASC Twelve Ltd t/a Simple as Fat agree to make changes to their marketing in light of the ASA Ruling. In the absence of changes being made to the advertiser's marketing the decision was taken on 23 April 2020 to place their company details on this section of the ASA website.
These details will remain in place until such a time as ASC Twelve Ltd t/a Simple As Fat has amended the website simpleasfat.com to comply with the CAP Code.