Caffeine-infused underwear fails (there is a great stagnation)

Bras, girdles and leggings infused with caffeine and sold as weight loss aids were more decaf than espresso, and the companies that sold them have agreed to refund money to customers and pull their ads, U.S. regulators said on Monday.

The Federal Trade Commission said Wacoal America and Norm Thompson Outfitters, which owns Sahalie and others, were accused of deceptive advertising that claimed their caffeine-impregnated clothing would cause the wearer to lose weight and have less cellulite.

There is more here, and for the pointer I thank Glenn Mercer.

Comments

How come they didn't run afoul of the FDA in the first place? Whether effective or not doesn't matter.

I would consider this the equivalent of a supplement. Not many supplements go through the FDA approval process. To me, this is akin to those copper lined knee, and elbow sleeves that claim therapeutic benefits.

If they claim transdermal absorption I should think FDA has jurisdiction. Antifungal creams for instance are FDA approved.

Fair point, but I imagine this falls somewhere between the first link and the second.

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofMedicalProductsandTobacco/CDER/UCM148055.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_and_Drug_Administration#Advertising_and_promotion

Waiting for Alex to complain that medical device regulation is costing us billions...

I guess I get the joke, but the product didn't fail.
It was regulated out of the market.

I do think this is funny:

""If someone says you can lose weight by wearing the clothes they are selling, steer clear. The best approach is tried and true: diet and exercise," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection."

It's certainly the place of the FTC to regulate a company that makes product claims that haven't been substantiated at all. But it's hilarious to me that the director of the federal trade commission's bureau of consumer protection thinks I'm looking to her to be an expert on the "best approach" to weight loss. Thanks, Ms. Rich.

@Marie, you could say Ms.Rich's advice is rich--said ironically, not like a rich diet.

In the patent sphere, once in a while the PTO gets this sort of FTC regulatory fever and forbids patents that say they can cure cancer in humans (but it's OK to say they cure cancer in vitro or in mice), or any magnetic bracelet can cure any ailment by wearing it. Ironically --no pun intended--magnetism and blood do have an attraction, and there may be some medical pull involved, since hemoglobin is influenced weakly by electromagnetic radiation, as Fe Man could tell you.

Groan laugh!

What might this say about the appeal of science education to women of the feminine persuasion?

Caffeine is a diuretic so it's possible that wearing it might have the same/similar effect as drinking it (i.e., water loss). If Rogaine absorbed into the scalp can reduce hair loss, then why can't caffeine absorbed into the legs reduce water weight.

Dehydration problem.

That Rogaine can be absorbed does not mean that caffeine can be absorbed. First you'd have to prove that caffeine can be absorbed by the skin.

I don't think that's hard to prove one way or the other, and I'm pretty sure it does get absorbed.

I worked in a greenhouse, it's amazing how people think as long as they don't breathe in or drink a pesticide they're fine. My guess (purely) is that chemical more often than not are absorbed through the skin.

But that doesn't mean it has the same effect on the body as it would if you drank it. Different systems. You can drink insulin and it doesn't have the same effect as injecting it into the fatty tissue.

It's not stupid to think you can absorb caffeine through your skin. It's the weight loss / wearing clothes with caffeine thing that's probably the FTC hitch.

Info from caffeinated soap,
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2003/nov/27/thisweekssciencequestions1
"Caffeine does go through the skin if you apply it to the surface in solution," says Faith Williams, who researches the skin's permeability to various chemicals at Newcastle University.

Why didn't Daedalus and Icarus just eat more poultry?

Then they might have chickened out.

Birds of a feather flock together.

Not only that, the product was easily replicated:

Just pour some Folgers Instant Crystals

In your shorts.

Well, since I already got them, I'm gonna wear them.

Calling Tea-Party !
Wonder what Tea-infused underwear would have caused . Constitutional imbalance ?

"Caffeine-infused underwear": aha, that must be how old-fashioned American coffee was made.

Why not just buy the caffeine pills?

Alex would say the caffeine pills are hung up in FDA review.

Or - and this might sound crazy - you could drink coffee.
signed, guy who is on his 4th (5th?) cup

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