Jillian Michaels Sued Over Diet Pills

jm-calorie-controlOK, so you know how I feel about Jillian Michaels getting into the diet pills business.

Now maybe she’s regretting that decision.  The Associated Press is reporting that the “Biggest Loser” trainer has been sued for alleged false advertising by a woman who claims she was duped into buying her diet supplements.

Christine Christensen of Lake Elsinore, Calif., is seeking a class-action lawsuit that claims she bought a product called “Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Calorie Control” last month and that it has failed to lessen her appetite or cause her to lose weight as advertised.


Michaels’ picture and endorsement appear on the packaging, touting her as “America’s Toughest Trainer.”  The product and Web site advertising include the claim:  “Two Capsules Before Main Meals and You Lose weight….That’s It!”

I do think it’s irresponsible to make anyone believe that this is all you need to do to lose weight.  Really, that’s it?  She goes on to say “…when you take this compound before main meals, you eat less…but the best part is, you won’t even know it.  What could be simpler!”

And what is it about the $39.99 bottle of pills that will really do the trick?  The pills include a “proprietary blend” of :

  • yerba mate (leaf) extract
  • guarana (seed) extract, standardized to 10% caffeine
  • damiana (leaf) extract
  • coffee (bean) extract – standardized to 70% natural caffeine
  • ginger (root) powder
  • kola nut (seed) extract – standardized to 12% caffeine
  • white willow (bark) powder
  • cocoa (seed) extract – standardized to 4% theobromine
  • jujube (seed) extract
  • shisandra (fruit) extract
  • Chinese skullcap (root) extract – standardized to 30% flavones as baicalin

To me, this is simply a massive dose of caffeine with a bunch of stuff that may sound good.

“Ms. Michaels knows better — taking two pills before eating does not miraculously cause weight loss,” the lawsuit states.  Christensen’s suit seeks unspecified damages that are not expected to total more than $5 million, according to AP.  Her filing states she has “struggled with weight loss her entire life” and bought “Calorie Control” because of Michaels’ endorsement.

You may debate the merits of class action lawsuits like this, but it is troubling that a lot of people are taking the advice of Jillian Michaels because they trust her — and they’re being mislead.  Of course, nothing you pop in your mouth is going to melt away pounds without any effort.   And nothing in these pills will likely even curb your appetite. 

It’s a shame that these pills can make these claims — put it’s a double shame that “America’s Toughest Trainer” is trying to convince people that these claims are true.

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6 Comments

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  • Seth W.

    Honestly? What ever happened to individual responsibility? There are many products out there that claim to do all sorts of wonderful things, so those business people should all have their pants sued off? There’s no such thing as this woman being ‘misled’ in this situation…it’s called she was too lazy to do her homework. How low of her to blame her lifelong problem on a simple product she isn’t forced to buy!

  • Janet

    Yes Seth, I agree with individual responsibility. That’s why I said these types of law suits are debatable. Sure, Christine should have known better, she shouldn’t have relied on a pill to do her work. Nothing will probably ever come of this lawsuit. But I do think this story indicates that a lot of people are being misled. Do they have a right to sue? Maybe not. Yet I wish we could package up good, solid nutrition advice as slick as these pills.

  • I just heard about this yesterday and I can’t believe that she would get into the diet pill business either. I figured her being a personal trainer and all would know better than to solicit an easy solution to a complex problem. I’m sure Jillian will come out of this okay and I hope she’s learned a lesson.

    Rahim Samuel
    Publisher, Wellnessbymanymeans.com

  • People should be responsible to make their own decisions and I’m not sure how I feel about such law-suits, but for someone who is combating a life-long problem of obesity, he/she would do anything and take any pill that might work. I watch the show on and off but a friend of mine said the contestants this year lost 30-something % weight more than previous years because they allowed this pills this round. She’s an intelligent person, but a product that has been “proven” to work on TV is very alluring.

  • Abbi Shillingburg

    I was overweight and tried so many things. Different things work for different people and I was lucky enough to find one that worked for me. I lost 18 pounds in one month without exercise and it’s been a life changer. I’m a little embarrased to post my before and after photos here but if anyone actually cares to hear what I’ve been doing then I’d be happy to help in any way. Just shoot me an email at oceanflowers82@gmail.com and I’ll show you my before and after photos, and tell you about how things are going for me with the stuff I’ve tried. I wish someone would have helped me out when I was struggling to find a solution so if I can help you then it would make my day

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