House Bill No. 6713
               House Bill No. 6713

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-105


AN ACT CONCERNING DIET PROGRAMS.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  Section  42-280  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    As  used  in   sections   42-280   to  42-283,
inclusive, AS AMENDED BY 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; AND
    (3) "DIET PROGRAM"  MEANS  ANY SERVICE OFFERED
BY A DIET  COMPANY  TO  A CONSUMER, THE PURPOSE OF
WHICH IS TO  REDUCE  THE  WEIGHT  OF  THE CONSUMER
PRIMARILY THROUGH A RESTRICTED DIET.
    Sec. 2. Section 42-281 of the general statutes
is repealed and  the  following  is substituted in
lieu thereof:
    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 MORE THAN TWO WEEKS, BUT NOT INCLUDING
CONSUMERS WHO WERE  UNABLE  TO  USE THE PRODUCT OR
SERVICE FOR the  period of time recommended by the
diet company DUE  TO  ILLNESS, PREGNANCY OR CHANGE
OF RESIDENCE;
    (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 MORE THAN TWO WEEKS, BUT NOT INCLUDING
CONSUMERS WHO WERE  UNABLE  TO  USE THE PRODUCT OR
SERVICE FOR the  period of time recommended by the
diet company DUE  TO  ILLNESS, PREGNANCY OR CHANGE
OF RESIDENCE, 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  MORE  THAN TWO
WEEKS, BUT NOT INCLUDING CONSUMERS WHO WERE UNABLE
TO USE THE  PRODUCT  OR  SERVICE FOR the period of
time  recommended  by  the  diet  company  DUE  TO
ILLNESS, PREGNANCY OR  CHANGE  OF  RESIDENCE, 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. Section 42-282 of the general statutes
is repealed and  the  following  is substituted in
lieu thereof:
    (a)  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  MORE  THAN TWO
WEEKS, BUT NOT INCLUDING CONSUMERS WHO WERE UNABLE
TO USE THE  PRODUCT  OR  SERVICE FOR the period of
time  recommended  by  the  diet  company  DUE  TO
ILLNESS, PREGNANCY OR CHANGE OF RESIDENCE; (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.
    (b) EACH DIET  PROGRAM  CONTRACT SHALL PROVIDE
THE CONSUMER WITH  (1)  THE  RIGHT  TO CANCEL SUCH
CONTRACT, WITHOUT LIABILITY, WITHIN THREE BUSINESS
DAYS AFTER THE  DATE OF RECEIPT BY THE CONSUMER OF
A COPY OF  THE  SIGNED CONTRACT; (2) THE ESTIMATED
DURATION OF THE  DIET PROGRAM NECESSARY TO ACHIEVE
THE DESIRED WEIGHT LOSS AND ALL ESTIMATED COSTS OF
THE CONTRACT, INCLUDING,  BUT  NOT LIMITED TO, THE
CONTRACT PRICE AND  THE  ESTIMATED MONTHLY COST OF
ANY GOODS OR  SERVICES  REQUIRED  TO  BE PURCHASED
UNDER    THE   CONTRACT;    (3)    A    LIST    OF
DIETICIAN-NUTRITIONISTS,     ADVANCED     PRACTICE
REGISTERED NURSES, REGISTERED  NURSES,  PHYSICIANS
OR  PHYSICIAN  ASSISTANTS  EMPLOYED  BY  OR  UNDER
CONTRACT WITH THE DIET COMPANY WHO ARE LICENSED OR
CERTIFIED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND
WHO MONITOR THE  CONSUMER DURING THE DIET PROGRAM;
AND (4) THE  RIGHT  TO  CANCEL THE CONTRACT IF (A)
THE CONSUMER PROVIDES  A  LETTER  FROM A PHYSICIAN
INDICATING THAT CONTINUATION  OF  THE DIET PROGRAM
IS ADVERSE TO  THE  HEALTH  OF THE CONSUMER OR (B)
THE CONSUMER RELOCATES  HIS RESIDENCE FURTHER THAN
TWENTY-FIVE  MILES FROM  ANY  FACILITY  WHICH  THE
CONSUMER IS REQUIRED  TO  ATTEND  UNDER  THE  DIET
PROGRAM. IF A  DIET  PROGRAM CONTRACT IS CANCELLED
BY THE CONSUMER  PURSUANT  TO  SUBDIVISION  (4) OF
THIS SUBSECTION, THE  CONSUMER SHALL BE REIMBURSED
ON  A  PRO-RATA  BASIS  FOR  THE  PORTION  OF  THE
CONTRACT  PRICE  PAID  BY  THE  CONSUMER  THAT  IS
ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE UNUSED CONTRACT PERIOD.

Approved June 6, 1997