FTC Charges Boston Health Club Falsely Represented
Effects of Electric Muscle Stimulation Treatments

Club And Owners Agree to Settle Charges

FTC News Release
May 17, 1989

The Federal Trade Commission has charged Body By Design, a Boston health club, and its former owners with falsely claiming that its electric muscle stimulation treatments produced the same effects as exercises. Under a consent agreement announced today for public comment, the club and owners agreed not to misrepresent any fitness program in the future.

According to a complaint accompanying the agreement, Body By Design claimed that its electric muscle stimulation program would "Exercise 20 muscle groups simultaneously and achieve up to 1000 muscle contractions as in situps, pushups and leglifts," that men would "develop the 'V' shape", and that women would "tone stomachs, thighs, and buttocks." The claims implied that the program provided greater health benefits and increases in strength for normal healthy people than a regular rigorous exercise program would, the complaint charged.

However, according to the complaint, the claim by the company and individuals that they had a reasonable basis for making the claims, was false and misleading.

Under the consent agreement, Body By Design and its two former owners, Dinah H. Simonini and Donald L. Simonini, agreed not to misrepresent the efficacy or comparability of any diet, strength development or fitness program or product.

The Simoninis owned and operated Nutritone Inc., which did business under the name Body By Design, until the facility was sold in June 1988. The company is based in Newton, Mass. The FTC's Boston Regional Office handled the investigation.

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