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What Are the Benefits of Jogging Juice?

By Lisa Sefcik paralegal

In early 1990, the McWiliams family released a miraculous juice to the consumer market called Jogging in a Jug. The Federal Trade Commission took action against the Alabama-based family business in the mid-1990s because the manufacturers made false claims about the benefits of its jogging juice. Jogging in a Jug survived and continues to be marketed and sold as a dietary supplement.

History

Jogging in a Jug, also called jogging juice, if you're making the homemade brew, contains three simple ingredients: apple juice, grape juice and cider vinegar. According to the official website, Jack McWilliams, the retired dairy farmer who first concocted the juice, remembered his grandparents drinking a similar blend of ingredients. He put together Jogging in a Jug and placed 18 bottles in a local grocery store. The popularity of the juice took off, and soon the product had more than 75 distributors. The juice was also sold by mail order.

Initial Claims

McWilliams initially claimed number of health benefits associated with Jogging in a Jug. Among them were that that juice prevented or cured heart disease, fatigue, dysentery, constipation, heart disease, viral infections, cancer, high blood cholesterol, leukemia and arthritis. According to the Federal Trade Commission data, another false claim associated with Jogging in a Jug is that it gave consumers the same benefits as if they actually exercised.

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FTC Intervention

In December 1995, the McWilliams family, who incorporated under the name Third Option Laboratories, settled with the FTC, agreeing to pay $480,000 in refunds to customers who bought the juice. Additionally, they had to mail everyone who purchased from them directly to inform them that the health claims associated with Jogging Juice were unproven. Jogging in a Jug is still manufactured and sold as of May 2011; however, the juice must be labeled with a disclaimer that states: "There is no scientific evidence that Jogging in a Jug provides any health benefits." The official website also notes that no scientific research has been conducted on the juice, nor do the manufacturers make health-related claims.

Assessing Claims

Manufacturers of dietary supplements and natural foods and juices may make a lot of confusing claims about a product. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers you some tips on avoiding the temptation of false claims. Avoid anything that purports to be a "cure all" for a lot of different medical conditions. Another red flag is using consumer testimonials to boost sales. The words "all natural," "secret formula" and "ancient cure" don't necessarily mean that the product works. If you have a health condition that needs attention, don't self-treat. Talk to your treating physician.

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