Harry Siskind is a photographer-turned-entrepreneur who made a lot of promises about his weight-loss company, Body Solutions — including that it could help you lose weight as you slept. One of his other business ideas was a diet cookie called the “Texas Delight.”
Maybe he made too many promises. Countless radio ads and more than $100 million later, the Texas high roller caught the eye of some feds who tore his diet empire down.
Every week on “Shoot This Now,” we talk about lively characters whose stories should be made into TV shows or movies. We’re kind of surprised no one’s gotten their hands on Siskind’s story of flash, image, and fat. We think its Texas delight-ful.
In a 2002 news release, the Federal Trade Commission said his product — “Body Solutions Evening Weight Loss Formula (Evening Formula)” — relied on “both English and Spanish language testimonial endorsements from popular radio disk jockeys on more than 650 radio stations in 110 cities nationwide.”
Among them, according to the FTC:
- “It helped me lose 36 pounds and it helps me maintain through the holidays. I mean, I ate so much over Thanksgiving, I still have turkey burps. But thanks to Body Solutions, I keep the weight off and now I’m ready for Christmas.”
- “Look, I’ve lost 25 pounds. . . . This is the program where you eat what you want. And thank you Body Solutions. I have another full room in my house. The bench that I used for all my weights, that’s gone. . . . I’ve replaced it all with a bottle that fits nicely in the corner of my refrigerator.”
- “Body Solutions … quite definitely not a diet . . . . And you do it while you sleep, while eating what you want to eat all day. . . .”
The FTC said the sleep-loss potion wouldn’t really help you lose weight as Siskind indicated.
The Body Solutions saga came to an end at a San Antonio courthouse where Siskind at first offered a tearful apology.
But when he found out he would be sentenced to more than three years behind bars for lying to hide assets, he changed his approach.
The rest of the story is on the podcast. We hope you like it. We reached out to Siskind’s lawyer to see if he’d like to talk to us, and you’ll be the first to know if he decides he does.