HSA warns against use of Bobba Fitz and Bobba Toxx weight-loss products found to contain banned substance
SINGAPORE: Two products, which were marketed with claims that they could help with weight loss, were found to contain a banned substance and four times the usual dose of laxative, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Monday (Mar 1).
Members of the public were alerted to not buy or consume Bobba Fitz and Bobba Toxx, which were often sold as a set.
Tests on Bobba Fitz showed that it contained sibutramine, a banned substance, and Bobba Tozz contained sennosides, a laxative at about four times the usual dose.
Both products were packaged in boxes of 10 powder sachets and were sold on local e-commerce and social media platforms.
Bobba Fitz was labelled to contain natural ingredients such as whey protein, cocoa powder and Garcinia Cambogia, a fruit-derived ingredient.
HSA said it has worked with various platform administrators including Shopee, Lazada, Facebook and Instagram to remove the affected listings and issue warnings to the respective sellers.
CONSUMER EXPERIENCED PALPITATIONS AND MOOD SWINGS
HSA issued the warning after a woman experienced palpitations and mood swings after consuming Bobba Fitz and Bobba Toxx. She has since stopped taking both products and the adverse effects have subsided, it added.
"If she had continued to consume them, the adverse effects would likely have worsened," HSA said.
Sibrutramine was previously available as a prescription-only weight loss medicine in Singapore. It was banned in 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attack and strokes. Other serious adverse effects reported by consumers include insomnia, hallucinations and hearing voices.
In 2019, a consumer experienced "extremely" fast heart rate and became unconscious, according to HSA. She was resuscitated and suffered "debilitating consequences" requiring implantation with a defibrillator.
The laxative, sennoside, is used for the relief of constipation. Adverse effects include cramping, diarrhoea, as well as excessive loss of water and essential minerals when consumed at high levels.
"Prolonged use may cause chronic constipation, fluid and electrolyte abnormalities, bloating and abdominal pain," said HSA.
CONSUMERS SHOULD STOP TAKING PRODUCTS IMMEDIATELY
Consumers were advised to stop taking the two products immediately and consult a doctor if they feel unwell or are concerned about their health.
HSA also advised consumers to be wary of products that carry exaggerated claims of fast weight loss without the need for exercise or diet control, or deliver quick results.
"They can contain potent ingredients that can seriously harm your health. Do not trust online product reviews, as these testimonials usually cannot be verified," said the authority.
HSA added that there is no "quick and easy way" to lose weight and weight control should be achieved through a combination of balanced diet and appropriate exercise. Consumers who need help managing their weight should consult their doctor, dietitian or a healthcare professional.
All sellers and suppliers must stop selling the products immediately, said HSA.
The authority added it will not hesitate to take "stern" enforcement actions against anyone who sells or supplies products found to be adulterated with banned substances or potent ingredients.
HSA warned that sellers and suppliers are liable to prosecution. If convicted, they may be imprisoned for up to two years, fined up to S$10,000 or both.
Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of the products may also contact HSA's enforcement branch at 6866 3485 during office hours on Monday to Friday or email hsa_is [at] hsa.gov.sg.