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Lawsuit: 'Biggest Loser' salad dressing not as healthy as advertised

November 30, 2010 |  1:26 pm

A salad dressing made popular on the weight-loss reality television show “The Biggest Loser” is not nearly as healthy as advertised, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles.

The lawsuit, filed Monday by New York resident and “Biggest Loser” fan Paige Cooperman, accuses Costa Mesa-based Galeos of misstating the fat, calories and sodium contained in its “miso caesar” dressing.

Bigloser The nutrition label  should show that the dressing, which Galeos promotes as “very low fat,” contains nearly 10 times the amount of calories it now lists, according to the lawsuit, which seeks certification as a class action. 

The label says the dressing contains 14 calories, 1 gram of fat and 56 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon. It should show 120 calories, 11 grams of fat and 390 milligrams of sodium in a two-tablespoon serving, the lawsuit contends, citing testing by an independent laboratory.

Galeos co-founder Andrei  Leontieff said the labels are accurate and were confirmed this week by a different laboratory.

“I don’t think, I know, the label is correct,” Leontieff said.

Leontieff and partner Gordana Samardzic created the dressing in the 1990s while running a Newport Beach restaurant that they’ve since closed. Their dressings are bottled in Costa Mesa and sold at supermarkets and health-food stores throughout the country.

In her lawsuit, Cooperman cites testing performed by Specialized Technology Resources and published on a blog called Consumer Ally. Galeos products are “aggressively promoted by celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels” on “The Biggest Loser,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit seeks restitution to consumers who purchased the dressing -- which it said would be “well in excess of $5 million” -- and a preliminary injunction prohibiting Galeos from mislabeling its nutritional content.

-- Stuart Pfeifer

Photo: A potential contestant for "The Biggest Loser" at an audition in downtown L.A. Credit: Ann Johansson / For The Times