The great rubber band swindle

For a moment they were the must-have accessory for every in-the-know A-lister, but it seems the glory days may be over for Power Balance bracelets, after a court ruled they have no more health benefits than a humble rubber band.

The bracelets, which retail for £29.99, are the brainchild of a Californian entrepreneur and his brother. They claim that the bracelets use a special hologram technology set in the silicone band that enhances the body's natural energy. But the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has forced the company to admit that there is no scientific proof to back up their claims. Power Balance must give refunds to Australian consumers who believe they have been misled.

According to the Daily Mail, celebrities who have been spotted wearing Power Balance bracelets include Leonardo DiCaprio, P Diddy, Robert De Niro, Kate Middleton, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. Sports people have also bought into the hype, believing the claims that the bracelets can boost muscle repair and improve balance. Have they never read The Emperor's New Clothes...?

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