Quackery And Health Fraud Warning

If some health products seem too good to be true, they are probably untrue

Every day, millions of people fall for dishonest ads promoting worthless health products, alternative medical treatment, or qualified but over-promising therapists. If these promises are delivered, we’ll be living in a wonderful world without arthritis, cancer, baldness, stained teeth, erectile dysfunction (impotence) and overweight (obesity). We’ll all be looking our mid-twenties, walking about in under-sized muscle-Ts, or bra-tops, showing off our six-packs and glistening teeth.

Unlike your humble author, these advertisers and copy-writers are not creating the ads for the love of it, or to improve the collective experience of the human race. They are there to make a sale, and to turn you into a customer. In addition to these marketing maneuvers, we have well-meaning part-time and free-lance medical and health writers on the internet (Yes, your author is one of them). They could have just read something encouraging and then write about it to share it as gospel truth. Some of them are recognized as experts in the field. Well, they may well be experts in the field of health journalism, this is no guarantee that they have studied the subject methodologically to give you the trustworthy answers. There is a website for writers where official expert status is given to contributors who pay $200 a month. Take home message: be very cautious.

CareOregon, in their Healthwise Handbook suggested that it would be prudent to be suspicious of health products that:

*Are advertised by testimonials.

*Claim to have a secret ingredient.

*Have not been evaluated in prominent medical journals.

*Claim benefits that seem too good to be true.

* Are available on by mail.

They also warned against any care provider who

*Prescribes medicines or gives injections at every visit.

*Promises a no-risk cure.

*Suggests something that seems unethical or illegal.

I strongly recommend readers to browse the websites by National Council Against Health Fraud (http://www.ncahf.org) and Quackwatch (http://www.quackwatch.org)

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