Advertisements bombard us each day with promises of a quick and an easy road to enhanced appearance through products for fitness, nutrition, and weight loss. Many of these products promise miraculous results with little effort, which is a complete waste of time and money.
The only way to increase your health and wellness is by putting in the effort through a balanced diet and physical activity. Some of us find it very hard to lose weight or don’t have enough time to exercise and advertisers take advantage of these facts to persuade us to purchase absolutely useless and at times dangerous products that are not designed to benefit us in any way, as their only goal is to rob us consumers of our money. Some clues to identify quacks and frauds include:
• Testimonials and anecdotes are used to support their claims instead of scientific methods. Many quacks do not use controlled experimentation which can be verified by other scientists.
• Selling a product is of upmost importance. Often they sell products through mail order so that you cannot examine the product first.
• Ingredients in the product are not identified, and most likely the product is not regulated by an official body.
• High pressure sales tactics are used to force you to rush into a decision without proper research and thought.
When shopping for products, read product details carefully, especially the fine print. Carefully evaluate the quality of any source of information regarding health related products as many advertising channels are motivated to increase sales. Ensure any expert advice comes from a reputable expert. True experts have an extended education, an established code of ethics, and membership in well-known associations.
It is recommended to check with a government board or professional association to see if there are any complaints against the expert as well as ensuring the person has proper credentials for the service you are seeking. Use technology widely as misinformation on the internet is rampant, especially with health related information. Wikipedia is one of the most popular sources of information, but is often erroneous as entries can be edited by anyone without review for accuracy. One of the most reliable sites for health information is Health on the Net (www.hon.ch) which includes a search engine for medical and health information.
Health on the Net has received special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Additionally, Google Health is a free website which allows you to build a personalized health profile which can be shared with others. It also offers links to other medical sources, but be sure to follow guidelines above to guarantee sound, accurate and reliable information. And, if you want to know if the product you are interested in actually works, just google it and look for reviews posted by consumers who have already tried it.
You may learn a lot from other people’s experiences. One of the best websites to check costumer reviews is ciao.com, which not only allows costumers to review products, it also compares prices.