December 11, 2017
10 Ways to Spot Health Quackery

10 Ways to Spot Health Quackery

by Berkeley Wellness  

If it ducks like a quack . . .

Dubious or outright fraudulent health products and treatments cost Americans billions of dollars a year. Worse than the money that this wastes, it can cause harm and lead people away from the medical help they really need.

Don't be fooled! Here are 10 warning signs of health quackery.

■ Words such as "miraculous," "instant," "secret," or "amazing."

■ Vague claims such as "purifies your body," "raise your energy level," or "boosts immune system."

■ Testimonials and anecdotes that are the sole or primary support for the claims.

■ Ad copy that tries to diagnose health problems: for example, an ad that leads you to believe you have vitamin deficiencies, and then offers to sell you a cure.

■ Claims that doctors don’t want you to know about "cures" because they would lose business.

■ "Spot-reducers" or any gadget promising to reduce weight without exercise—or while you sleep!

■ Diet plans "guaranteed" to take off a pound a day. A diet that rigorous would be dangerous.

■ Health-related products sold via multi-level (network) marketing, which turns customers into salespeople.

■ Claims about curing arthritis, cancer, or AIDS.

■ Claims that a product will cure a wide variety of illnesses. Cure-alls seldom cure anything.

Think you've spotted a scam? You can report it to the FDA here. You can also check Snopes.com and Quackwatch for roundups of Internet rumors and myths.