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HOW TO RECOGNIZE NUTRITIONAL QUACKERY
By Rick Morris
Everyday we bombarded with new diets, weight loss supplements and performance enhancing super foods. Some of these products are legitimate developments while others are useless and even dangerous products that benefit only the seller.
What is nutritional quackery?
Nutritional quackery may be defined as the promotion of products, treatments or plans that claim to provide a benefit to the health of the consumer without proof of effectiveness or safety.
Nutritional quacks appear in many disguises. They may be authors pushing some new miraculous diet plan, a company selling the latest weight loss supplement or a multi-level marketer selling a fantastic performance enhancing drug.
So how do you determine which are legitimate products are which are scams? There is no foolproof way, but if you look for some specific clues, listed below, you can avoid making a bad decision.
If a product claims to provide an easy answer to a difficult question, you should be skeptical. There have been a huge number of scientists and researchers performing studies in the fields of weight loss, nutrition and athletic performance. These are extremely complex fields of study. There is not one simple answer to these questions. Watch out for anything that promises incredible results that requires little or no effort on your part. These types of products promise us a magic pill. They know this is what people want to hear, so that is what they tell us.
Unpublished or questionable studies
Many quacks will site scientific studies that back up their claim. If these studies are not published and cannot be examined, be suspicious. Many times the study will be published in an unreliable publication such as a newsletter or magazine that is not reliable. Sometimes the studies are published but were performed by the quacks own company.
If the studies do not supply checkable references or claim logic that is not backed up, be skeptical.
Check for legitimate published studies if you suspect quackery. Most studies will be referenced on the Internet.
Claims of persecution
A popular strategy among quacks is to claim persecution by the established scientific and medical community. They try to convince you that the establishment wants to keep the truth from you because they are either jealous of the quack or want to keep taking money from you. There is no conspiracy among the health and nutrition researchers. If someone claims this, stay away from their product.
Testimonials can be complete fiction. They are usually given by unknown people claiming to have lost immense amounts of weight or completely transforming their body shape using the quacks product. Sometimes celebrities are paid to give these untrue testimonials. Testimonials can also be true, but be skeptical.
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