Did you know the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of the press and freedom of speech? Of course! Every middle-school educated person in the country knows that. Freedom of speech allows me to type this article. Freedom of speech allows you to criticize the actions or inaction of your congressmen. Freedom of speech also allows me to tell you that if you take my “magic pill” you will lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks. By the way, a research study just concluded that bananas cause cancer.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can regulate the information presented on product labels but it has no jurisdiction on health and nutrition information presented in other forms such as books, magazine articles, and the Internet. That is fantastic news for me because I am getting ready to go to market with my “Super Banana-Blocker Elixir” which is scientifically proven to prevent the cancer caused by bananas. My marketing plans are solid and the website should be launched shortly.
The best way to know you are looking at a product that is boasting legitimate claims is to avoid common red flags used by marketers. These include promises of quick remedies or which sound too good to be true. Scare tactics, personal attacks, or statements about the superiority of the product are more sure signs that the product may not be all it claims to be. Personal testimonials, scientific-sounding terms, and incomplete references round out list of most common warning signs.
When using the Internet for health and nutrition information be very careful of the commercial (*.com) websites. These are the places where red flags will be most prevalent. The safer websites would be government agencies (*.gov), nationally recognized health associations (*.org) or accredited colleges and universities (*.edu). Even with the latter websites, use your better judgment. Otherwise you may just fall victim to my “Super Banana-Blocker Cancer Fighting Elixir” that is going to make me rich!