Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

Diet: Fact or Fraud?

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I have always been fascinated by diet and health fads and frauds.  Some are simply dangerous; all are ineffective in the long run.  The history of dieting is fraught with devices and dubious weight loss methods that often are downright ridiculous and sometimes amusing.

Diet Laxatives

Diet Laxatives (Photo credit: apalapala)

Why do these claims and products exist?  The main reason is obvious – MONEY!

As long as consumers are open to these claims for losing weight, for example, there will continue to be a huge market for these products.   People believe nutrition nonsense and are willing to buy fraudulent products for many reasons.

  • Many people want to believe in a certain product and if they see it in print, they think it is legitimate.
  • Advertising for a certain product is deliberately made to sound backed by scientific studies.  The ads will proclaim that “studies prove” the results.
  • People often are tempted by some charlatan to disbelieve traditional medical care and that another alternative  product or method is less prone to side effects.
  • People think that truth in advertising is regulated by law when in reality laws are often not enforced.
  • Advertisements often contain the words, “miraculous”, “detoxify”, “energy restoring”, “safe” and “natural”.

Check out the following article on some of the worst current diet fads.


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