Thursday, April 14, 2005

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promises of easy weight loss. (For most people, the only way to lose
weight is to eat less and exercise more.)
promises of a quick, painless, guaranteed cure
testimonials from satisfied customers. (These people may never have
had the disease the product is supposed to cure, may be paid
representatives, or may simply not exist. Often they're identified only
by initials or first names.)

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claims the product works by a secret formula. (Legitimate scientists
share their knowledge so their peers can review their data.)
publicity only in the back pages of magazines, over the phone, by
direct mail, in newspaper ads in the format of news stories, or 30-
minute commercials in talk show format. (Results of studies on bona
fide treatments are generally reported first in medical journals.)
claims the product is an amazing or miraculous breakthrough. (Real
medical breakthroughs are few and far between, and when they
happen, they're not touted as "amazing" or "miraculous" by any
responsible scientist or journalist.)

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Tip-Offs to Rip-Offs
New health frauds pop up all the time, but the promoters usually fall
back on the same old cliche's and tricks to gain your trust and get
your money. According to FDA, some red flags to watch out for
include:

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For everyone--consumers, physicians and other health-care
providers, and government regulators--FDA has the same advice
when it comes to weeding out the hopeless from the hopeful: Be
open-minded, but don't fall into the abyss of accepting anything at all.
For there are--as there have been for centuries--countless products
that are nothing more than fraud. n