Used car salesmen of weight loss

Image: Dynamic Graphics | liquidlibrary | Getty Images

I’ve talked previously about ‘don’t believe the hype’ (here and on my persona blog). Everything from the misleading BMI guidelines to those so-called ‘toning’ shoes. The internet is full of misleading claims out there trying to convince you something will ‘cure’ your ailment (being overweight), or is THE answer to all your woes. “Buy or Try this product and get the results you are looking for”.

Snake-oil salesmen. All of them.

I do not trust or believe anything or anyone that wants me to spend money. The cause and effect relationship is what matters to me. Besides there are an infinite amount of resources out there via the internet that are FREE of charge. FREE of charge. Most of the things I’ve discovered and still utilize today are from searching and learning at no cost to me. The only thing I’ve had to sacrifice is my ‘time’, and in my opinion it has all been time well ‘spent’ (yep, another pun intended).

I’m adding things to the ‘beware’ list. The FDA has recently released a (another) statement in regards to certain product and it’s so-called health claims. This time it’s about Green Tea. If you aren’t familiar with the supposed ‘sale’ of Green Tea – it apparently has antioxidant properties that can and should help you with immunity and weight loss as well as possibly reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

In truth, none of these claims are scientifically proven. This is the take home message for the day – scientifically proven from a reliable, unbiased, educated and valid source. Not some blog, or internet magazine. And surely not ‘proven’ by the very same company that is selling you their product! I won’t bore you with the details, but in a nutshell, don’t ever believe what is written on a box, or advertised on the internet without ‘researching’ their source.

The irony of all this? Just recently while in class (I’m back in school pursuing my CRNP), we were discussing claims that deceive the public in regards to research. When a company (or product) uses the term average, how accurate and honest are those results? “Individuals who used this product lost an ‘average’ of 10 pounds”. The average is not a true representation of the effectiveness of the product in producing the results it claims. For the sake of sparing you the details, there is a profound difference between the average (the mean) and the median. (Ever buy a house?) Be sure to ask for the mean instead of the average.

Being healthy means being smart enough to ask why, and being smarter than the snake-oil salesmen.

And who said a higher education isn’t worth your time?

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