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Protect Yourself Against Health Fraud

Fitness for mind and body.

Americans spend billions of dollars each year on products or services that claim everything from "losing weight and do nothing", to "no more arthritic pain." Easy remedies are hard to resist, but many don't always deliver on their promises. Some can be harmful.

Fraud Sign

Health fraud means promoting, for financial gain, a health remedy that doesn't work -- or hasn't yet been proven to work. Health fraud has grown significantly in the past several decades.

Why such growth? People today take more personal responsibility for staying healthy. That interest has launched a huge demand for products that promote real weight loss.

What are the consequences? Health fraud takes advantage of consumers and carries significant economic and health risks including:

False Hopes: Unsound nutrition advice, products or services won't prevent or cure disease. For the best advice, contact your physician and a dietetics professional such as a registered and/or certified dietitian.

A Substitute for Reliable Health Care: Proper health care can be delayed if you follow bad advice. You may lose something you can't retrieve -- time for effective treatment.

Unneeded Expense: Even under the best of circumstances, some products and services simply don't work. Why waste your hard-earned money on something that has no effect?

Potential Harm

Unsound nutrition advice, products or services can put your health at risk. Large doses of some vitamins and minerals can have harmful side effects. For example, excessive vitamin K is risky if you take blood-thinning drugs. And excessive amounts of vitamin A during pregnancy increase the chances of birth defects.

What can you do? Below are some tips that can help you in identifying health fraud and where you can go for sound nutrition information.

Do Your Homework

Find out more before you purchase a nutrition product, treatment or service. Watch for terms such as clinically proven, CITES certified, medically endorsed, Dr. Approved, etc. If they are one of the forementioned, the organization or Doctor's name should be clearly stated. And above all, DO NOT FALL FOR GOVERNMENT BACKED REPORTS! Government fraud is running rampant. (See the April 11, 2011 report, Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Government Health Care.) Research other resources - and who they're behind.

Report Health Fraud

If you suspect - or discover - that a statement, product or service is false, discuss it with the appropriate agency or file a complaint. Especially if you find out it IS government fraud.

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Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.