Ten Red Flags of Junk Science

Be on the Lookout for the Ten Red Flags of Junk Science

How do you protect yourself from the top ten red flags of junk science? The one’s that are based on minimal research but enjoy maximum media exposure? With today’s over-load of information, we are bombarded with claims and ads. It seems nothing we do in our day to day existence can escape them.

What is Junk Science?

Junk science is any scientific data or research that is considered fraudulent. The concept is often used by politicians and lawyers where facts and scientific results have a great amount of weight in making a determination. Many of those determinations wind up affecting our every day lives. Negatively.

A coalition of food and nutrition scientists have identified 10 red flags of junk science. Let the buyer beware of any diet, food plan, product or service that has any of the following dubious characteristics.

Top Ten Red Flags of Junk Science
Red Flags of Junk Science

  1. Recommendations that promise a quick fix. Example: You will be pain free in three days!
  2. Dire warnings of dangers from a single product or regimen. Example: This product may cause death!
  3. Claims that sound too good to be true. Example: Lose those last ten pounds once and for all in five days!
  4. Simplistic conclusions drawn from a complex study. Example: In short, just take this pill and you will be in better shape!
  5. Recommendations based on a single study. Example: A study done with ten participants for seven days shows…
  6. Dramatic statements that are refuted by reputable scientific organizations. Example: Why, it is a weight loss miracle! Reputable scientific organizations say, “There is no weight loss miracle.
  7. Lists of good and bad foods. (This one is pretty self explanatory.)
  8. Recommendations made to help sell a product. Example: Celebrity endorsed!
  9. Recommendations based on studies published without being formally reviewed by others knowledgeable in the same field.
  10. Recommendations from studies that ignore the differences among individuals or groups. These differences can be cultural, lifestyles, eating habits, exercise habits (or lack of), etc.

Junk Science

Source: Food and Nutrition Science Alliance

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing