Smart Living: Avoid health fraud

Smart Living: Avoid health fraud

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – According to the FDA, health scams promote products that aren’t proven safe or effective but claim to prevent, treat, or cure health conditions. They can be found on TV, the radio, the internet, and in magazines. But how can you know what’s legit and what’s a scam? We have some common red flags you should watch out for.

A pill to cure your disease, a potion to make you look young or a supplement to help you shed weight. You’ve probably seen or heard plenty of health scams before!

Be skeptical of ads with “real people” or “doctors” that are played by actors. Also, the FDA says phrases like “a quick fix,” “all natural, miracle cure,” “secret ingredient,” “scientific breakthrough,” and “one product does it all” are red flags. Health frauds often target diseases with no cures. Other common scams? Anti-aging therapies, arthritis remedies, cancer cures, memory aids, and diet supplements.

Over the past decade, the Federal Trade Commission has filed over 120 cases challenging health claims made from supplements. As the New Year approaches, the FTC is preparing for an upsurge of weight loss scams, such as pills that block calories or those that promise you a gym body without going to the gym.

Be sure to look for reliable data on the product, such as peer-reviewed medical studies. Ask your doctor about it first. And if you find out you’ve been the victim of a health fraud, report it to the FDA’s consumer complaint department. The bottom line: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Health scams can cause serious injury. In the past few years, the FDA found more than 100 weight-loss products, illegally marketed as diet supplements, which contained an ingredient found in a medicine that was associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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