With the holidays creeping around, many consumers are thinking of a New Year’s resolution. Most would say that their number one resolution is to become a healthier version of themselves. Whether that be exercising, dieting, or trying out supplements. Canadians spend hundreds of dollars each year on health products.
It would be no surprise to find out that health claims are everywhere, through social media, the grocery aisle, and even from the magazines in your doctors’ waiting room. Public figures like Dr. Oz, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the Kardashians are notorious for spreading health misinformation. In recent years, we have seen more products with unproven health claims such as pills promising to help individuals lose weight fast to ones that claim to cure certain diseases. It can be tricky to determine which claims are true and which ones are straight up sham.
How to avoid falling for bogus claims:
- Sounds too good to be true: Any product claiming that it cures everything in a quick amount of time is likely false.
- Personal testimonials and anecdotal evidence: Don’t fall for personal testimonials – the point of using testimonials is to target vulnerable individuals by creating a human connection.
- High costs: If the product costs you an arm and a leg, it’s clear that the company is coming for your money.
- Lacks evidence: A health claim that isn’t evidence-based should not be trusted. Health claims should be supported by high-quality science, including clinical trials.
Many times, health claims lack concrete scientific evidence. Even when a product has scientific evidence to support its claims, we need to dig deeper on how the study was designed. Such as how large was the sample size, how long was the duration of the study, and was the study conducted on animals or humans? If a study was not conducted on humans, it is not conclusive to say that the health claim is proven to be safe or effective.
Companies that make bogus health claims on their products could land in hot water with regulating parties.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada have set out regulations on the use of certain health claims to protect the interest of consumers.
With the new year ringing in, lets not fall for phony claims or add more noise to the spread of health misinformation.
Want to make health claims on your product, but lack scientific evidence? We can help you conduct clinical trials (from study design, recruiting patients, disseminating results) to help back up your health claims and promote marketability of your product! Contact us today, we’re here to help!