Health and Fitness sensationalism

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We all have health and fitness goal. But sometimes, the media tries to convince consumers that there is a better way. Alternative solutions such as fast-acting weight loss pills, liquid diets, and the controversy surrounding carbohydrates have been at the forefront of health news for years. Armed with the right knowledge, you can identify these fads and be confident in your choice to leave them behind.

Use these tips when evaluating a new product or recommendation:
* There is no such thing as a “quick fix.” If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
* There are no “good” or “bad” foods. Everything in moderation can fit into a well-balanced diet.
* Always check out the credentials of your source. Many claim to hold degrees from institutions that don’t even exist. Take an even closer look if the source of nutrition information is trying to sell you something such as supplements.
* Be aware of diets that force you to give up whole food groups or only eat one type of food.
These gimmicks may lead to temporary weight loss because of the extreme limitations on calorie intake. However, they do not teach practical tips for handling real-life situations and thus are not sustainable long term.
Identifying sensationalism
Have you ever noticed those ads in the back of magazines? Do the before and after photos draw you in? Here are some claims that may signal your money would be better-spent elsewhere.
* Does it offer a money-back guarantee?
* Does it use nonscientific terms such as “detoxify” and “revitalize”?
* Does it use testimonials as proof that it works as opposed to scientific evidence?
* Does it claim to “treat” or “prevent” a wide range of nonrelated health issues?
* Does it make unrealistic claims such as “reverse the aging process” or “quick, easy approach”?
* Does it discredit the advice of healthcare professionals or complain that credible organizations (such as the American Heart Association) and the government are against them?
* Does it mention a “secret formula”?

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