Consumer Reports credits TINA

Snake oil for the 21st century

Health claims that are too good to be true

Published: September 2013
“Instantly take off 10–15 pounds!” “Stay sharp and mentally focused—even at age 90!” “Help almost every health problem ever experienced by a human being!”
Yes, a century and a half after “snake oil” salesmen roamed the U.S. selling fake medical cures, marketers are still touting an array of products with health claims that seem a little … exaggerated, to use a word our legal department will allow. Among the pitches in our mailbag, in addition to those above: ads for youth hormones, Chinese miracle berries, stem-cell anti-aging nostrums, and a device that lets you “exhale your excess weight.”

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