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Truth in advertising

Health Marketing Claims That Are BS

Most of us, at some point, have been so blown away by a product’s claims that we’ve decided to purchase it, whether that’s a supplement, a piece of exercise equipment, or a particular food product.

However, not long after said purchase, you then start to realize that the marketing claims were complete BS, you’re not benefitting from the product in the way that you thought you were going to, and you get left feeling conned out of your money!

To ensure that you’re only ever buying products that will actually provide you with health benefits, and to avoid the situation of feeling like you’ve been conned out of your money, you need to be well aware of the health marketing claims out there that are BS, so you can see these claims, and avoid the products associated with them at all costs.

So, in this article, I’m going to take you through some of the most common health marketing claims that are complete and utter BS, as well as tell you what kind of things you should be looking out for to ensure you’re choosing the best possible products.

‘Clinically Proven’

‘Clinically proven’ is a statement that a lot of companies use to make their products sound scientifically proven to work, therefore enticing more and more customers to buy them.

However, there’s actually no regulation on using the words ‘clinically proven’ – even if a company does just one test on their product and states that it showed good results, they can claim that it’s ‘clinically proven’.

So, stay away from products that are ‘clinically proven’ or go a step further and ask the company to tell you why and how this product is ‘clinically proven’.

This topic is actually so interesting that I covered a full article on it, so feel free to check that out.

‘Cleansing Product’

Whether it’s a juice cleanse, a cleansing tea, or even a cleansing enema kit, cleansing products are concerning, and honestly, total complete BS!

Firstly, when something states that it ‘cleanses’ you, it gives you the impression that it’s taking all of the bad things out of your system, but with cleansing products, that’s not the case. Instead, a cleansing product will be taking anything from your system, not just the bad bits!

Secondly, companies that sell cleansing products may like us to believe that a cleanse is a great way to reset the body in a healthy way, but the truth is, you’ll just be sat on the toilet for hours, with no real sense of being ‘reset’.

Thirdly, cleanses can not only be dangerous (because they don’t add nutrition, but actually ‘cleanse’ it away), but they’re actually unhelpful because as soon as you begin to eat again, you’ll pile the pounds back on.

‘Alkaline Product’

Alkaline products, or products that are supposed to boost your alkalinity and therefore help to reduce acidity that’s linked with disease. However, this is a little misleading, simply because what we eat cannot actually affect the pH levels within our body, or not substantially anyway!

Our body has a set pH level (around 7.35 to 7.45) and regardless of the diet that we have, our body always comes back to this pH level.

If what you consume could change your pH level, then what we all eat would be much more tightly monitored, because a significant change in pH level can actually result in serious illness and death!

‘Cures Illness’

If a product claims that it can cure illnesses, such as curing cancer, curing diabetes, curing acne, etc etc, and it doesn’t have a medical ‘sign off’ from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), then it’s a lie.

If a product is sold and states that it can ‘cure’ us in any way or alter the body or mind significantly then the product changes into a ‘drug’ and the FDA have to test it rigorously and then, if it does actually provide cures, it will recommend it and support it.

However, if the FDA doesn’t accept or support the statements made by brands, then the term ‘cures’ is actually illegal because the product has not been proven to ‘cure’ anything. So, if you see the word ‘cure’ under a product that’s not classed as a drug, it’s a lie!


As a consumer, when we see a product that’s ‘diet/fat-free/sugar-free’, we tend to assume that it’s good for us, or that it’s at least going to be the healthier option in comparison to the full-fat/full-sugar alternative. However, most of the time, this is all a lie!

Firstly, there’s no regulation for what makes a product a ‘diet’ product. In fact, diet products typically contain less sugar but contain other harmful chemicals, sugar alcohols, and sweeteners.

The claim ‘fat-free’ makes the consumer believe that whatever is within the product will not make us gain weight. However, ‘fat-free’ means that the product has to have less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving, which is still fat!

But, the problem is, that there may still be a wide range of ingredients with a ‘fat-free’ product that will actually make us gain weight.

The claim ‘sugar-free’ is exactly the same! This means that there must be less than 0.5 grams of sugar in a product for it to be labeled ‘sugar-free’, so obviously, it’s not actually sugar-free!

In addition, most sugar-free products contain sugar alcohols (that surprisingly don’t fall into the sugar category) and sweeteners.

‘Organic’ (But Not Certified)

A lot of the time, companies that produce products that contain a few organic ingredients (even just 1% of the ingredients) will claim that these products are organic.

From a consumer’s viewpoint, seeing a product with the label ‘organic’ makes them more inclined to buy it, especially if they’re the type of consumer to only buy organic products.

However, a product cannot be certified organic unless 95% of the ingredients are organic. Therefore, when companies claim that their products are organic, without proper certification to show that 95% of the ingredients within a product is organic, it’s a lie!

As a side note, that’s why with my super greens supplement I label the “organic” ingredients in the formula but never claim it’s an organic product.

Your Guide To Choosing A Product That Will Actually Work

Avoid The BS Health Marketing Claims At All Costs

The very first thing you need to do when trying to choose a product is to avoid all the BS health marketing claims. If a company is making huge, far-out claims about a product that seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true!

Companies that don’t care about their transparency or reputation will use the BS marketing claims above to try and lure in customers to purchase a product that’s not going to work, so make sure you don’t fall into the trap!

Choose A Product With A Fully Disclosed Ingredients Label

Always make sure you choose a product that contains a fully disclosed label, simply because you should know what’s in the product that you’re going to be using!

Knowing each ingredient and the amount of each ingredient within a product is also useful because it can help you to work out the efficacy of a product, especially in the case of supplements!

Of course, when a company provides a fully disclosed ingredients label on a product, you can assume that the company is transparent.

Do Your Own Research On The Company And The Ingredients

Before buying any product on the health market, it’s always important to research the company to make sure it’s legit, safe, and trusted, and it’s important to actually look at the ingredients within the product you’re buying (especially if you’re purchasing something that you will consume) to ensure that the ingredients are safe for you.

Look For Products That Are Third-Party Tested

If there are third-party options for the product that you’re looking for, it’s best to go with them! Third-party testing ensures that the product you purchase has been properly tested by an independent company.

So, rather than the company you’re buying from doing a few (most likely not sufficient) tests of their own and the product potentially not actually being safe or working properly, having a product third party test certified ensures that it is safe and likely to work!

Ask The Company Questions If You’re Unsure

If you’re ever unsure about purchasing a product, it’s absolutely OK for you as a potential customer to contact the company and ask them any questions you have.

Whether you want them to show you a third-party test certificate or you want to know where the research to back up the product claims come from, it’s your right to ask the company for this information.

If the company and product are legit, they will have no problem showing you all of the information they have. However, if it’s not and they are shady about the information or they’re coercive or rude in any way, walk away.

The Bottom Line – Stop Buying Into The BS!

Now you’re aware of some of the most BS health marketing claims, you’re ready to take on the purchasing world by storm because you have the power!

The simple answer is to stop buying into the BS and choose high quality, transparent, honest brands to buy from instead.

Adam Author

About the LifeHacker Guy

Hi, I'm Adam the founder of the LifeHacker Guy.

I have a First Class Honours degree in Sports Science from Brighton University, specialising in exercise physiology and nutrition. In my youth I was a competitive Triathlete and long-distance runner placing top 10 in most triathlon races I completed.

Since suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I moved into web development, after a couple of years I then moved onto developing a number of online businesses. I've recently taken a sabbatical and I'm now looking to make big changes in my life, hopefully this may resonate with you - join me in my journey!

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