Presentation Package for Concepts of Fitness & Wellness 9e Concept 23 Evaluating Fitness & Wellness Products: Becoming an Informed Consumer “Let the buyer beware” is a good motto for the consumer seeking advice or planning a program for developing or maintaining fitness, health, or wellness.
Online Learning Center Presentation Overview • Quacks and quackery • Physical activity quackery • Exercise equipment • Health clubs and leaders • Body composition • Nutrition • Other consumer information • Books, magazines, articles, Internet Discussion Activity
Quackery & Fraud • Quack - pretender of medical skill or knowledge (often believe what they promote) • Quackery - “anything involving overpromotion in the field of health” • False • Unproven • Dangerous • Fraud - Intentional perversion of truth for gain • Deceptive advertising, promotion, or distribution of products/services for monetary gain • May be difficult to detect (subtle) Photo: Creative Commons Flickr
Clues to Quackery/Fraud • No scientific method • Use of testimonials and anecdotes • Typically have something to sell • False claims like “everyone can benefit” • Promise of quick results • Claims approval by FDA • Federal law does not even permit the mention of FDA that suggests marketing approval • Misquotes of scientific journal articles • Often sell products through mail
Susceptibility to Fraud or Quackery • Concern about appearance, health or performance • Lack of knowledge • Desire for immediate results
Being an Informed Consumer • Read ads carefully, esp. the small print • Do not send cash; use a check, money order, or credit card so you have a receipt • Do not order from a company with only a post office box, unless you know the company • Do not let high-pressure sales tactics make you rush into a decision • When in doubt, check out the company through your Better Business Bureau (BBB) • Look for several supporting credible research studies before making a decision
Physical Activity & Quackery Photo: Creative Commons Flickr
Physical Activity • No “effortless” way to get the benefits from physical activity • Claims for many forms of exercise are overstated or unsubstantiated (not a panacea) • e.g., Hatha Yoga curing health problems • Passive exercises do not provide any benefits for fitness or weight loss • e.g., vibrating belts, massage, magnets, electrical muscle stimulators, weighted belts, body wrapping, etc.
Exercise Equipment • What is your current state of fitness and activity level? • What are your goals? • Will you enjoy it? • Will you stick with it? Photo: Creative Commons Flickr
Exercise Equipment • Is this the best piece of equipment for you? • Do you have space for it? • Is the space appropriate? • Will you use it? • Do you need it? Are there cheaper alternatives? • Have you checked Consumer Reports? • Is the dealer reputable? • Have you considered the limitations of the exercise machine?
Hand/Wrist Weights • Controversial • Walking while pumping arms with weights can increase energy expenditure equal to slow jog • Requires CAUTION • Increases risk of injury • Gripping weights while exercising can increase blood pressure • Less risk with wrist weights than with hand-held weights NO ANKLE WEIGHTS!
Lab 23binformation Health Clubs • Qualified staff? Professional? • Well-maintained equipment? • Cleanliness? • Trial visit - Crowded/convenient? • Contracts/memberships? • YMCA/YWCA/Parks & Rec? Photo: Creative Commons Flickr
Body Composition • Fad diets • Spot reduction exercises • Body wraps • Cellulite/Fat loss creams • Metabolic stimulators Photo: Creative Commons Flickr
Nutrition • Muscle gain supplements • Fat loss supplements • Anti-fatigue supplements Photo: Creative Commons Flickr
Current LegislationThe Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 • Shifted the burden of proof for the effectiveness and safety of supplements from the FDA to the food supplement industrywhich means it is shifted to YOU (consumer)! • Carefully review evidence before using • One positive - food supplement labeling • Effectiveness of supplements in question
Potentially Fraudulent Health Products • Supplements for health/disease: • Anti-oxidant vitamin supplements (megadoses) • Immune system boosters • Life extension products: • Energy enhancers • Memory enhancers Photo: Creative Commons Flickr
Other Consumer Information • Saunas, steam baths, whirlpools, and hot tubs provide no significant health benefits, and guidelines must be followed to ensure safety • Having a good tan is often associated with being fit and looking good, but getting tanned can be risky Photo: Creative Commons Flickr
Sources of Misinformation • Books • Magazines • Articles • Internet • Health store newsletters • TV infomercials Photo: Creative Commons Flickr
Books, Magazines & Articles • Not all books provide scientifically sound, accurate, and reliable information. • Are they authored by a qualified professional? • Are they based on sound scientific principles? Photo: Creative Commons Flickr
Internet Information Operation “Cure-All” • Not all information on the Web is accurate!! • Consult at least 2 or more sources to confirm information (including non-web sources) • Consider the source of information • Look for information from non-profit agencies or public health agencies if possible (.gov, .edu, or .org), although many commercial (.com) sites also have good information
Review of Clues to Fraud & Quackery Lab 23a information • Lack of certifications / degrees • Cite little or no research • Use of pseudo-affiliations • Use of frequent testimonials • Make claims of prestige • Discredit AMA, FDA, etc.
Buy This Try That Gauranteed Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware!) End of presentation
Online Learning Center Supplemental Information Lab Information Discussion Activity
Lab 23a InformationPracticing Consumer Skills: Evaluating Products • Select an exercise device, book, magazine or food supplement to review. • Answer questions to evaluate product you have chosen. • Total the checks to get a product rating. • Discuss whether you would buy or use this product.
Lab 23b InformationEvaluating a Health/Wellness or Fitness Club • Visit a club and indicate that you are interested in becoming a member. • Ask questions and examine the facilities. • Complete the assessment in the lab to evaluate the club. • Answer whether this club would meet your needs and expectations.
Return to presentation Discussion Activity Is this site credible?