Ways to Spot Quacks and Vitamin Pushers

Quacks tell you all the wonderful things that vitamins and minerals do in your body and/or all the horrible things that can happen if you don't get enough. Many claim that their products or programs offer "optimal nutritional support." But they conveniently neglect to tell you that a balanced diet provides the nutrients most people need and that government guidelines makes balancing your diet simple, explains Stephen Barrett, M.D. and Victor Herbert, M.D., J.D.

This is an appeal to fear that is not only untrue, but ignores the fact that the main forms of bad nourishment in the United States are obesity in the population at large, particularly the poor, and undernourishment among the poverty-stricken. Poor people can ill afford to waste money on unnecessary vitamin pills. Their food money should be spent on nourishing food.

Drs Barrett and Herbert further explain, “it is falsely alleged that Americans are so addicted to "junk" foods that an adequate diet is exceptional rather than usual. While it is true that some snack foods are mainly "naked calories" (sugars and/or fats without other nutrients), it is not necessary for every morsel of food we eat to be loaded with nutrients. In fact, no normal person following the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is in any danger of vitamin deficiency.”

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