Fraud and Nutrition Misinformation

Snake oil ad

Find resources and information for spotting suspicious health claims and links for checking out food and nutrition myths and misinformation. Includes resources specific to weight loss diets and products.

Nutrition Information on the Internet

Claims That Can Be Made for Conventional Foods and Dietary Supplements

DHHS. FDA. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Describes what health claims, nutrient content claims, and structure/function claims on labels are authorized by the FDA for foods and dietary supplements.

Consumer Corner: Online Health Information

USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center.

Useful collection of guidelines and information designed to help Internet users learn how to evaluate health claims and products.

Consumer Protection: Health

Federal Trade Commission.

Describes law enforcement and consumer education campaign and offers information for consumers on how to recognize health fraud, guidance for businesses on how to market health products and services truthfully.

Consumer Protection: Weight Loss and Fitness

Federal Trade Commission.

Learn how to evaluate claims for weight loss products.

Evaluating Internet Health Information: A Tutorial from the National Library of Medicine

NIH. National Library of Medicine.

Teaches you how to evaluate health information found on the Web.

National Council Against Health Fraud

National Council Against Health Fraud.

Private nonprofit, voluntary health agency that focuses upon health misinformation, fraud, and quackery as public health problems.

Quackwatch logo Quackwatch


Nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, and fallacies.

Weight Loss Diets and Products

Low-Carb Foods: Less Than Meets the Eye

University of California-Berkeley. Berkeley Wellness Letter.

Berkeley Wellness Letter article explains the low-carb trend and its health implications.

Weight Loss Products and Programs

Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.

Offers analysis of weight loss products and plans; examples of ineffective products are given.

Weight-loss Advertising: An Analysis of Current Trends (PDF | 1.5 Mb)

Federal Trade Commission.

September 2002 report analyzing current trends in weight loss advertising.