Jun 3, 2006

Baby Boomers, Scammers...

Welcome to Flo's Home Biz & Fun Blog...

The following is an article by Dave Cottrell an AdlandPro Business Community friend. The article was written in 2005 but I feel it could be very helpful in wading through all the hype when you're looking for a good, home-based business.

Note that You can help to protect yourself against scammers by going to http://scambusters.org

Baby Boomers, Scammers
And Snake Oil Salesmen
by Dave Cottrell
© - All Rights Reserved

Baby Boomers (BBr) make up the single largest group on planet Earth at this time. If you are a BBr, you have a LOT of company!

Generally speaking, a BBr is someone who was born between 1946 and 1964. This means that ALL BBrs are now over 40!

The BBr group has always been known for being very active and on average, more financially stable than any large group in history. After WWII, the economy boomed in many areas of the world, creating undreamed of wealth especially for westerners. Many of the things we take for granted today would have been considered lavish luxuries for previous generations (cars, washing machines and driers, tvs, electric lights, vacations, etc., etc.) Prior to the BBr generation, people were content to have enough to eat and wear, and a roof over their heads!

(Next time you hear someone born before 1946 reminiscing wistfully about the "good old days," remind them that most people at that time walked everywhere, had one pair of shoes, one set of work clothes, and one set of "Sunday-go-to-meeting" clothes!)

The Baby Boomer generation has always been known for being very active, travelling extensively, playing hard, and doing everything possible to deny the aging process. But the fact is, BBrs ARE getting older. Add this to the fact that BBrs have more disposable income than any previous generation, and you open up a HUGE market for products that claim to improve health and/or slow the aging process!

Do an online search for "health supplements" and you will find 7,481,585 pages on MSN and 6,760,000 on Google!

High quality health supplements ARE good for most people. However, not all health supplements are high quality. Many of the products offered are simply a concoction of high-priced chemicals thrown together under a fancy name and some very questionable claims.

Back in the "good old days" of the "wild, wild west," scammers known as "snake oil salesmen" used to travel from town to town selling bottles of elixir (read - health supplements), guaranteed to cure virtually all known ailments and conditions. They preyed on people who were suffering, selling them nothing more usually than a concoction of alcohol and some bad-tasting goop dumped in to make it taste legitimate (in those days, the worse medicine tasted, the better it was for you!!) Some of these "medicines" had highly toxic ingredients added like mercury and arsenic. See ChemHeritage.org/EducationalServices/pharm/asp/asp21a.htm

So what IS a true health supplement? It is something that is taken in addition to the regular food you eat every day. Under FDA guidelines, it cannot claim to cure or treat any condition, ailment or disease. Such claims are illegal unless the product has been subjected to rigorous testing and then labeled as a drug. Today's snakeoil salesmen generally get around this by using "unsolicited testimonials" from people using their products. (The FDA is creating increasingly strict guidelines in this area, too.) It is also worth noting that the Placebo Effect is being seriously studied by accredited researchers at this time. See http://www.apa.org/monitor/mar02/placebo.html and http://journals.apa.org/prevention/volume1/pre0010002a.html

Many of the popular supplements available in local stores and pharmacies are chemically derived vitamins and minerals. Such minerals are virtually impossible for the body to absorb, and without them, the vitamins will not be used either. Most pass through the body doing little, if any, good. Taken in large doses, some vitamins and minerals are toxic and actually increase the risk of serious medical conditions. See this document from the Australian government and this one from American Longevity Information Center

The best source of useable vitamins and minerals is from the natural food you eat. This means that it is very important to eat a regular, balanced and varied diet of unrefined foods. It is especially important to include an abundance of green, leafy vegetables, and brightly colored fruits and vegetables.

Due to the fast-paced lifestyle of BBrs, pollution, and other environmental factors, it is often wise to use supplements. However, the best supplement is one that is totally natural, like a whole juice or berries from a very nutrient-rich plant. Before choosing such a supplement, do some online research. While the company producing the supplement may make many incredible claims supported by so-called "unsolicited" testimonials and "doctors", a quick search online will reveal much about the nutritional value of the source plant used for the supplement, as well as information on the health claims about the plant, research, and validity.

Dave Cottrell markets online and off, writes like crazy, and publishes several newsletters and websites including www.tipsntools.com.

© 2005 Tipsntools.com

Have yourself a Super Saturday!

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