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In this day and age fake wellness trends, diets, and exercise plans are cropping up day in and day out. Here are some simple yet useful tips for assessing the merit of a diet or wellness fad:

If it sounds ridiculous, it likely is:

So many fad diets and cures sound absurd, almost too absurd to be true. If this is the case, they probably are. There is no logical or medical reason why drinking lemon juice in place of water will help you drop twenty pounds, so don’t be afraid to fact check it. Often it is tempting to err on the side of exciting yet ridiculous sounding solutions. Always do additional research past the source.

Always double check statistics and sources:

Often, articles that are a proponent of these fraudulent diets will utilize statistics, quotations, and names of people with impressive sounding credentials to try and add merit to their agenda. Make sure you are checking up on all statistics and all the credentials of those referenced. There is, of course, the possibility that the statistics have not been changed but the study conducted to yield them was invalid or skewed. For instance, if a product was tested on too small of a sample size to produce significant results.

Pay attention to who is releasing the information:

Does whoever is conducting or during the study have anything to gain from it? Are they biased or affiliated in any way? It is always possible that an organization with something to gain or with connections that have something to gain are popularizing a fad to sell more of something. Make sure you are looking for any tangles and links to see if there is another motive behind the fad.

Read comments and what other people think about it:

A sure way to get a more dimensional view of what is going on and if the diet actually has any merit is to look online–whether in the comments section of the original article or to look it up on its own–and see how it is being received and what other people, including specialists, have to say about it. If there are many negative comments, failed stories, or reports of it being a scam or fraud, it most definitely is.