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(Drawing by Estefania Gomez)

Keith was a funny kind of guy… not ‘make me laugh’ funny, but odd funny.

The fad, at the time, was lecithin. It was being marketed as a supplement that could, essentially, flush the fats from your body as you ate them. It instantly became his chaser of choice, in pill form, after his daily unhealthy lunch fix. Lecithin really did put a smile on his face, as he paraded through the office pouring the pills in his hand on the way to the water cooler. It didn’t matter what was going on in the real world of his metabolism, in his mind, he was being flushed.

Sometimes we want things to be true, and choose to believe that they are.

Sometimes it’s a claim in an advertisement that causes us to take action, usually accompanied by the words, quick, fast, rapid, or easy. You might find all of those in just one ad, and…It’s guaranteed, or your money back! It must be true, then. You should know by now that what you need just doesn’t come quick and easy.

Daily, even hourly, we see and hear very important people promote things, and we respond based on their authority. And it’s very possible that the beautiful body they’re showing isn’t really a result of what they’re suggesting that you purchase.

During my supplement-filled days, (yes, past tense), there was a very famous scientist by the name of Dr. Linus Pauling. He was a brilliant chemist, among many other things, and the only person to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes. When he claimed that mega-dosing vitamin C could prevent colds and cure cancer, I stocked up on C the size of horse pills.

Lesson learned: Celebrity status doesn’t guarantee the validity of a claim; even if they’re one of the most brilliant people on the planet. You know that already, but sometimes you don’t want to believe it.

It’s not easy separating fact from fiction. And the instant flow of information in the palms of our hands is a powerful tool. But the money to be made from health supplements and the newest diet is in the Billions. It’s harder than ever to discern fact from fiction, but in the end, you are responsible for you, and you best do your (best) homework.

This reflection humbles me.

I had insisted that Keith take Vitamin C to prevent colds and throw away the lecithin.

When boxers enter the ring to do battle, they are advised, “protect yourselves at all times.”

I suggest you do the same. And I’ll be more careful about my recommendations.

Train Hard, Smart, and Safe!

Steven

Update: Weight Loss Products #1 in Fraud

http://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/over-counter-products/article/weight-loss-products-top-fraud

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