One of my readers has alerted me to yet another scam, another slimming product called Avilean. Yet again it features acai berries, together with mango and tea. I don’t normally provide a link to these sites but have done on this occasion because this time the ad is so badly done that I don’t think it likely to persuade anyone to part with their cash.
It seems to have been written by someone for whom English is not a first language. It’s a combination of mangled English with meaningless gibberish so poor that it can’t even be described as pseudoscientific. Here are a few quotes taken directly from the page
“in the event that particular factor needs to make a move with sensuous and unattractive looks, then you definitely really have careful analysis build your fancy become a reality.”
“This component adjusts the look of adiponectin by enhancing blood insulin meter. Weight loss, the doppelganger of the element, lower downs the amount of C-reactive proteins.”
“enhances the metabolism by maintaining a reliable heartbeat.”
“The product not just inspections weight but additionally includes a check up on its prices. Hurry, and grab Avilean today, should you desire the having a properly contoured physiology.”
All scams eventually become so well known that they become unusable, but that doesn’t stop crooks from trying, far too late, to jump on the bandwagon. I am still occasionally getting emails from Nigerian gentlemen offering me huge sums of money, provided I send them some first.
Hopefully the Nutrascience type scam is now getting to that stage and fewer people are being taken in. I expect they will think of something new.
One of the buzzwords we keep hearing in the NHS these days is “choice”. The concept of patient choice is frequently cited, particularly by non clinicians, without there being any apparent thought about what that actually means.
If you take your car to a mechanic, and he diagnoses a problem, I don’t think many of us would consider it appropriate to tell the mechanic how to fix the problem. So why is this considered a good idea in medicine. The older generation of patients tend to have no truck with this idea and many of them seem not even to want too much information about their condition. This is the age group who are most likely to be taking medication prescribed by their doctor, without actually knowing, or even caring what it’s for. They simply trust their doctor to act in their (the patient’s), best interests.
The younger generations however are more likely to want information and choice, but can any amount of information given to a lay person really give them the basis to make a truly logical decision. I’m not advocating that patients be treated without informed consent, just that a little professional advice is often appropriate.
This is especially important when your patient gets all his medical information from the Daily Mail, or some similarly informative rag. And when you throw in the whims of fashion the extremes of “patient choice” can lead to a demand for some very dubious treatments.
For those out there who would, in spite of all my rantings against the scammers, really like to try Acai Berries to help you lose weight here are one or two tips.
1. Don't be disappointed when you find they don't work. There is no reason why they should.
2. You can buy the bloody things in your high street health food shop at a tenth the cost they charge you on the scam sites.
As fast as I can highlight new scams out there the products highlighted seem to simply rebrand under a new name. This is particularly true of acai berry products, which I have commented on before under various trade names. They are now again being heavily promoted this time under the name “Slimvida”
Other than the name change the ads show little variation from the standard formula. The product is sold together with another product called “Colon Flow”. Totally unrealistic claims are made for the product, bolstered by pseudo scientific bollocks. There is of course the ubiquitous free trial, where you only pay postage, and no other way of paying than allowing a regular debit authority on your debit card.
They rely of course on people not reading the terms & conditions, particularly where it says “your credit card be automatically charged 1 easy payment for the 1 trial bottle at just £69.95”
Are there really still people out there who are still ignorant of how this scam works? Surely people are beginning to wise up.
It is some years now since Female Genital Mutilation was made illegal in the UK. The passage of this legislation was a no brainer. The degree of mutilation involved, and the relatively small proportion of the UK population engaged in this activity meant that precious few people would have opposed the measure, and it was an easy, and very necessary law to pass.
Male circumcision for ritual or religious reasons is philosophically in my view no different, but politically it is a much more contentious issue. Unsurprisingly British politicians don’t want to visit this issue as the potential for large numbers of lost votes is very significant. So they turn a blind eye.
Finally one civilised western country has started to take a stand. Not the politicians, by making new laws, but the legal establishment itself for pointing out that the practice is probably already illegal by the application of existing legislation. The fact that this practice has been pursued by a large number of people for thousands of years is no excuse or justification.
For a first rate argument against male circumcision read this. In my view there is no justification for any doctor to involve himself in male circumcision unless performed for valid medical reasons. And any doctor who does should have to explain himself to the GMC.