Essay by jeff2High School, 10th gradeA+, December 1996

download word file, 5 pages 4.0

This year, we Americans will spend billions of dollars on products that do nothing for us - or may even harm us. And we'll do it for the same reason people have done it since ancient times... We want to believe in miracles. We want to find simple solutions and shortcuts to better health. It's hard to resist. All of us, at one time or another, have seen or heard about a product - a new and exotic pill, a device, or potion - that can easily solve our most vexing problem. With this product, we're told, we can eat all we want and still lose weight. We can grow taller or have bigger breasts. Or we can overcome baldness, age, arthritis, even cancer. It sounds too good to be true - and it is. But we're tempted to try the product in spite of all we know about modern medical

science - or perhaps because of it.

After all, many treatments we take for granted today were once considered miracles. How can we tell the difference?

Not all advertisements for health products are false, of course. In fact, the vast majority aren't .So just what is quackery? Simply put, quackery is the promotion of a medical remedy that doesn't work or hasn't been proven to work. In modern times, quackery is known as health fraud. But call it quackery or call it health fraud, the result is the same - unfulfilled wishes, wasted dollars, endangered health. Often quack products are fairly easy to spot, like the magic pills you are supposed to take to stay forever young. But sometimes the products are vaguely based on some medical report that you may even have heard about in the news. In general, when looking over ads for medicines and medical devices,