Find the Fake: Spotting Health Bullshit

I've just got a quick, fun post for you all today.

Before we start this little quiz I'd like to explain why I decided to make this post.

If you spend much time on Facebook, especially if you follow extreme health 'purists', you'll find a lot of images like this scattered around:

Get it? The milk is blood. Because...blood is...bad?

Get it? The milk is blood. Because...blood is...bad?

Or this...

lolwat

For some reason, when we see images like those or articles explaining the points in finer detail, we tend to take it at face value.  Why would someone go through all the trouble to make that image or write that 1,000 word article unless it was true?

Unfortunately, that image is about as accurate as this quote, and not nearly as funny:

In this exercise I'm trying to drive this point home:

Just because it's in a book, on the internet, or got shared by a thousand people does not make it true.

Spotting Health Bullshit

Could you even recognize the truth if you saw it?  Let's find out.  In the pairs of images below, I edited the text in one of them with complete nonsense I came up with off the top of my head, or just made a completely new image.  (Photoshop skill handicap)

Can you find the fake? (I hope I did a decent enough job editing to make the answers not obvious...as well, you may need to click on the images to bring up a larger version to read the text)

#1 - Let's start with something easy.
ToF5

 

#2 - It's almost like the numbers were pulled out of a hat.

ToF4

#3 - Note that you must eat EXACTLY what's listed below...why?  Your guess is as good as mine.

ToF3

#4 - Ahhh a picture of something "natural" next to a laundry list of cures for very serious ailments that have been plaguing humans since the dawn of time.  Sounds legit.

ToF1

#5 - Yes, pure sugar in the form of honey or agave works wonders for your waistline.

ToF2

 

Answer Key

Let me take up some space here with some cuddly puppies so you don't accidentally spoil it for yourself:

#1 - Original on the left

#2 - Original on the right

#3 - Original on the right

#4 - Actually both of these are real.  TEN THOUSAND TIMES STRONGER THAN CHEMOTHERAPY!!!  KILL 10,000 TIMES THE CELLS!

#5 - Original on the left

How did you do?  Probably could have gotten a good score judging by not-quite-perfect font replacements, but hopefully they weren't too bad.

In any case, health bullshit around the internet is RAMPANT.  Everything cures cancer, everything causes cancer, everything is a harmful chemical, everything is an all-natural cure for HIV despite HIV itself being all-natural.

Be skeptical of what you see.

 

6 thoughts on “Find the Fake: Spotting Health Bullshit

    1. katwhitfield

      Post author

      It would be pretty ironic if some of the edited ones started circulating around as real wouldn’t it?

      Reply
  1. Jill Will Run

    I have an acquaintance who spouts all of this bullshit constantly, it’s maddening. I’m at the point where I don’t even like being around her anymore because she can’t discuss anything else. She’ll probably eat onion powder greek yogurt soon!

    Reply
    1. katwhitfield

      Post author

      You could show that to her, have her believe it, then reveal it as a farce…see if that changes her tune at all.

      In reality don’t do that, but… it’s nice to dream about!

      Reply
  2. Jenn

    I often have to wonder who starts these things. A few are obvious click baits or selling something, but some of the others? Why tell people carrots cure cancer? Why write exercise programs that just break people?

    As for soursop, the active compound in it might have anti-cancer, anti-parasite and anti-bacterial properties. It’s also very neurotoxic.

    Reply
    1. katwhitfield

      Post author

      I’m not sure. I think maybe at first it started with things that had a grain of truth in them – maybe they started out advocating for marijuana for medical use and made little images about its “natural goodness”

      It got a lot of response, so they thought “what other natural things have medicinal properties?” …and it all went downhill from there and they got caught up in their own bullshit.

      That, or, they’re just marketing geniuses with no conscious.

      Reply

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