I’ve written more advertising than I should have. I have much to atone for when it comes to cluttering the Internet with overblown promises, compelling headlines, and (possibly) misleading benefits. While I like to think the products I represented delivered on their promises, I have a hunch not everyone would agree.
However, one niche I steadfastly refused to enter was that of alternative health. Not only is writing in that arena filled with legal land mines, it’s heavily regulated by governmental alphabet agencies that aren’t particularly shy when it comes to it comes to fining/jailing offenders.
That said, alt health sites pop up faster than popcorn.
Case in point: Nutritarian Nancy.
I first noticed her on Facebook when SciBabe pointed out one particularly strange post… I’d link to it here, but just surf to her Facebook page and take your pick.
Now, I’m all about eating healthy. Exercise is good. But diet and exercise are not magic. You can still engage in both and get sick. (I can’t believe I had to say that.)
But Nutrarian Nancy (NN) has everything figured out. Check out her headline:
There are five priorities of stellar health. Do you know what they are?
Why no, NN. I evidently do not know them. Sadly, the only way I can find out these five, magical “priorities” is to sign up for her email list. I didn’t care to do that so I read on. Luckily, I was about to learn how to:
LOSE THE BLOAT, HEAL THE GUT, LOSE THE WEIGHT!
Good rhythm. All caps. Exclamation point. I always tell my copywriting students that noisy fonts and exclamation points don’t equal exciting writing. Evidently NN hasn’t received that memo from her writing coaches.
Here’s an interesting paragraph with nary one citation:
Your gut is central to your health! Over 70% of your immune system is harbored in the small intestine. Your microbiota (the bacteria in in the gut) is an individual as your DNA. This is why we experience disease so individually.
I didn’t know everyone experienced diseases individually. Does that mean that when I take an aspirin, it’ll treat my headache different than yours?
Here is the secret no one tells you – Nature has its own vaccine against illness! In fact, Nature knows something you don’t – that your health is largely dependent on five priorities, one being the food you eat. Nature is so cool in fact, that she has gone ahead to provide a bountiful, colorful, delicious and vast menu to keep you well! These are Whole Foods and they protect and heal your gut and your health!
Let’s look at the word health. Health is derived from the word Heal . These words are synonymous. Without health we have no healing and without healing we cannot get back to health.
So much to deconstruct.
First… nature is a vaccine? If that’s true, why did disease exist in days of yore, when everyone ate whole foods, got lots of sunshine, exercise was abundant, you know… the good old days when everything was perfect?
Also, let’s examine the parallels between the words “health” and “heal.” The French word for health is “sante.” The word for “heal” is “guerir.” Whoops. Let’s try German. Health = Gesundheit. Heal = heilen. Guess that parallel isn’t universal.
Oh well. Let’s move on.
If you’re experiencing fatigue, insomnia, joint pain, TMJ, fogginess, weight gain, gastritis, — you don’t have to experience that anymore. You can heal yourself, improve your digestive health, lose weight and be vibrant again. I can give you the guidance to do this. In fact, if you’re already on a diet plan like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, South Beach, or Slimfast, my E.A.T.S. Method works as a terrific diet booster. E.A.T.S. will empower you to make better food choices on ANY diet and guide you toward a whole foods habit that aids digestion, improves gut health, busts through plateaus and helps you to maximize weight loss quickly and naturally.
Boy. Her healing abilities really rock. That’s a long list of ailments she can help cure. Copywriters generally like offering a big promise, but NN goes all out… even inventing new acronyms.
I could go on, but after this latest quote, she launches into her hard core sales pitch. I was rather surprised that she didn’t back up many (if any) of her overblown claims with any proof. Any ad-writer worth their salt always remembers to provide proof and/or testimonials. NN forgot this.
Also, there’s one last bit I’d like to point out:
Nancy S. Mure, PhD.
She’s a PhD? Awesome. Let’s check that out, eh?
Nancy received her training as a Nutrition Practitioner from the University of Natural Health’s elite doctorate program.
University of Natural Health? I must be a glutton for punishment. Off to Google I go.
Hmmm… this “elite” doctorate program consists of six courses plus:
The student will select a thesis statement and develop it into a 3,000-word, typed, double-spaced Doctorate’s Thesis on a specific aspect of holistic nutrition, as applied in his or her own life and/or in the lives of others. The student may draw upon any or all of the material from the Doctorate Program in the elaboration of the Doctorate Thesis. (4.0 credits)
Yup. Six courses and a 3,000 word doctoral thesis.
Beware wary of “nutritional experts.” Be extra careful when someone tosses a few alphabet letters after their name. Always fact check before you swallow nutrition advice from anyone other than a qualified professional who attended an actual science-based educational institution.
But I suppose Skeptic Ink readers already know this. 🙂