The complementary medicine claim game – scientific fact or marketing fiction?

This blog post was written by Tess Wilson, a Membership Consultant with Australian Fitness Network. A former competitive swimmer, Tess is passionate about healthy living and the life-enhancing power of healthy, nourishing and delicious real food.

The use of complementary medicines in Australia has increased significantly in recent years. Supermarket and pharmacy aisles are awash with vitamins and minerals marketed to consumers with a promise to temper the risk factors associated with disease, recapture ‘lost’ energy, and ‘enhance performance’. Accessible, convenient and seemingly healthy, it’s little surprise that (propelled by powerful industry advertising) millions of Australians have been quick to adhere to the multivitamin trend. But do the health claims made by the companies producing these products stack up?

In Australia, the advertising of complementary medicines is regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code, which aims to ensure that the ‘mad men’ marketers behind the advertising of these products do not mislead or deceive consumers. According to the code, an advertisement for a therapeutic good must not provoke unrealistic expectations of product effectiveness or imply that it is a reliable substitute for sufficient nutrition.  Read More