Sunday, October 21, 2007
Juice Plus Research and Marketing Slammed Again
A recent critical commentary written by an Oregon-based diet and nutrition specialist adds to the large and growing body of negative appraisals of Juice Plus nutritional supplements by independent experts. The critique, which outlined several serious problems with the research and marketing of Juice Plus, was published in a January 2007 newsletter by Linda Willis, Ed. D., an advocate of practical and commonsense approaches to diet and nutrition.
Willis noted that Juice Plus marketing materials claim that “independent research” findings prove the value of the product, but that they fail to mention that the studies are funded by the manufacturers of Juice Plus. She commented “other truly independent researchers have dismissed the findings due to poor research design and conclusions that mislead the customer”.
Willis also criticized Juice Plus marketers for claiming that the product can help or cure cancer patients, while failing to refer customers to the website of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which notes that there is no evidence that Juice Plus has benefits in cancer treatment or prevention and that the product “is distributed through a multi-tiered marketing scheme with exaggerated value and cost.”
Juice Plus marketing materials refer to scientific studies proving that diets high in fruits and vegetables reduce risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer; however, Willis dismisses the use of these claims to promote the product. “This age old technique is the classic red flag that you are about to be duped. In Juice Plus terms we can refer to it as ‘blending’ the truth with misinformation and deception.” Certain Juice Plus sales promotions targeting children and parents were criticized by Willis as “a new and troubling sales approach”.
A critique of Juice Plus by the University of California Berkeley Wellness Letter was quoted by Willis, who voiced the same concerns, noting “you cannot concentrate significant amounts of fruits and vegetables in a capsule, chewable or gummy. You cannot turn a blueberry or an orange into a magic bullet in a pill. Stick to the real thing.”
- Willis L. January 2007 Health Letter.