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Why health and wellness tech can make so many BS claims

Mashable 20 Jul 2021 09:00

Sleep better. Boost your mood. Reduce stress. Health and wellness products make a lot of promises, but there is little keeping them honest.

And there's a lot of money to be made. In 2020, "wellness" (including everything from beauty products to alternative medicine) grew to a $4.5 trillion dollar industry, while more than 84 billion people used health or fitness apps.

That's where Mashable comes in. In our "Does It Work?" column, we're going to test health and wellness products, and speak to experts about their claims.

"These products are developing so fast, and there's so much enthusiasm," said Serife Tekin, a University of Texas at San Antonio professor who has studied the regulation of mental health apps, but policy "is not moving as fast."

Here's what lets health and wellness companies make the claims they do — and whether you should believe them.

How health and wellness products are regulated

You might be under the impression that bureaucratic government employees make sure every health and wellness product has evidence to back up its claims. That would be nice. But there are not.

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