LA Times Healthy Skeptic analyzes "health product" claims in SkyMall magazine

Posted By


We love the LA Times’ Healthy Skeptic column. You’ve heard that before.

I hate being on a flight when I’ve run out of reading material and resort to leafing through the highly-priced stuff in the SkyMall magazine.

Now the Healthy Skeptic analyzes such SkyMall-listed products as “The Baby Quasar”…”The Aculife Therapist Deluxe”…and the “Nano-UV Wand”.


“It’s frighteningly easy to drop a couple of hundred dollars on a holiday present. If you’re considering spending big money on a health-related gift, you’ll want to make sure that it will do something besides take up space in the gift bag.

Unfortunately, when it comes to health products, even an outsized price tag won’t guarantee results. While some gadgets and devices really do deliver on their promises, others seem to owe their entire existence to wishful thinking and clever marketing.

To see marketing at its finest, simply browse through SkyMall, the airline catalog that aims to connect frequent fliers with all sorts of pricy items, including quite a few products that supposedly revitalize body and mind. The pictures and ad copy make every health gadget seem like a medical breakthrough that would surely be a can’t-miss gift.”

Just for fun, see if you can match the pictures below, taken from the SkyMall website, to the product names above!




You might also like

Comments (2)

Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.

Marya Zilberberg, MD, MPH

November 22, 2010 at 10:47 am

Funny this should appear now — on a recent flight I got perturbed by Aculife’s FDA claims, to the point where I actually filed an FTC complaint. Alas, have not heard back form the agency.