The contribution of the media to health education has been, at times, very positive but, at other times, uncritical and harmful. Alongside highly responsible and widely admired reporters, there are those who give wide publicity to maverick claims or untested remedies, and who advocate sensational new cancer cures in Switzerland, treatment for ‘total allergy’ in the United States, the cure of obesity through the use of cytotoxic food allergy tests or the solution to childhood behaviour disorders through the banning of food additives of almost every kind. As far as food nutrition and dietary fads are concerned, the fashionable nostrums that have boosted vitamin crazes in the United States, and warned us about low blood sugar or the poisonous effects of food additives, have been fuelled by uncritical publicity on a major scale. Without an effective body to maintain ethical standards or to discipline malpractice, the power of television, radio and the press is virtually unrestrained. However, as always, the issues raised by the media are worthy of debate. The position of food additives therefore deserves critical examination.
KeywordsArsenate Acidity Histamine Fructose Smoke
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