While watching the Olympics this weekend I kept seeing this terrible commercial for 5-hour ENERGY® that attempts to use research to “prove” why you should buy it, so sad.
This is not an advertisement as my site would never host an advertisement for something this ridiculous. This is the reason we need to start paying more attention to what we are being told by advertisers.
It is told to us that 73% of physicians would suggest a low calorie energy supplement. While this is true it doesn’t mean they would recommend 5-hour ENERGY®. I mean who wouldn’t recommend a low calorie option? If we take a closer look at the fine print this is what it really says:
Two surveys were conducted to determine the opinions of primary care physicians regarding energy supplements ans 5-hour ENERGY®: 1) an online survey of 503 participants; and 2) an inperson survey by 5-hour ENERGY® representatives of 2500 particiants (50% of those approached). In both, participants agreed to review materials regarding 5-hour ENERGY® consisting of label and basic description of its ingredients. Of these 503 online and 2500 in-person, over 73% said they would recommend a low calorie energy supplement to their healthy patients who use energy supplements.
This means that over 5500 physicians were approached. For some reason the 5-hour ENERGY® people only used 50% of the approached physicians to include in their “study.” Not really sure why they would even include this, but they did. This means there is no real statistical relevance that can be inferred from the numbers, considering not everyone was used. All 2500 people could have said they would not recommend any type of product which would reduce the percent from 73% to about 40%. Remember this is 40% of physicians would recommend a LOW CAL ENERGY Supplement, NOT 5-hour ENERGY®.
Ok lets move on to other “stats.”
Of the 73% of primary care physicians who would recommend a low calorie energy supplement to the healthy patients who use energy supplements, 55% would specifically recommend 5-hour ENERGY® for their patients who use energy supplements.
We need to be vary careful here. In the previous clarification representatives of 5-hour ENERGY® were directly in front of the physicians asking them a question about their product. We have no idea how the question was asked. It could have been something simple like: Would you recommended 5-hour ENERGY®? Yes/No *versus* What low calorie energy supplement would you advise to your patients? _________ Fill in the blank.
These two questions are completely different and allow for a much better understanding of what a physician would recommend for the patient. If question one was answered with a yes it does not mean that the physicians would recommend 5-hour ENERGY® as their number 1 choice for energy supplementation it just means at some point in their live they might recommend someone use it for something. If the majority of physicians were to have filled in 5-hour ENERGY® in the fill in the blank question, then and only then would we really know that this is what physicians are recommending as a TREATMENT for HEALTHY PEOPLE . . . WHAT?!
The statements read, “healthy patients who use energy supplements”; who are these people? Why, if you are health do you need an energy supplement?
If you are healthy and currently “using” an energy supplement, then there might be some other issues going on and you would not be healthy. You may actually be suffering from something undiagnosed and should be talking to your physician about what might be causing this lack of energy. Therefore, if you are having issues where you feel a lack of energy and there might be something undiagnosed then 5-hour ENERGY® is NOT for you as it is NOT approved to treat any medical issue.
Finally, the 5-hour ENERGY® people reiterate that their produce is ridiculousness by adding some random stat that didn’t even need to be there.
Of all primary care physicians surveyed 47% would specifically recommend 5-hour ENERGY® for their healthy patients who use energy supplements.
It is important to remember that this stat is excluding about half of the physicians that were approached. Therefore the actual number could be much lower at maybe 25% so 1 and 4 which is not really that great for the 5-hour ENERGY® product. This statistic is a summation statistic which means they combined stats previously mentioned. Why would you do this if the number was significantly lower, bad marketing practice and bad advertising.
One thing 5-hour ENERGY® dudes didn’t do was lie. They legitimately told you the results from their “research,” how they manipulated the statistics and that not every physician recommends energy supplements to people.
I am not a fan of any type of supplement, especially those that aren’t approved by the FDA for what they claim they are for, which this product is not. I advise anyone who is looking into supplements for anythings special to really read the fine print, especially if the claims are being supported by research. Look and see if you can find the methodology of the research and look for key words like blind or double blind studies. Both of these give the research a lot more credibility. Also, look for a large subject size of 1000 people or more.
If there is a supplement you are interested in taking that has some research behind it let me know what it is and I will look into it more.
Tim is the CEO of CoolEFitness. He has a degree in Athletic Training from Northern Arizona University and a Master's in Sports Medicine from the University of Utah. He has work as an Athletic Trainer, as different roles, with Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, University of Utah and the San Fransisco 49ers.
Connect with Tim on Google +