Influence of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act on consumer beliefs about the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements

Tonya Dodge, Dana Michelle Litt, Annette Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors conducted two studies to examine the influence of the U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) on consumer beliefs about the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements. Study 1 manipulated information about Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in the context of a dietary supplement designed to improve immune system functioning. Study 2 tested the effect of an educational intervention designed to improve knowledge about the DSHEA. Results of Study 1 highlighted deficits in consumer knowledge about FDA regulation of dietary supplements. Results also showed that information about FDA approval failed to have a statistically significant effect on beliefs about safety or effectiveness of the dietary supplement. Results of Study 2 showed that participants who were educated about the regulation of dietary supplements under the DSHEA rated dietary supplements as less safe and less effective than did participants in the control condition. The authors discuss the implications for consumers in the United States and for public policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-244
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2011

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