Review Guidelines – How We Fact Check

This document was last updated on Nov 27, 2019

We aim to bring you the best quality and highly-researched reviews and articles on a wide range of programs, topics, and products related to health, diet, fitness, skincare, wellness, nutrition, and weight loss.

Since we launched in 2003, we have authored and published over 5,000 articles and written over 20,000 product reviews. Our core purpose is to implement an open and fair forum with respect to readers, staff, vendors, partners and article sources. This is because our reputation depends on it and so do the reputations of our partners.

A small portion of our earnings comes from affiliate marketing and ads, and they can be seen on the home page, affiliate page and other sections of the website. We offer full disclosure throughout the site and show clearly and inconspicuously what kind of products we review.

To learn more on how we make our revenue, feel free to check out our About us and Advertising disclosure pages.

What are the Goals for Consumer Health Digest Reviews?

  • To help people find trustworthy products and supplements
  • To provide readers with informative and useful articles
  • To report health and beauty products scams and other fraudulent activity
  • To build a community

Review Guidelines

We aim to inform our readers about:

  • The variety of new and existing programs and products that are geared towards weight loss, healthy skin, reducing signs of aging on the skin, improving testosterone production, reducing joint pain and overall healthy living.
  • Various features of a given program or product by stating its ingredients, quality, potential side effects, directions on usage, customer success stories, background on the company and any collaboration with experts.
  • Other similar products to the one they are interested in.
  • The science behind each ingredient used in the product.
  • Any legal action, scams, fraudulent activity, product recalls or regulatory activity associated with a program or product.

We also provide visual aids by reviewing hundreds of popular products, diets, and nutrition advice on video. We have a Youtube Channel that features all the in-depth videos we have created.

Below is a guide that outlines the criteria by which we author, edit and publish content. This is a mere set of guidelines and the degree to which every reviewer adheres to them may vary depending on their unique methods of research, type or program or product under review and their writing style.

Product Details

Our product details sections indicate the list of ingredients and product labeling as provided by the brands. They show the information on where and how each ingredient was sourced, manufactured, or formulated. They may also feature a comprehensive list of claims related to the said product.

Ingredient Research

These sections reveal the nature of the ingredients used and reveals whether or not the product delivers on the promises made by the company. It shows the purity and quantity of each ingredient.

We research the nature of each ingredient and we rely on information provided by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health such as ClinicalTrials.gov, MEDLINE/PubMed, and the databases of index medical research literature. We also research by accessing the information produced by Google Scholar, Wikipedia, WebMD and Food and Drug Administration, and Nutrition.gov.

Scientific research on ingredients and health supplements is based on the evidence available

Potential Side Effects

To determine possible side effects, we choose not to focus on the specific product formula but instead check the list of ingredients and the amounts in the product. This way, we are able to tell if a product may cause undesired side effects rather than go with the company’s claims that their product is free of side effects.

Company Evaluation

To evaluate a company, we do not accept any information from the companies and their PR firms. In order to learn more about a product, we check the background of the company and the product itself. We look on social media, customer forums, the company’s official website, and other reputable sources, to understand a product or company. Here are some of the guideline points used n our company evaluation process:

  • Research or clinical studies made
  • What reviews are available?
  • How many customer complaints are there?
  • When was the company founded?
  • Is the information about the company – including executive biographies and contact information – easily accessible?

Customer Experience

In order to determine customer experience, we ask a variety of questions including, does the user experience match the product claims? How do other customers rate their experiences? We are not limited to good, bad or neutral feedback. We will examine a number of reviews and report accordingly.

Collaboration with Experts

It is a good sign if a given company has collaborated with experts to develop their product.

At Consumer Health Digest, our articles undergo a review by nutrition, diet and fitness experts like Gerry Ellen, Dr. Sarah Brewer, Dr. Stacy Friedman, Lauren Dummit, Felicia Newell and Dr. Keith Kantor.

Success Stories

Our reviewers look at companies that show customer success stories which may include testimonials and before/after photos.

Sample Offer

Some brands provide small samples that customers can try before they make a bigger commitment to purchase the actual product.

Cost

We check the price of the item. For supplements, we also check the cost per serving and how that compares to other products.

Refunds/Returns

What happens when a customer does not like their experience with a particular product? Can they get a refund and if so how much time do they have to get one from the date of purchase?

Our reviewers make every effort to answer these important questions. This information, however, is not always set in stone and our research may deviate from the process occasionally depending on the shifting policies of distributors and manufacturers.

We strive to deliver top-quality and in-depth product reviews. Note that all the views expressed on our website are purely our own. Read our medical disclaimer for more information.

If you wish to make any additional suggestions on our format for researching and creating our reviews, please contact us.

Article Sources

Most of our reviews make reference to authoritative sources with a proven record for accuracy. We also rely on incorporate quotes from direct interviews with our team of experts, nutritionists, dieticians and fitness gurus. A visit to our About Us page will reveal the members of our Wellness, Contributor and Editorial teams.

Our articles feature several in-text citations that are numbered and properly hyperlinked to external websites. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, government agencies, and medical associations. Our main sources of information are Better Business Bureau, NIH.gov, MedlinePlus, Science.gov, Examine.com, Google Scholar, PubMed, Wikipedia, WebMD, Food and Drug Administration, Healthline and Federal Trade Commission.

We have developed a process of evaluating clinical research and other publicly available information for our product reviews. We combine this process with expert opinions from our own team. It should be noted that the views expressed on this site are purely our own. Read our medical disclaimer for more information on this.

Our team endeavors to produce high-quality articles and product reviews, but sometimes we may miss some things- so we appreciate it when readers point these oversights out to us. To make a correction, simply click on the Claim your Product icon and provide us with the required formatted information as shown on the page. You may also reach us through the Contact Us page.

Customer Reviews

At Consumer Health Digest, we encourage our readers to leave comments on product reviews. However, any user review/comments containing profanity, threats, hate speech and/or self-promotion, among other issues, cannot be tolerated and may be edited or removed. In addition, please note that we reserve the right to admit or deny any review/comment that is submitted. Opinions tend to generally be protected, but we try our best to not approve comments with false or misleading claims.

Qualities of a great review

  • Reflects a personal experience
  • Provides relevant, helpful and accurate information
  • It is a reasonable length and is formatted in a way that is easy to read
  • Contains no typos or grammatical errors
  • It is well-written and is not over-dramatic i.e. contains no excessive capital letters or exclamation marks

Qualities of a poor review

  • Contains profanity, hate speech or threatening language
  • Is plagiarized in any way
  • Is self-promoting or contains affiliate, marketing links
  • Is not relevant to the product in question

Negative reviews

  • A negative review is acceptable if it is an honest opinion based on facts
  • Before posting a negative review, we suggest that you reach out to the company in question first to see if your issue can be resolved. By doing so, you may then provide valuable insight into their customer support team and resolution process
  • While honest opinions are always encouraged, your review should not contain libelous or defamatory language which could result in legal action (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libel)

Are reviews ever removed from Consumer Health Digest?

We respect the opinion of our reviewers but there may be times that we have to remove a review. If it fails to meet our guidelines in any way, is proven to be false, has been plagiarized, contains affiliate links or is simply ‘spammy’, we will take steps to remove it.

We will also remove or modify a review should the reviewer contact us with new information e.g. if they had left a negative review but had since resolved the issue with the company. Either the reviewer can update the information themselves or we can do so on their behalf. Alternatively, we can remove it completely should they ask us to do so.

Another instance that may cause us to take temporarily take down a review is if the company mentioned in the review contacts us with a concern. This could be regarding a pending legal matter with the reviewer, the use of defamatory language, if they claim the reviewer is not one of their customers or they have deliberately misrepresented the product. In cases like this, we will take steps to reach out to the reviewer for clarification, proof of purchase if necessary, or to verify that they are in fact a customer of the company. Please note, we DO NOT take sides – we simply do all we can to resolve the issue in the fairest manner possible.

We will not remove a review simply because the company didn’t appreciate receiving a negative review or disagrees with the writer’s opinion. We always uphold the right to free speech. However, a company can flag a review that has already been published (meaning it has passed all our criteria and adheres to our guidelines) to bring it to our attention if they have a concern and we will investigate the matter further.

In rare instances where we find that a published review is not genuine, is irrelevant or contains erroneous information that was not discovered during our initial screening, we reserve the right to remove it immediately. Additionally, because we are constantly striving to give our readers the most up-to-date, credible and relevant information possible, we may remove a previously published review that no longer complies with new or updated guidelines.

Does every review and comment submitted to Consumer Health Digest go through an assessment process?

Despite the high volume of reviews we receive, we dedicate a large amount of time in reviewing and verifying every single one. Why? Because it is our goal to provide reviews that our readers can trust without question. Our dedicated team of moderators checks every review to ensure it is in complete compliance with our guidelines and all submissions are reviewed on a first come- first serve basis. On average, submitted reviews take between 2 to 5 business days to be published once they’ve been approved.

Are reviews and comments edited by Consumer Health Digest before they’re published?

Yes, there may be instances where we do edit a review or comment. If, while going through the screening process, we see a review containing profanity or any kind of dubious language, our staff will edit it so that it is more appropriate for our readers. Likewise, a review or comment may be edited to fix spelling or grammatical errors, rewritten for clarity or reformatted to make it more readable. However, it is important to note that we will never change the meaning or intention of a review – the writer’s opinion will always remain intact.

Do some reviews or comments not get published?

While we strive to provide an open and honest forum for consumers, we cannot guarantee that every review or comment submitted to us will be published. As noted above, if a submission fails to comply with our guidelines, we reserve the right not to publish it. We have worked hard over the years to earn the trust of our readers and, in order to maintain that trust, we must make sure that everything we publish is genuine, relevant and lives up to the high standards we have set. However, we are always in favor of publishing submissions, positive or negative, and do everything we can to make sure that all genuine reviews and comments get published. To this end, we verify user accounts, ask for proof of purchase (a copy/ image of the receipt) and confirm the reviewer’s emails immediately upon submission.

A final word

As a company we are constantly evolving, learning and willing to do whatever it takes to earn your trust. While no company of this nature can guarantee 100% accuracy, we do everything we can to work towards that goal. This is our promise to you.

Your feedback is welcome

We’re determined to provide you with the very best experience. We want to hear from you if we could be doing better.

If you have any questions or comments about the accuracy of our content or feel an article is out of date, you can easily let us know via contact us page.