After Dr. Perricone revealed the acai berry as his Number 1 'Superfood' on Oprah in July 2005, the hype and popularity of the fruit has skyrocketed. There are now a multitude of companies offering acai weight loss programs and others advocating the use of Colon Cleanse with the berry for optimal results. Big names like Naked Juices and V8 Juices (a subsidiary of Campbell Soups) have also jumped on the band wagon. Some scams even pose as fake news sources with hard-to-find disclaimers of their illegitimacy.
The problem here, besides the questionable sustainability of exporting an Amazonian fruit, is that "acai berries have no known health benefit that's any different than that of other similar fruits." People strive for simple answers to the complex problem of personal health. Today's information on nutrition is overwhelming. The consumer is constantly told to eat this, cut back on that food, or add another supplement to his/her diet. A lack of general knowledge of balanced dieting and living is rampant.
The government, with agencies such as the FDA, HHS, and USDA, needs to take a stronger stance on fighting this ignorance. With more effective education programs, the public will be able to see past the newest health craze and simply live a balanced lifestyle--a health program that has stood the test of time.