Sunday, 20 June 2010

Leo Angart - throw away your glasses!

Leo A
ngart is a Danish charlatan - sorry, I meant to say, "entrepeneur" - whose latest book, "Improve Your Eyesight Naturally", promises you'll be able to "THROW AWAY YOUR GLASSES!"

The advert claims Angart's methods will help sufferers of "short sightedness, long sightedness, astigmatism, lazy eye, strabismus and more" will "[get] results quickly".

In my opinion, the advert's claims are grossly exaggerated, since this kind of "vision training" has been repeatedly debunked over the years.

(Angart's methods seem to be similar to yet another century-old quack therapy, The Bates Method.)

ASA complaint follows, and I hope they throw away the key, etc.

"I write to complain about an advert which appeared in the "Alternatives" brochure (Spring/Summer 2010 Programme, p20).

The advert, for Leo Angart, promotes his book, "Improve Your Eyesight Naturally".

I suspect that the advert may be in breach of one section of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code. I can provide an original copy of the brochure by post, if required.

1. The "Alternatives" brochure is produced by Alternatives Ltd (, and promotes a series of talks and workshops held at St James's Church, Piccadilly, London. In addition to events listings, it carries a number of adverts.

2. The advert in question makes the following claims:

(i) Leo Angart is a "world renowned [sic] vision re-trainer" who can explain "how to achieve clear vision naturally"
(ii) The book details "simple exercises you can do at home or at work [to] get results quickly"
(iii) The book's "simple exercises" are suitable "for short sightedness, long sightedness, astigmatism, lazy eye, strabismus and more"
(iv) The "simple exercises" are so effective, that consumers will be able to "throw away their glasses".

3. While researching this complaint, I examined a number of websites which advertise Leo Angart's products. I was not able to find citations of relevant clinical studies on any of them. A search on PubMed also failed to provide any relevant citations.

4. A 2008 report by the College of Optometrists, "A critical evaluation of the evidence supporting the practice of behavioural vision therapy" [1], may be useful in this context. It concluded:

"There is a continued paucity of controlled trials in the literature to support behavioural optometry approaches [including vision therapies]. Although there are areas where the available evidence is consistent with claims made by behavioural optometrists...a large majority of behavioural management approaches are not evidence-based, and thus cannot be advocated."

5. Under Section 3.3 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the claims for the content of the advertised book "exaggerate the value, accuracy, scientific validity or practical usefulness of the product".

6. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser or the brochure. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser or the brochure.

[1] Barrett BT. A critical evaluation of the evidence supporting the practice of behavioural vision therapy. Ophthalmic & Physiologic Optics 29: 4–25, 2009.


  1. Your reference lists 1 article which lists 9 studies, 6 of which report a positive result of about 15-20%, not bad compared to what most conventional medicines score, and only 3 studies that report no or insignificant results,...
    Now, in what way does that constitute 'repeatedly debunked'? Did you even read it?
    You give skeptics a bad name :-(

  2. How did I end up on this shitty site?

  3. how can i buy leo angar's latest book?

  4. Just because some organizations don't believe in vision training doesn't mean that it's quackery. I have improved my own vision with eye exercises and relaxation. Sometimes you have to try things out for yourself and not get brainwashed by contemporary scientific methods.

    1. "I have improved my own vision with eye exercises and relaxation."

      1. Firstly, just because you think your vision improved doesn't mean it has. In an experiment that tested the efficacy of eye exercises, the academics wrote:

      "The reported improvement may be attributable to an increased tolerance of visual blur in some environments, and to the anticipation of improvement through ocular exercises as part of a belief that glasses were not remedial." [Thompson, K., Moss, N., & Cornell, E. (2004) - By Doing Eye Exercises Can You Really Throw Away Your Myopic Correction? - Australian Orthoptic Journal, Volume 38 - Page 19].

      Dr. Neil Solomon saith:

      "One result of eye exercises may be to train the patient to interpret blurred images on examination charts more accurately, however, this leaves the individual's vision unaffected. In fact, such conditioning may have unexpected adverse effects by creating a feeling of false security in a person whose vision remains as bad as it ever was." (Dr. Neil Solomon - The Pittsburgh Press - Nov 7, 1980 - Page B-21).

      So the aforementioned typifies some possibilities that might lead a person to thinking that his vision has improved, when in de facto, it hasn't. Hence, it's not enough for you to think that your vision improved for it to be a fact.

      2. Secondly, even if your vision did improve after doing eye exercises that doesn't mean the exercises were the cause. People's sight can improve over time without doing eye exercises, and there's scientific evidence for this (i.e. myopes generally become less myopic as they age, due to presbyopia).

      "Occasionally, a person's vision may begin to improve as he or she gets older. If such improvement occurs shortly after a course of eye exercises, the person understandably may conclude that the two events were related. The timing in such cases, however, is purely coincidental." (Dr. Neil Solomon - The Pittsburgh Press - Nov 7, 1980 - Page B-21).

      To assert that the exercises caused your vision improvement is to commit the post hoc fallacy.

      3. Thirdly, if you assume without proof that since eye exercises preceded your alleged eyesight improvement, therefore, the exercises improved your vision, be consistent and apply the same logic to those whose eyesight worsened or remained the same, after doing eye exercises.

      So the burden of proof is saddled on you to empirically prove that the exercises caused your alleged improvement.

    2. What is with this pervasive—and inconsistent—use of “[sic]” on this site? Every missing hyphen seems to call out for one; yet, phrases like “in de facto” seems to pussyfoot on by. Come on . . . what’s it gonna be‽ Are you saying “In fact” or “de facto”? In reworded, [sic] You can’t have your cake and eat it too. ;-)⊃


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