A recent press release of survey results demonstrates, quite nicely I think, how the anti-aging marketplace is damaging the prospects for real anti-aging research (such as that advocated by Aubrey de Grey in his Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence):
Excerpts from this study: About 40% of the individuals sampled believe that anti aging products are basically "hogwash", while another 36.4% are "curious but sceptical." Only 3.41% say that they like such products a lot but more than 20% say that they can "work sometimes".
Serious research requires serious money; hundreds of millions of dollars a year over decades. Public and private funding at that level only happens in an environment of strong public support, understanding and demand. Look at the fight to cure cancer or Alzheimer's, for example. Here we see that the opportunistic anti-aging marketeers have managed to create an environment in which 70% of people are either justifiably skeptical or think it's all nonsense - which a good deal of it is. These attitudes are then applied to any attempt to lengthen the healthy human life span, legitimate or otherwise. This is not good at all for the prospects of a serious large scale effort to develop medical interventions for the aging process.