In this manual, a physician delivers facts and research to puncture scams, myths, and trends that have more to do with consumerism than wellness.
Tavel (Hell in the Heavens, 2013) embarks on a journey through some of the most common and widely discussed “cures,” tips, and tricks in the world of health care, weight loss, fitness, and nutrition to help readers distinguish between fact and fiction. Organized by subject matter, the book’s chapters make it easy for audiences to refer to the work as a resource for a variety of topics without having to sit down and read it straight through. Tavel presents three lucid sections: Tips, Myths, and Tricks. The Tips part examines such issues as the benefits of eating breakfast every morning. The Myths portion discusses health regimens that may have little effect on a person’s wellness, including a gluten-free diet. The Tricks section deals with such trends as using professional actors and athletes to endorse controversial drugs like Cymbalta and Crestor and various health products and “systems” (for example, alkaline ionizers for water). One of the most compelling chapters discusses detoxifiers—the common practice of using juice systems, liquid diets, and special products that promise to flush the body of “poisons.” Tavel explains the body’s natural processes of toxin flushing, encouraging readers not to embrace plans endorsed by “experts” and doctors that are little more than crash diets. Overall, the book is extremely successful in busting myths that heavily drain readers’ wallets and spark false hopes concerning weight loss and disease prevention. The volume directly takes issue with alternative medicines and chiropractic remedies that pit patients against physicians. Tavel emphasizes that many consumers fall victim to alternative medicines, shunning traditional science, because of the placebo effect and false correlations between these treatments and the natural subsiding of ailments. The author makes a strong case for mainstream medicine in a conversational and methodical way.
A persuasive, informative, and well-structured guide to deciphering health care advice.