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In The Cure for Everything! health-law expert Timothy Caulfield exposes the special interests that twist good science about health and fitness to sell us services and products that mostly don’t work. Want great abs? You won’t get them by using the latest Ab-Flex-Spinner-Thingy. Are you trying to lose ten pounds? Diet books are a waste of trees. Do you rely on healthcare prIn The Cure for Everything! health-law expert Timothy Caulfield exposes the special interests that twist good science about health and fitness to sell us services and products that mostly don’t work. Want great abs? You won’t get them by using the latest Ab-Flex-Spinner-Thingy. Are you trying to lose ten pounds? Diet books are a waste of trees. Do you rely on healthcare practitioners — either mainstream or alternative — to provide the cure for what ails you? Then beware! Both Big Pharma and naturopathy are powerful twisting forces with products and services to sell.Caulfield doesn’t just talk the talk. He signs up for circuit training with a Hollywood trainer who cultivates the abs of the stars. With his own Food Advisory Team (FAT) made up of specialists in nutrition and diet, he makes a lifestyle change that really works. (Mainly it involves eating less than he is used to eating. Much less.) And when he embarks on a holiday cruise, dreading motion sickness, he takes along both a homeopathic and pharmaceutical remedy—with surprising results. This is a light-hearted book with a serious theme. Caulfield demonstrates that the truth about being healthy is easy to find (but often hard to do)....

Title : The cure for Everything!: Untangling the twisted messages about health, fitness, and happiness
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780670065233
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 280 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The cure for Everything!: Untangling the twisted messages about health, fitness, and happiness Reviews

  • Lena
    2018-11-10 15:50

    Timothy Caulfield is a Canadian health policy academic who took it upon himself to cut through the haze of popular information about wellness to get to the core of what we really do and don't know about our health.In this well researched and readable book, he succeeds providing solid information about what things like exercise and diet can and can't do for the body and shows us how to focus on the actions that are really going to make the most difference in our lives, using himself as a humble and rather entertaining example.In the process, he shines a laser beam on the mass of health misinformation we are exposed to on a daily basis. Despite considering myself fairly knowledgeable about health related matters, this book helped me to root out some false beliefs I'd absorbed from the zeitgeist I didn't even know I'd been holding.In addition, the chapter on genetics was particularly valuable to me. I've been tempted to get my own genome sequenced to see what I might learn about my body, but Caulfield argues that, despite all the hype about how personal genetics is going to revolutionize medicine, we're just not there yet. While you might learn that you have an increased or decreased chance of getting a particular condition, the differences measured are so slight as to be practically insignificant. Even if they were significant, there's very little known action one can take to change those outcomes at this time, let alone evidence that such information would motivate us to take that kind of action in the first place.Caulfield's book may not be a popular one because he makes no bones about the fact that, when it comes to the body, there are very few easy answers. But if you really want to lose weight, he will show you the best path for that. And if you really want the benefits of exercise, he explains what you should do and what you can and can't expect from it. Such a straightforward, no-nonsense pill may not be easy to swallow for those who've been sold on the false but ultra sweet promises of the multi-billion dollar quick-fix health industry, but it's certainly going to be a lot better for you.

  • Rocky
    2018-11-30 20:31

    This book did exactly what I thought it would for me. Reinforced my feelings that people see, select and interpret health and fitness information through preconceived beliefs, values, previous outcomes, and fears. As a data freak myself, I place the maximization on my health because in my lifetime I have, and continue to have numerous health issues. Some pretty major, some minor. Once you fall into that bucket, you tend to fight like a boxer and search for answers that work for you.I inhaled every sentence of this book and analyzed it for either a nano second or a few days. No matter how much health information I take in, I always go back to a saying my deceased father quoted "Everything in moderation." How my father got to be so smart is beyond me. He did not go beyond sixth grade yet he had figured out what his mantra was.I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope to look for more from Timothy Caulfield. Everyday he gets to work what I consider my dream job. Yes, I am that passionate about this topic. If I could wave a magic wand, I would bring together both mainstream and alternative medicine practitioners and force them to start working together. I feel the two worlds working together could make a huge difference in better health for everyone. Every human body is unique and deserves to be treated that way. What works for one person may not work for anybody else. Don't cookie cut yourself out of living healthier because somebody fed you bogus information. While I do accept the data around placebo effects, statistics are just numbers and numbers have deviations. Be open-minded and surround yourself with all the information you can. Knowledge is power. Know how studies are conducted. Control groups, etc. Sometimes its a process that needs to be tossed in the garbage along with the trash. My opinion.In the meantime, I continue to be jaded, mistrusting and enormously disappointed in the health and fitness information we are fed each and every day. I am my own health care advocate and if I could make a living from it, I would be health care advocates for others. If monetary resources were not limited, I would personally be doing a lot of things differently in my life. I received a complimentary copy of The Cure for Everything through Goodreads First Reads. Thank You!Stay healthy!

  • Tasha
    2018-11-19 17:47

    SCIENCE! I love that the author is Canadian, and includes experts, statistics and other information which is relevant to our country (most books reference the USA or UK exclusively, and not everything translates over to this country). This is, of course, in addition to information gleaned from USA & UK sources.

  • Jodi Graham
    2018-11-13 20:45

    Dear Mr. Caulfield,I just recently finished reading The Cure for Everything and wanted to express some major concerns I have with the “Remedies” chapter.With any book I choose to read, I always hope for an open and un-biased perspective, which this book regrettably did not have. There are many over-generalizations regarding alternative therapies, the most startling being that it is related to religion, myth and has only placebo effects. Comments such as “…lazy thinking underpines alternative medicine…” and suggesting it’s a “…Yoda-ish view of the Universe…” are even more disturbing.I wondered why your perspective was so extreme and one-sided….it borders on defensiveness. Then it was explained when I read that your wife and sister-in-law are doctors, your brother-in-law an orthopaedic surgeon and your neighbour a pathologist. Unfortunately you’ve allowed these relations to skew your point of view and shape your thoughts. Just because something is not science-based does not mean it won’t work. I could easily have mistaken this book for one written in the early 1900’s – have you not read the multitude of studies surrounding supplementation, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants vs. free radicals, EFAs, pesticides and GMOs, to name a few?On what scientific research did you base the following comments:- Homeopaths lie to clients- Alternative practitioners don’t pay attention to research- You “guesstimate” that 10% of alternative remedies are backed by researchPerhaps the “scientific” study of yourself taking homeopathic sleep and anxiety remedies was enough to convince you? Or perhaps these remedies didn’t work because you self-diagnosed and they didn’t fit your constitution? Have you studied homeopathy? On page 188 you also noted a study that states acupuncture is a placebo only – why are you quoting only one study? I believe you acknowledged (correctly) at the beginning of the book that meta-analysis is the best way to examine results?I also just want to note another comment I found insulting, not to myself, but to all journalists: “…so-called journalists don’t know the [alternative therapy] area…..they can’t spell ‘complementary medicine’.” Wow.I hope you’ll think more deeply and open your mind more before putting any other information out in the world.Sincerely,Jodi Graham

  • Desiree
    2018-11-14 18:56

    Thank you Timothy Caulfield!You should read this book.It explains everything, like it says. OK, maybe not everything... but this guy is a pretty darn well-respected science/health editor up in Canada, and he's distilled a crap-load of research down into this very nice book, just for you. It will make you a little bit sad, because a good part of the message is sort of "stop eating so much" and "everything you think about exercising is wrong," which isn't what we want to hear. But it makes tons of sense, is backed up by the kind of research that matters (replicated, long-term, etc., vs. sensational) and is well-written and entertaining; not at all dry like you might expect from a scholarly type.

  • Anna
    2018-12-10 20:56

    What a great book! Four chapters, full of common sense information supposed by science. He's preaching to the converted here - but I did learn a few new things - like stretching - not so important. Who knew? Loved the remedy chapter - even being a health care provider I have always been suspicious of both CAM and big pharma. The genetics chapter was my least favorite, but overall think this book is worth a read by anyone interested in health - and that should be all of us!

  • Teena in Toronto
    2018-11-15 18:33

    Timothy Caulfield was the closing speaking at a pensions and benefits conference I attended in October. I found him interesting and entertaining so thought I'd read some of his books.This book is about health and about the science associated with health. There is a lot of information available to us about what to eat, whether to cleanse, whether to take supplements, how to exercise, whether you get your meridians centered, and more. In this book, Caulfield seeks to answer the questions about these issues and other related questions. He felt it was essential to experience the journey rather than just speak with the experts and read relevant research (his findings are listed in the large notes section of the book). As such, there are four chapters in the book:1. Fitness - he went to a personal trainer (he includes his recommended exercise routine)2. Diet - he went on a diet (he includes his eating suggestions)3. Genetics - he got his genes tested4. Remedies - he tried different potions and proceduresCaulfield worked on the book for a year, interviewing experts and getting personally engaged in every topic he covered, before providing his conclusions. In the process, he discovered some things about himself.I like the writing style. I'm not a science person and I understood for the most part what he was talking about. If I wanted further information, I could check the notes section. I found this to be an interesting read and I look forward to reading other books by this author.Blog review post:

  • AJ
    2018-11-12 20:29

    The theme of this book is to look through all of the hype surrounding healthy lifestyles and see what science actually recommends. I saw it as sort of a mixture of Gina Kolata's books Ultimate Fitness and Rethinking Thin, at least as far as topic is concerned.Caulfield first tackles the subject of fitness - what it means, and how to "get fit." To do this he speaks with personal trainers and reflects on his exercise experience as a sprinter and biker. I was hoping to see more of a critical look, or at least a bit of insight, into the papers he cites as scientific basis for his fitness thesis. I've read a lot of books about exercise, and many of the studies are faulty in many ways. It's difficult to determine what kind of exercise works for people, and many of the studies use small sample sizes of relatively fit men based on relatively strict metrics. Without explaining the studies to the reader, the reader is left to trust Caulfield implicitly, and my skeptical mind isn't convinced.Caulfields thesis is that to get fit requires interval training mixed with a bit of resistance training. I agree that the consensus with weight training is to use heavy weights (not the "high rep low weight" mantra you hear all over the place) to build muscle. However, interval training is sort of a specific cardiovascular routine, and I think that prescribing it for all people regardless of their beginning fitness level or what their goals are is kind of foolish. For one thing, a completely sedentary individual should not look to start a life of fitness by doing 400 meter sprint intervals on a track; it makes more sense to start with short walks and maybe, if the individual is interested in running, make their way to a more tailored routine. For me, training for a marathon will include some interval training, but also long runs, base runs, hill runs, and tempo runs. Swimmers, bikers, skiiers, rowers and the like may have completely different goals. One thing you learn as a scientist is that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution, which is what Caulfield seems to believe.Compared with the second part of the book, however, I thought the first was amazing. In the next chapter, Caulfield explores the science behind dieting. The first thing that absolutely annoyed me about this chapter was the implicit assumption that thin equals healthy. Nowhere in the book does the author look into debunking that false relationship. Recent research is showing that being healthy and thin are not related, and having a healthy lifestyle (which does not necessarily include being "thin") is more important than weight. Second the author uses spotty evo-psych arguments that humans are hard wired into desiring flat abs... which sort of ignores the actual science of evolution and how that works. Caulfield meets with a team of experts in the field of losing weight and goes on a calorie restricting diet. He loses weight, and is extremely excited with how simple it is, and exclaims that diets absolutely work, except that he feels hungry and miserable all the time. But it's worth it, because he lost 26 pounds! Of course, by the end of the book, the author does note that 95% of people gain back the weight, including himself, but that doesn't mean that diets don't work. Wait, what? If something doesn't work 95% of the time, how can you say that it's a success?The third and last part of the book was about medication, both alternative and conventional. I would say that this section of the book was probably the most informed but least interesting. Science does bear out that homeopathy is not any more effective than a placebo. However, the author dismisses chiropractic techniques without looking into them (I honestly don't know if it works, but I would at least expect the author to look into it) and suggests that acupuncture might work. He then discusses the long and horrible saga of the pharmaceutical industry (without getting to in detail, which is best left for a different book) to note that even the "scientific" way that we currently use in North America to find relief and cures is not exactly scientific. Ultimately, I would suggest skipping this book and reading Gina Kolata instead. She actually goes into the science with you, the reader, instead of asking you to take her on faith. And she doesn't come to conclusions such as "I lost 26 pounds, so diets work even though I'm miserable and am gaining back the weight as we speak!"

  • Lisalou
    2018-12-03 15:45

    "Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition." - Adam Smith. In this book Timothy Caulfield attempts to find the science to look at the idea of being fit and healthy as well as genetic testing, CAM or alternative medicine and Big Pharma.Looking at current research he discovers that while vigorous exercise like interval and strength training do provide you with a lot of health benefits, you will not lose weight from exercising. Moderate exercise is not enough to reap the benefits it has to be vigorous. "Toning" doesn't work either.If you want to lose weight you need to reduce calories, period. Michael Pollan is right with his advice of "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." However, you should be aware that your genes are against you on this and you will need to work hard as you get older just to maintain your weight let alone lose it. However, there's no reason not to try.Speaking of genes, genetic testing to determine your risk for diseases is mostly worthless unless you actually have an already discovered gene specific disease or chance of one.Alternative medicine is well a load of hooey. He makes the case that things from alternative medicine that can be proven scientifically to work aren't any longer alternative. But really most things like Naturopathic medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture have nothing backing them up to prove they work and are more often than not based on faith than anything tangible.While Alternative Medicine is based on faith big pharma is based on money.In the end what is needed is the critical skills to cut through the twist whether it's the promise of 6 pack abs, losing weight quickly, predict your future through genetics, just believe you can heal yourself with this water that contains the memory of a molecule of what ails you or the latest drug ad. We all need to realize that there is no miracle cure for anything and that things are actually quite simple but not easy once your remove the twist. Like much of life.

  • Modern Girl
    2018-12-04 17:34

    It was greatly enjoyable and well written and made me think. But it definitely did not cover enough and it certainly did not cover everything. I would like liked to have seen an analysis and debunking of "superfoods" , more information on herbal supplements particularly Valerian root (St. John's Wort was mentioned and people usually mention these two as a pair). Some ideas were criticized without evidence, and I want evidence. Please explain the difference between the "cleansing" and "detoxify" myths as compared to avoiding tuna fish to lower mercury in our bodies. If one is false and the other is true, how do we know the difference?The best points of the book were at the first in the fitness chapter. I want to blare his words on a big screen for all to see, particularly with the "exercise does not lead to weight loss" and "stretching before running is bunk" parts. My fiance still doesn't believe me. I do agree that most things out there that scientists believe are pseudoscience do not work for the general population and do not stand up in controlled studies with a general sample of participants. I can accept that most "cure" stories are non-scientific anecdotes. BUT, part of me wonders if certain remedies and treatments may work (beyond a placebo effort) for certain subgroups of the people who have certain characteristics. For example, some natural remedies for upset stomach may not work very well for MOST people, but might work consistently well for people who meet 2-3 certain criteria (like a certain medical condition, or age, or gender). I know in psychology, moderated regressions are all the rage, and I would love to poke at some of the medical data to see if positive anecdotes are really placebo effects of if certain subpopulations benefit from certain treatments.But, that's just me. :)

  • Sandra
    2018-11-26 16:41

    I recommend this book. Caulfield writes about all the things we're told to do to improve our health (diet! work out! acupuncture! homeopathy!) and does his best to separate the evidence from the hype. He's tough an alternative medicine (rightly, in my view) but he also does an excellent job discussing the biases that can creep into mainstream medicine, for example how drug companies bias the research that is conducted and published. It's an engaging read, with a good mix of data and personal stories. I was a bit disappointed by the chapter on genes. He doesn't really talk about how genes influence health, but rather discusses the genotyping industry (you send in a spit sample, they give you an analysis of your risk factors). He makes the excellent point that right now the information you get this way is simply not practical and shouldn't be used to make decisions about behaviour. But someone could be left thinking that genes don't play a role. Perhaps the genes that make it difficult to be healthy are species-wide, like those genes that make us crave sugar and fat... Also, in the diet and exercise chapters, I thought there was an excessive focus on weight. Yes, being overweight is a risk factor for health problems, but there's more to health than losing weight.

  • Alexis
    2018-11-21 16:51

    There was a lot to like about this book. First off, the writer is from Edmonton, so there are lots of reference to researchers and writers from the U of A, which I really enjoyed. It's nice to read a book that references the city you live in.I really enjoyed the debunking of fitness and food, but wasn't that thrilled about the section on genes, since I have to write about gene technology a lot for work. I also had a hard time with some of the facts that he gives in the book. He claims that yoga doesn't do anything- but I find that it has stress relief benefits. He doesn't refute this claim, but claims it's not the best for overall fitness. (I can probably agree with this, actually)I also got really mad while reading this book because I felt like I was the victim of Big Food and Big Pharma. I guess I felt the book was a bit uneven, but that's probably just in terms of my personal interest in some of the topics and not really the fault of the writer. I like the way he inserted himself into the book and made it personal. This was a really interesting read.

  • Margaret
    2018-12-07 16:33

    Good review of the current health and fitness industries, from big pharma to fitness trainers. Amusing enough to keep me going through the more boring topics. I'm very familiar with these fields, and I thought the balance and judgement was, if depressing, correct.One quibble was the title -- there is nothing in this book about happiness! I know authors may have little control over the title, but this is really inexcusable. I was looking forward to a review of the current research and thinking about happiness. Got dinged a star because of it.

  • Kayne
    2018-11-22 17:54

    It was ok. I liked the distilled message that the only thing we all need to do to stay healthy is to exercise regularly and vigorously and eat lots of vegetables and fruits, not a lot of meat, and NO sugar, salt, or fats--easier said than done. Coffee? ok. Wine? Beer? ok. Well ALL RIGHT!

  • Kristina Weber, Ph.D.
    2018-12-08 16:53

    I love how well he cuts through the bs. Definitely gave me food for thought, and made me feel a little foolish about questionable fitness purchases I've made over the years.

  • Nicole
    2018-11-19 18:46

    The cure for everything??? Media sources speculate it's possible to be thin, sexy, and ultra healthy if I eat a specific fad diet like Paleo, work out with a specific "expert" trainer with one very specific niche plan, pump myself full of supplements, test my genes, listen to my naturopath and take pharmaceutical drugs backed by that interesting recent drug study plastered on the news. It is....a whole lot of hokum. Caulfield explores the science and for fun conducts the poorly designed study of personal experience as he looks at diet, fitness, gene testing, natural cures, and pharmaceutical research. I will level with you. I have fallen for much of this crap myself. I swore it even worked as a sample size of one because the power to believe can have a positive impact (placebo!) Then I realized that all things being equal, I feel much the same now as I did at other times when I was trying expensive treatments.So what's the average person to do? Use science. Find research done at public institutes using public funding if possible (the pot is small, but research done at a university with public funding can be free of pharmaceutical company influence) and access resources like the Cochrane Collaboration for systemic reviews of research. "Independence is a key tool in the fight against the forces that distort" (pg. 217). Don't want to do research? That's fine, here are the five keys to health that Caulfield says are backed by science and if you do then science says you'll be healthier for it. 1) Eat smaller meals, no junk food, and 50% vegetables. We all tend to eat more calories than we think we do and we need far less than we consume. 2) Exercise often and with intensity. Intervals work the best. 3) Try to maintain a healthy weight. 4) Don't smoke, drink alcohol sparingly. 5) Use injury prevention measures like a bike helmet, or a seatbelt. That's it. Those five things will keep you healthier than anything else floating around. I will end with this. Skepticism of claims can be highly helpful, but bitterly disappointing. There are no magic cures to be thin, healthy, and strong. Just hard work and review of research.

  • Jeannette
    2018-11-17 14:48

    It was at first engaging, then became boring. Only got about 2/3 through it.

  • LisaShamchuk
    2018-11-14 14:44

    I thoroughly enjoyed the chapters on diet and exercise, but only skimmed the rest. This book is well researched and includes information from the latest scientific studies, statistics, and expert interviews. Caulfield does a great job of infusing his humour (sarcastic, self deprecating, etc) throughout the text and this made it an enjoyable read. I was super annoyed by his lack of academic citation for the studies/articles/statistics etc mentioned, but Caulfield does include a disclaimer about this, as well as all the citations at the end. Such is the way for popular general health literature I suppose.More:

  • Boiling
    2018-11-30 16:57

    A book that attempts to remove all the unnecessary fluff from the health messages and tries to examine how the messages that come to the public are manipulated.Key Takeaways:- Perfect 6 pack abs are incredibly hard to achieve even for fitness coach. This is true because most of them don't drink water, eat very little, suck it in for photoshoots.- Interval training + resistance training + strength training is the best. Warm ups aren't necessary. Work out at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.- Celebrities have to train really hard for 2-4 hours/day along with dieting to get the bodies they have.- Weight gain as you grow older is inevitable (IMO I would say it is a little harder to keep off coz I don't want to give up because it is inevitable).- Eat small portion sizes, no junk food, 50% fruits and veggies-1800-2000 cal is not a lot of food.- Permanent lifestyle change.- Diet is more important than exercise for weight loss.- Genetics has not been as helpful as thought for predicting or preventing diseases. - The author did a total testing from 23andme and it did not really seem helpful. At the most, every % was 0.4 higher than average and then you are marked as high risk for that trait.- The history and religious significance of naturopathy was interesting.- Most of them are based on a religious kinda belief rather than scientific analysis.- Most of them are not regulated.- I did not like the fact that though some of the remedies seemed to work for the author, he still dismissed most of the remedies as there is not scientific proof for them. When the remedy works for a skeptic, it means it has some effect which is not placebo. The remedies seemed to work a little but I do not see why they are dismissed because there is no scientific proof. At the same time, none of his doc family wanted to overdose on homeopathy even though they all believe there is nothing but sugar and water in there. -Learnt more about how various industries control publications and scientific research. Apparently, Merck used to have results by ghost writes published in academic journals. I think we all need to be aware.At the end of the day - key to remain healthy are diet and exercise.Note on the book: This edition was hard to keep open and I had to hold the book open with both hands in order to read. The paper quality was decent.

  • Glennie
    2018-11-21 14:48

    This was an interesting book. It debunked a lot of myths, however in places it is a bit dry to read. I do feel like I learned a lot. It's one of the few books that I've read recently that I actually took notes as I read, as I am interested in getting healthy.A few quotes below:Fitness is a commercial enterprise--designed to sell sex and flat abs. the emphasis on sex and sexines creates expectations that undermine the health goals associated with exercise.People want to look good and they equate looks with health. The entire physical fitness industry is built on this reality. It is driven by aesthetics..First cruel truth about exercise: It is incredibly difficult to drastically change your appearance thru exercise alone. Unless you have pharmaceutical help, like steroids or growth homrone, it requires a massive Olympian long-term commitment.Recent research says excerics cannot be used as a principal means of weight loss. It is very difficult to exercise enough to lose weight. Diet is 80-90% of the weight loss equation.Everyone puts on weight as they age. If you are keeping your weight constant, you are winning the battle. (I guess this should be my new goal! :P )This is disputed, but some stuides show that exercise actually makes us eat more, especially for women, a CRUEL evolutionary twist. (I'll say!)Another myth about exercise: You cannot "spot" reduce. You cannot "tone". You cannot lose fat in a particular region of the body by working that part of the body. You cannot lose stomach fat by doing sit-ups. You have to reduce your overall body fat percentage to see the progress.You can get almost all the health benefits associated with fitness from strength traiing. This is not true of aerobic workouts.I could go on and on with quotes, but I'll stop here. The book has a lot of references also. I found the diet and fitness chapters the most interesting. I wasn't as intested in the genetics and remedies chapters, but the genetics chapter did bring up a lot of interesting points that I didn't know. Again, this book is worth a read if you are interested in health issues.

  • Cathy Douglas
    2018-11-28 16:31

    Maybe I had mistaken expectations for this book, but I was hoping for more science. Instead, it's written in a more self-helpish way than I would have liked. Part of this is the decision to forgo footnotes, instead putting all the actual studies and books Caulfield relies on in a long references section in the back of the book. (And I'm not kidding about long. When I finished the actual text of the book, my Kindle told me I was at just about 70%. The acknowledgments and index made up about 10% of the book, and the references about 20%.)He'll say something like "50% of your diet should be fruits and vegetables," without really saying where that comes from or what it means. Is that 50% of volume or calories? There's a big difference. Nor does he say how he came upon that number. Should someone whose diet is 60% vegetables eat less of the things? No idea. So though this is probably good advice for a lot of people, it's fuzzy science at best. I liked the chapter on gene therapy/screening the best, because it's a field where Caulfield is personally involved. This was the only chapter in which I learned much of anything new.I also liked the way he threw some personal quest into each of the chapters--to work out like a Hollywood star, see if alternative treatments could cure his motion sickness, etc. This wasn't very scientific either, as Caulfield admits, but it was entertaining and often enlightening.In the alternative medicine chapter, I don't think he gave the practitioners a fair shake. He went for commentary almost exclusively to people who are publicly known as opponents of alternative medicine. For the other side, he relied on sources like websites and publications, rather than going directly to someone who endorses, say, homeopathy, and confronting them with evidence that the effectiveness of their modality is questionable. Personally I think the alternative health industry is almost pure bullshit, but it's more enlightening to go to the source in addition to their opponents.So I sort of liked this book; it was interesting, and a fast read. I just think it could have been so much better.

  • Jacqueline
    2018-12-02 17:36

    Knowing that the only way I am going to lose weight and keep it off is to eat under 2000 calories a day for the rest of my life and exercise like a madwoman is extremely depressing. There are no magic elixirs, dream diets, or other options. Even if I was going to subject myself to some kind of surgery the fat would just come back. What I should have done is NOT let the fat on in the first place. Sigh.So, although this lays it out in a matter of fact way, and the news is disheartening, I figure at least I know the truth. I don't have to buy into the miracle cures that are offered on every fitness website, magazine or blog post. The truth is we have to eat less, eat better, and move more - a lot more. No secret.Caulfield, obviously an expert in his field or at least with access to some of the best minds in fitness and health has a great chapter on homeopathic medicine. He tires to get everyone to take a whole bunch of sleep aid and anti-anxiety pills - and even though they all know that they are nothing more than sugar pills - they won't do it. Very funny, and an interesting look at our ideas of health and wellness.He tackles fitness, diet, alternative medicine and more and mostly what we hear come out of both the medical community, science world and fitness press is pretty bogus - ideas twisted to fit the outcome that they want. Unfortunately, that outcome is to buy more stuff, consume more, or just believe more.If you are looking for the what really works in diet and health this is a good look... if you want to stay ignorant run away. The truth is a bit scary.

  • Trish Paton
    2018-12-06 19:52

    Caulfield takes a laudable approach here - he doesn't just collect, review and repackage "the info", he actually tests it out and reports on his experience as well as on the science. Too often we get biased info on the science (try the remedies chapter to be seriously depressed about medical, and especially pharmaceutical, research), testimonials without science for so many alternative treatments (diet, exercise AND remedies chapters), and hype across the board. So for a change, you get analysis and testimonial. Now, everyone will have quibbles with small aspects as evidenced in the reviews - I personally would say that one chiropractic adjustment on a park bench is maybe not the best judgement for that area of practice - but that's just MY quibble.In spite of the fact that "we all know" a lot of this stuff, we obviously dont pay much attention. So for Caulfield to package it all up in a readable format, give the utter bottom lines, and back all of it with evidence for and against that is sure to annoy someone in pretty much every field is really an impressive accomplishment.Eat less, and better. It's the key to actually losing any weight.Exercise, but don't expect it to accomplish miracles.Above 2 are most likely, for most of us, to allow maintaining.After this, essentially, don't buy any report about miraculous, amazing, or breakthrough health interventions - no matter who's reporting them, or who supplied the info, it is worthy of serious skeptical analysis.

  • Ann Frost
    2018-11-17 19:42

    I enjoyed this book. A couple of critiques though. First, although the title talks about happiness, the book does not explicitly address the happiness literature, which I thought it might (and that I was looking forward to). Oh well. The second critique I had is that it presents this "fact" that is clearly becoming the new "truth" that exercise does not lead to weight loss. I just cannot believe this. When calories out > calories in, how can there be no weight loss?? OMG, I have to constantly eat all summer long when doing big miles. If this were true, I would not be in that state I am in 4 months of the year!! I am really trying to understand this. Is it because people who exercise then over compensate by eating more than they need to? Oh, I just ran 5 K so now I can have an extra beer and a doughnut? If that is the argument, then fine, I buy it. But that is not the exercise's problem. That is still an eating problem!! All this aside, I am looking forward to the author's other book when he takes on the celebrity health crazes - detoxes, juicing, cleanses, and gluten free. Should be in from the library soon. :-)

  • Cathryn Wellner
    2018-12-04 15:29

    I found this a thoroughly enjoyable read, much if it reiterating what I have read elsewhere over the years. Caulfield debunks much of what is taken as gospel in the health and fitness fields. I did see his biases showing all the way through. We are all the product of our experiences and beliefs so that is not a criticism, more an observation. His conclusion, that diet and exercise are the most reliable pathways to health, is one I wish more health and science writers promoted. Where the book missed the mark for me was in the section on remedies. Both alternative and conventional medicine have some answering to do for over-promising when it comes to their effectiveness as health pathways. But dismissing the former and only chastising the latter overlooks the growing body of research on our brains. Much still remains a mystery, but we are learning that it is possible to make changes at the cellular level that have nothing to do with medical or chemical intervention. The book is strongest in its questioning of the way science and media are manipulated for the benefit of profit. That is a message we need to hear repeatedly.

  • Byron Wright
    2018-11-20 13:51

    A straightforward review of health and fitness from a practical perspective. This book is written by an academic, but through the book he lives the advice as he reviews the scientific literature. This makes the book practical and personal. Much the same way you might prefer advice about something from a friend relating their experience over an academic paper.I have to say that much of the content in the book confirmed my own preexisting biases. However, seeing someone lay out the evidence got me motivated to start making some more positive health changes again. From that perspective the book was useful for me.I can summarize the major points as:-Exercise increases your fitness and makes you healthy but won't cause you to lose weight.-To lose weight you need to restrict calories (eat less). It sucks but it's what works.-The vast majority of health fads and alternative health products are a waste of time and money.-Genetics have a very limited role to play in predicting health. We already know what it takes to be healthy.

  • Jennifer
    2018-12-03 14:56

    For me it was a hard read, mainly because I continuously agreed with the authors plea that I should trust nothing; so I did, including him. The author of this book plays the angle that states: everyone has an angle, its all about seeing the truth behind their lies, yet I found that much of the information, tips, evidence, and such that he provides is already out "there." Honestly, nothing surprised me and there was nothing with in the 269 pages that I haven't heard or read about already. That all said it is nice to have all this information repackaged, reformatted, regurgitated, and re-glittered into one book, its just that his voice through out the book was like that of a car sales man trying to sell you that he's not a car sales man. The real bottom line folks is that we are all different individual human beings, what works for one is not guaranteed to work for another so don't put all your eggs in one basket and be prepared for years of trial and error. So, give this a read, you don't know till you try.

  • Vegetarian
    2018-11-15 16:58

    Researcher Timothy Caulfield talks with experts in medicine, pharmaceuticals, health, and fitness, and even tries out many of the health fads himself, in order to test their scientific validity, dispel the myths, and illuminate the path to better health. However, he doesn't (in the index) cite PCRM or vegetarian or vegan diets (messages not twisted), AND HE DOES CITE VEGAN MD formerly FROM HARVARD Dr. Mark Berman on "optimistic bias" (tendency to overrate one's invulnerability to risks). NOTE that he BEGINS with a common strategy, rousing the emotions of the reader (or audience) by totally dismissing something he presents as being totally beyond the pale, then he cites the word 'science' (or the idea of 'science') without using any scientific knowledge ('infuriated me'). A possibly useful book, but again, one must read critically through the author's language as one reads and lives and thinks critically through all of life, particularly purportedly health-related 'messaging'. However, I'd like to feel more confidence in the author's objectivity as I read through a book.

  • Shelly Davis
    2018-12-11 17:53

    Sometimes I think of fitness fanatics on the same level as used car salesmen (why that's a bad thing, I'm not sure. Every used car salesman I've ever encountered has been very professional and I've been pleased with my purchases through them. No matter, the comparison has a universal negative connotation.)Back to the fitness's overwhelming to read all the different "get fit quick" messages out there. Multiple Facebook friends and acquaintances are promoting various shake products or boot camp classes or are doing a certain cleanse or other mystic weight loss treatment. (Many of whom have never had a weight issue as far as I can see) Who's right? Are they really concerned about MY health, or just their bottom line? That's what this book deals with.....cutting through the crap to get to the basic truth about being healthy.

  • Larry
    2018-11-19 17:35

    Interesting read for those health conscious attempting to come to grips with what keeps one healthy. The author attempts to debunk all the myths and misinformation that's prevalent in our society where healthy living or lack there of is one of the 21st century's greatest challenges. In an aging demographic with the younger generations being some of the unhealthiest on record there will always be a need for doctors and scientists to remind us what is at stake. Overall the author does a good job however chapter one just about set me off but one must read the whole book to see where all the dots join up.....Fitness, Diet, Genes etc etc. A quick read but its filled with excellent myth-busting rants that is backed up with what appears to be good science.