Friday, October 3, 2008

Who do you believe?

It's bad enough when you receive the thrice-forwarded email warning you of the health risks of _________ (fill in the blank). But what media outlet does not have a regular feature that 'exposes' these risks or advocates specific ways to stay healthy, lose weight, avoid cancer and increase your life span? Under a constant barrage of advice that is often contradictory (Are carbs good or bad? Does chocolate make me fat, or does it prevent cancer? How much water should I be drinking, and from what kind of container?), the average American consumer can be excused for feeling a little confused. What we need is a book that looks at all the claims and helps us ferret out the truth.
The Healthy Skeptic: cutting through the HYPE about your health is written by Robert J. Davis, a nationally-known health journalist who also teaches at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. He looks at some of the major health topics being reported today - nutrition, supplements, environmental chemicals, medical testing, and sunscreen - and points out what facts are actually supported by research. More importantly, he also focuses on the people who are crafting these dire warnings: the news media, celebrities, consumer advocates, commercial groups and health organizations. He points out that some of these entities are not above inflating claims and misleading the public in order to push forward their agenda (or make a buck). If you're confused about what you should and should not be doing to safeguard the health of you and your family, you should read this helpful book.

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