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by Robert Davis
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Medicine & Health Sciences
  • Author:
    Robert Davis
  • ISBN:
    0520249186
  • ISBN13:
    978-0520249189
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    University of California Press; First edition (June 1, 2008)
  • Pages:
    254 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Medicine & Health Sciences
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1284 kb
  • ePUB format
    1914 kb
  • DJVU format
    1910 kb
  • Rating:
    4.6
  • Votes:
    118
  • Formats:
    azw mobi mbr txt


Davis: A healthy skeptic is someone who takes time to critically evaluate all health advice, regardless of whether it. .I am already doing both to improve my health.

Davis: A healthy skeptic is someone who takes time to critically evaluate all health advice, regardless of whether it comes from the media, a drug company, a non-profit health group, the government, or anyone else. We’re flooded with more information and advice than ever about how to stay healthy. I am recommending it to others already.

Becoming a healthy skeptic is vital, Davis argues, because following the right advice can have a profound impact on overall health and longevity

Becoming a healthy skeptic is vital, Davis argues, because following the right advice can have a profound impact on overall health and longevity. IN TEN ENTERTAINING CHAPTERS, ROBERT J. DAVIS DISCUSSES: Diets and why they don't work Dietary supplements The campaign to reduce cholesterol Celebrity exhortations to "get tested" Sunscreen and its promoters' claims The antichemical activists. It happens every day: we pick up a newspaper or magazine or turn on the television and are bombarded with urgent advice about how to stay healthy.

Michael Shermer with Nina Teicholz - The Big Fat Surprise About Diet and Nutrition ( - Продолжительность: 1:10:24 Skeptic Recommended for you. 1:10:24. Fluid Painting with a Beginner - How To Tutorial Dirty Pour with Swipe Technique - Продолжительность: 32:22 Carl Mazur Recommended for you.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 193-230) and index. Introduction : health sellers - Says who? how we know what (we think) we know - The news media : eat this! -. - Diet books : don't eat that! -. - Advertisements : take a supplement! -. - Government campaigns : watch your cholesterol! -. - Celebrities : get tested! -. - Health groups : wear sunscreen! -. - Consumer activists : beware of chemicals! -. - Anti-aging doctors : don't get sick, don't get old, don't die! -. - Guaranteed! over-promising on prevention.

The Healthy Skeptic book. The Healthy Skeptic explores who these health promoters are-from journalists and celebrities to industry-funded groups and consumer activists-what their motives are, and how they are spinning us in ways we often don't realize. This treasure trove of little-known facts, written by a seasoned health reporter, provides invaluable tips, tools, and resources to help readers think more critically about what they're being told.

Home Browse Books Book details, The Healthy Skeptic: Cutting through .

Home Browse Books Book details, The Healthy Skeptic: Cutting through the Hype. The Healthy Skeptic: Cutting through the Hype about Your Health. Becoming a healthy skeptic is vital, Davis argues, because following the right advice can have a profound impact on overall health and longevity. davis discusses:, Diets and why they don't work.

Robert Davis has given us a good wake up call here. He reminds us how easy it is to get complacent in our lifestyle, going from diet to diet, falling prey to the latest fad health tips. A good read! Incredibly useful book.

Robert J. Davis, PhD, aka The Healthy Skeptic, examines the science behind popular health claims, busting myths and cutting through hype.

The Healthy Skeptic explores who these health promoters are-from journalists and celebrities to industry-funded groups and consumer activists-what their motives are, and how they are spinning us in ways we often don't realize.

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It happens every day: we pick up a newspaper or magazine or turn on the television and are bombarded with urgent advice about how to stay healthy. Lose weight! Lower your cholesterol! Early detection saves lives! Sunscreen prevents cancer! But in many cases, pronouncements we rarely think to question turn out to be half-truths that are being pushed by various individuals or groups to advance their own agendas. The Healthy Skeptic explores who these health promoters are―from journalists and celebrities to industry-funded groups and consumer activists―what their motives are, and how they are spinning us in ways we often don't realize. This treasure trove of little-known facts, written by a seasoned health reporter, provides invaluable tips, tools, and resources to help readers think more critically about what they're being told. Becoming a healthy skeptic is vital, Davis argues, because following the right advice can have a profound impact on overall health and longevity. IN TEN ENTERTAINING CHAPTERS, ROBERT J. DAVIS DISCUSSES: * Diets and why they don't work* Dietary supplements * The campaign to reduce cholesterol * Celebrity exhortations to "get tested" * Sunscreen and its promoters' claims * The antichemical activists

Unirtay
I want to encourage a healthy lifestyle for my family, but it is difficult with all the changing data from the news media, web sites, etc. This is a good book to help you make informed decisions on a variety of health care issues. I suggest reading it to help you come to your own decisions about what is the best choice to make for your lifestyle.
Anayajurus
This book is interesting and inspires to further investigation and action. I am already doing both to improve my health. Davis provokes us to look behind the health messages that bombard us every day to see why they come, who they stand to benefit (often not us), how we can determine in that area what might be best for our health. I am recommending it to others already.
Bukelv
This book will help you evaluate health claims of western and "natural" food, supplements, and medicine. Both often exaggerate, lie, and abuse statistics to convince you to buy whatever they're selling.

The news media unfortunately gets a lot of its material from manufacturers or trade groups rather than scientific studies, so you always have to be skeptical of what information from newspapers, magazines, and TV.

Nor is the government protecting you, so you can't assume that what is allowed on labels is true. In the good old days, the FDA used to only allow health claims backed by significant scientific agreement or an authoritative statement from the National Academy of Sciences. But now the FDA has yielded to pressures from industry that allows "qualified" claims with limited evidence.

If you've been prescribed an expensive drug, or one with potentially life-threatening side effects, Davis suggests you can read the original scientific papers - if you do, I recommend also getting Woloshin's book "Know Your Chances" to help you interpret it.

Luckily for you, Davis has done the hard work for you and investigates many widely used and prescribed remedies, such as Lunestra, statins, sunscreen, chemicals, dieting, anti-aging pills, and more.

After reading this book I would never take any medication or supplements without doing in-depth research, because the side effects can range from unpleasant to life-threatening. And many drugs cost a huge amount of money, yet lower my odds of getting a disease by only one or two percent. Though you'd never know this from the ads, which might claim 33% -- Davis explains the math of how they can make such an outrageous claim and get away with it.

Healthy Food

Davis said many of his friends ask him what foods are the best to eat so they can stockpile these "superfoods". Davis tells them there is no such thing as a superfood - just try to eat as wide a variety as possible of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, legumes, and nuts (in moderation). Avoid red meat, white rice, white bread, and processed or junk food.

The reason there aren't any "superfoods" is because all food has multiple nutrients that interact with each other and with other food you've eaten that affect your body in many ways. It's impossible to tease out the effect of individual components.

The FDA now allows "weasel" words to make "structure/function" claims without any proof at all. So "lowers cholesterol" is not allowed, but the corporation or quack can get around this with "helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels". Some other weasel phrases: "maintains heart health" and "provides immune support". Unless a product is labeled clearly and unambiguously with a statement that it prevents a condition, ignore the label. A legitimate label can be found on whole grain products, because several decades of peer-reviewed scientific research has shown whole grains reduce your odds of getting heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.

Cholesterol

I was surprised to learn the decades long Framington findings on high cholesterol applied only to middle-aged people - and that after that the risk of high cholesterol declines. By age 70, there's no relationship between high cholesterol and death from heart disease. After 80, low cholesterol is correlated with a higher risk of death from all causes.

And even for the middle-aged, the risks of high cholesterol are exaggerated.
* A 40 year old man with a high cholesterol level of 240 mg/dL but no other risk factors and no history of heart disease only has a 2% increased risk of heart disease over the next 10 years.
* The same guy at 180 mg/dL has a 1% risk.
* For a high cholesterol 50 year old woman who doesn't smoke or have high blood pressure, there's only a 1% heart disease risk over the next ten years.
* A 50-year-old man with normal cholesterol who smokes and has high blood pressure has a 13% chance of heart disease within 10 years, and 22% if he also has high cholesterol.

Bottom line: you can't view cholesterol levels in isolation.

Statins

Statins mainly help those who already have heart disease and only reduce the odds 1.5% for those who don't. The main group they help are high risk men between 30 and 69.

Women without heart disease don't seem to be helped at all.

And statins have some potential bad side effects, including liver damage, muscle weakness, impaired memory and thinking, and possibly cancer (more research needs to be done). Yet many are calling for statins to be taken preemptively for those in good health.

Sunscreen

Your first line of defense is staying out of the sun between 10 and 4 or covering up with a big hat, and long sleeves and pants. Your last line of defense should be sunscreen. Sunscreen has not been proven to guard against melanoma and there isn't much evidence that sunscreen reduces the risk of basal cell carcinoma. People usually don't put enough sunscreen on, and worse yet, stay out in the sun longer than the sunscreen will protect them. Very few are formulated to protect from UVA which is also damaging.

Perhaps a little sun is good for you since it's hard to get enough vitamin D from food. Adults need roughly 2,000 IU. Ssalmon has 400 iu's, one cup of milk (500 iu's) and you've still got to get 1100 iu's to get somehow. But you can get thousands of IU's with some sunshine in 15 minutes or less.

Multi-vitamins and supplements

Recently, several studies of long-term vitamin use did not provide evidence that taking vitamins prevents disease.

Studies that have shown no benefits of multivitamins or other supplements (1)
Years...# of people in study...Study Name

4...35,333...The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial

8...161,000...Multivitamin Use and Risk of Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease in the Women's Health Initiative Cohorts

10...15,000...Physicians' Health Study II Vitamins E & C in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in Men

10...232,606...Mortality in Randomized Trials of Antioxidant Supplements for Primary and Secondary Prevention

(1) Tara Parker-Pope. Feb 16, 2009. Vitamin Pills: A False Hope? New York Times.

Teflon

What's dangerous is the intermediate chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) that is only around during its production, not in your pots and pans (and clothes, carpets, food packaging, and insulation on wires and cables, etc - Teflon is used in many products).

Living a long and healthy life

A landmark study of thousands of healthy people over 70 identified regular exercise, both aerobic and resistance training as "the single most important thing an older person can do to remain healthy". Other big factors: staying mentally active, socially connected, don't smoke or drink alcohol to excess, learn how to handle stress well, get appropriate screening tests, keep your blood sugar and blood pressure levels normal, and eat a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fish, fruit, and legumes. You could do all of the above and still get run over by a truck or be tripped up by your genetic weaknesses, but at least you'll feel better while you're still around.

Risk

Whatever you're afraid of, it's important to put risk into perspective. The main risk of injury and death you face every day comes from cars. Every year more than 2,500,000 Americans are injured and 43,000 killed - cars are the main cause of death for those under 35. So find out the stats before you worry yourself to death.

And above all, ask the right questions:

1) What kind of a study was it? Order is from least to most credible:
a. Test-tube research
b. Animal studies
c. Population studies (i.e.d diet in Finland versus Japan)
d. Short-term human experiments
e. Case-control studies - similar people, but one group has the disease and the others don't
f. Cohort-healthy people examined for years (i.e. Framington Heart Study & other long-term studies)
g. Randomized clinical trials, double-blind
2) How big was the effect?
a. For example, the risk of breast cancer for post menopausal drinkers is 1.3, or 30% greater. 1.3 is so small it could be partly or completely due to other causes. Epidemiologists think a relative risk less than 3 is small, especially if there's no corroboration. Relative risk of 1 = no increase, 2 = 100%, 3 = 300% etc
b. Next determine the ABSOLUTE DIFFERENCE IN RISK. If people exposed to substance X have 3 times the chance of disease Y, but only 3 in 1,000,000 exposed get disease Y - so what?
3) Could the finding be a fluke - chance?
4) Who was studied? Men over 70? If the group isn't similar to you, you may not need to worry
5) Is there a good biological explanation of why X happens?
6) Who paid for the research?
7) Was it peer-reviewed?
8) What about other studies?

It's up to you now to investigate health claims. Below Davis provides to websites with good information, where there's no profit motive.

[...]
Gri
I love this book!!! It's something I really needed to read. With the constant health information we are bombarded with every single day, it's very difficult to sieve through things.

This book covered a few specific topics like statins, sunscreen, supplements, etc. It also gives you a guide to use in the future. (Yes, it means you actually have to do some work!)

There is also resources after each chapter, and everything is sourced.

The overall book was interesting and very easy to read. I HIGHLY suggest everyone read it. Not only will you be surprised (and sometimes angry) at how dishonest some companies are, but it'll give you the knowledge/power to understand how some companies work and how to be the perfect health skeptic - no critic.
CONVERSE
Robert Davis has given us a good wake up call here. He reminds us how easy it is to get complacent in our lifestyle, going from diet to diet, falling prey to the latest fad health tips. "The Healthy Skeptic" doles out a good dose of common sense, backed up by a book-full of reminders to check out the research behind what we think is good advice - those "health" claims may not be supported by anything more than the air it took the promoters to utter their words aloud. A good read!
Mettiarrb
Having been a fan of Robert Davis's work since "HealthWeek" on PBS, I expected "The Healthy Skeptic" to be an important book with a timely and critical message. It is. It is also a surprisingly fun and terribly interesting read. Before you blindly trust in your doctor, medical news, drug company ads, celebrity diet books, and even Oprah, read this entertaining book.
Fararala
This book has been passed around the family and we bought an extra copy for our local library. In these days of overblown health stories that offer too much, it's nice to have Robert Davis sane and smart advice keeping us readers anchored.
Finally a book that isn't afraid to take on the drug makers and public interest groups who (guess what?) don't always have our best interests at heart. From cholesterol drugs to sunscreen, this book will save you 10 times its cost by telling you what health info is really worth paying attention to--and what isn't. Smart, great read.