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The Healthy Skeptic

Cutting through the Hype about Your Health

Robert Davis (Author)


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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.


* 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
Introduction: Health Sellers

1. Says Who? How We Know What (We Think) We Know
2. The News Media: Eat This!
3. Diet Books: Don't Eat That!
4. Advertisements: Take a Supplement!
5. Government Campaigns: Watch Your Cholesterol!
6. Celebrities: Get Tested!
7. Health Groups: Wear Sunscreen!
8. Consumer Activists: Beware of Chemicals!
9. Anti-Aging Doctors: Don't Get Sick, Don't Get Old, Don't Die!
10. Guaranteed! Overpromising on Prevention

Robert J. Davis is an award-winning medical journalist whose work has appeared on CNN, PBS, WebMD, and in the Wall Street Journal. He holds a master's degree in public health from Emory University and a PhD in health policy from Brandeis University. A sought-after speaker on health and the media, he also teaches at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health.
“Simplifies the process of divining what is true science out of the hype. . . . Belongs where everyone can access it.”—Booklist
“ Davis guides the reader in analyzing and thinking critically about health-related information.”—Library Journal
“He helps us sort through the information available so that, in future, we might be able to sort the wheat from the chaff on our own.”—January Magazine
An insightful and informative look at a number of health issues, this should be enlightening, if a bit frightening, reading for those seeking to take charge of their health.—Publishers Weekly
“”Useful to all consumers who seek reliable sources of health information.”—Choice
“We are inundated with health information that unnecessarily frightens us and is often just plain wrong. Here at last is a guide through the maze. The Healthy Skeptic is a must-read companion that will help you learn what is truly worth pursuing in the interest of better health and what should be ignored.”—Dr. Dean Edell, radio host and author of Eat, Drink, & Be Merry: America's Doctor Tells You Why the Health Experts Are Wrong

“Superb. This important book addresses what people can do to protect themselves from the commercial misdirection of our health care system.”—Dr. John Abramson, author of Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine
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Interview with the author, Robert J. Davis

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