The Cure for Everything by Timothy Caulfield
Release date: 2012 / 256 pages
Synopsis (from Amazon.com): Rarely a day goes by without a public pronouncement of some exciting health-enhancing discovery: a new diet, a new fitness routine, a new drug or alternative therapy, the miracles achieved by genetic mapping. And we are told—by the media, health-care experts, even government—that we should use this information to live a healthier life. But what information can we trust? In The Cure for Everything, health-policy expert and fitness enthusiast Timothy Caulfield debunks the mythologies of the one-step health crazes, reveals the truths behind misleading data, and discredits the charlatans in a quest to sort out real, reliable health advice…
Review: Timothy Caulfield’s inspiration for The Cure for Everything came from “an obsession with facts… a personal interest in health and fitness, and two decades of involvement with science policy.” The result is a highly informative, often surprising, and thoroughly entertaining handbook to health that focuses on four areas: fitness, diet, genetics, and remedies.
The first section begins by differentiating fitness from simply “looking good.” Caulfield debunks the myth that exercise alone will result in weight loss and learns that true fitness involves high intensity, circuit training involving heavy weights. In the section on diet, he verifies that portion control is the key to weight loss: while researching this section, Caulfield lost over 20 pounds by following the basic principles of a healthy diet (50% fruits and vegetables, 25% whole grains, 25% meat and dairy).
He then discovers that genetic research is largely funded by “addiction industries” — gambling, junk food, alcohol, and especially tobacco. In the section on remedies, he attempts to overdose on homeopathic sleeping pills and fortunately fails. This section not only debunks naturopathic and homeopathic “cures” but exposes the influence of Big Pharma over conventional medicine and emphasizes the necessity of an independent entity to conduct all clinical trials.
While many of his findings are surprising, Caulfield’s ultimate conclusion is not: “There are no magical cures or programs… Exercise often and with intensity… eat small portion sizes [of whole foods], try… to maintain a healthy weight… do not smoke… drink moderate amounts of alcohol…”
Thank you to Shelf Awareness for asking me to read and review this!