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Don't Swallow Your Gum!: Myths, Half-Truths, and Outright Lies About Your Body and Health [Kindle Edition]

Aaron Carroll , Rachel Vreeman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $8.89
You Save: $6.10 (41%)
Sold by: Macmillan


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Paperback $10.40  
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Book Description

People have more access to medical information than ever before, and yet we still believe “facts” about our bodies and health that are just plain wrong. DON’T SWALLOW YOUR GUM! takes on these myths and misconceptions, and exposes the truth behind some of those weird and worrisome things we think about our bodies. Entries dispel the following myths and more:

- You need to drink 8 glasses of water a day
- Chewing gum stays in your stomach for seven years
- You can catch poison ivy from someone who has it
- If you drop food on the floor and pick it up within five seconds, it’s safe to eat
- Strangers have poisoned kids’ Halloween candy

With the perfect blend of authoritative research and a breezy, accessible tone, DON’T SWALLOW YOUR GUM is full of enlightening, practical, and quirky facts that will debunk some of the most perennial misconceptions we believe about our health and well-being.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Two doctors have written a breezy and entertaining, yet relevant and scientific, book full of facts with which to prove our mothers wrong. Divided into six sections, each comprising approximately 10 myths in two pages each, the book covers issues about disease, sex and pregnancy, babies and children, what we eat, and controversial topics. No, it is not necessary to drink eight glasses of water a day. Eating turkey does not make you sleepy. The authors also set the record straight on the five-second rule, the connection between dog hair and allergies, and the dangers of waking a sleepwalker. The final controversial section includes the causes of autism and the connection between the Superbowl and the abuse of women. It is easy to imagine teens browsing through and sharing fun tidbits with one another. In fact, with its offhand tone, liberal use of expressions like sucks and BS, the occasional gratuitous gross-out story, short chapters, and compact paperback format, the book reads as if it were written with teen appeal in mind. At the same time, the authors demonstrate clear research and documentation, including more than 40 pages of references. The introduction explains the difference between association and causation, the trials needed to prove the truth, and why so many misperceptions exist.
Angela Carstensen, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City

About the Author

Dr. Aaron E. Carroll is an associate professor of Pediatrics and the director of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Dr. Rachel C. Vreeman is an assistant professor of Pediatrics in Children’s Health Services Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine and co-director of Pediatric Research for the Academic Model for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS (AMPATH).

Aaron and Rachel’s research has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Scientific American, Newsweek, and many other national publications. They have appeared on Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, and ABC News NOW.


Product Details

  • File Size: 298 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002LA0ASY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,238 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medically excellent June 28, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a medical doctor I am very pleased with this book. The authors have done something very unlikely -- they wrote an fun, entertaining book that is also scientifically and medically excellent. Well researched, well-referenced and easy to use. Quite a public service!

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will save the internet! June 3, 2009
Using solid medical research and some really funny storytelling, these two doctor-authors debunk so many commonly forwarded myths that it can save the internet. I get so many email forwards that could have been easily nipped at the bud if the sender has just read this book. Think of how much more time we'd all have, and how the internet would be free and clear of such dispelled myths!

So the next time someone sends you an email about the evils of antiperspirant, organ donations, or the advantages of peeing on jellyfish stings, just send them a copy of this book! The short chapters make for easy on-the-go reading, and the numerous citations in the index make for some interesting follow-up research.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun and informative book! May 28, 2009
Do you want to be able to correct your mother on the myths about citrus when she foists vitamin C tablets on you when you have the sniffles? Perhaps just rattle off some interesting tidbits of knowledge at a summer BBQ when everyone is slathering themselves with spf 1000 sunblock? This book is rife with great nuggets of medical information presented in bite-size chunks. A fun and informative collection of essays on commonly believed medical myths that will occasionally make you feel smarter than your doctor.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting June 9, 2009
By Charlie
About: Doctors Vreeman and Carroll tackle common beliefs about health and the human body including the Five Second Rule, double dipping and how much water one should drink. The book is organized into six groups of myths: the body, diseases, sex and pregnancy, babies and children, what we eat and drink, and myths that spark debate and controversy.

Pros: Quick read, interesting, lots of myths tackled, well written, references in back.

A Few Things I Found Interesting:

* Yellow urine doesn't mean you are dehydrated, neither does being thirsty

* You can't "beat" a breathalyzer

* A mosquito's buzz is just the flapping of its wings

* Once the irritating oils are washed off, you can't get poison ivy from someone's poison ivy rash

* Putting butter on a burn is a bad idea

* Green mucus from your nose doesn't mean you need antibiotics

* Poinsettias aren't that poisonous. No people have died from poinsettia poisoning

* Vitamin C doesn't prevent colds

* Sugar does not make kids hyper

* Twins don't skip a generation

Cons: No in-text citations, would have liked to see a further reading and other resources section.

Grade B+
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cocktail party material!!!!! June 18, 2009
Just purchased this book last night and can't put it down. I sat on the couch reading and sharing these extremely interesting and witty short descriptions of misconceived myths with my unbelieving husband! I love my mother-in-law but I must admit it was fun to remind him that she is not always right! Who would have thought two research docs could be so funny!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for all audiences May 29, 2009
As a healthcare provider I had originally thought I wouldn't learn anything from a book like this but was pleasantly surprised to see longheld healthcare beliefs effectively debunked in a very entertaining fashion through this book. I've also passed on this book on to my non-healthcare provider friends and they have not been able to put the book down. The simple conversational tone makes this book an enjoyable, quick read while also providing easy to understand information about your body and health.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars family meeting June 25, 2009
I was really happy to hear the sound science behind "facts" that i remember questioning as a child. I got the book for my parents and after they had read it, i called a little family meeting.

It was really fun to discuss all the things that they had truly believed from their parents without question and then passed on to me. It made for a laughter-filled evening!:)

Elyce Elder
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and interesting info September 5, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this book! It's extremely easy reading and the information is quite surprising in some cases. The authors are very witty covering some of the lighter topics and very compassionate on the more serious topics. One of the most irritating things I find about some people is how they truly live by some silly "old wives tales" and this book totally busts those myths. Now I can tell those people, especially my mother, to read the book and get a clue!! The facts are meticulously supported by extensive research and are noted so in the back of the book. Highly recommended!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy and concrete explanation of why the myths are false
Easy and concrete explanation of why the myths are false. The info is backed up by scientific studies and the explanation of how the scientific studies work its great. Must read
Published 11 days ago by Álvaro
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fun read. Share it with everyone. Prove somebody wrong. Learn something new.
Published 26 days ago by Sharyon M Avenente
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Swallow Your Gum
I saw an ad on TV about this book and thought it would be a fun read. I ordered it right away. It certainly is funny. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Humphrey
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Educational
This is an easy-to-read book which disproves health myths that were previously thought to be set in stone. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Nicolette R. Fraioli
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Simple
The book doesn't go into too much depth on each topic and in my opinion is not that interesting...I thought Why is flamingos pink a better book.
Published 5 months ago by OneMammoth
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Swallow Your Gum
It's a decent book--I'll admire any book that addresses common misconceptions and backs them up with science. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Runa
4.0 out of 5 stars Say it ain't so
Well this book has made me feel silly . I believed many of the Myth's they talk about and i have helped pass along many of the wife's tales as fact .
Published 19 months ago by Robert M. Schwedt
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast Read!
Great Information, and have bought the book for family members! Very fast read and enjoyed the plethora of strange information inside.
Published 21 months ago by Ireenie007
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Factual
I use these for give-aways in science lectures and for waiting room reading material. Great information and fun way to use science in daily life.
Published 21 months ago by bgoodi
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Myth Buster!
This book is very good. It really brings scientific and researched information to verify prevailing myths about our body and our health. Nice read,
Published 22 months ago by CSP
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