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The Cure for Everything: Untangling Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness, and Happiness Hardcover – April 24, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807022055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807022054
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A Freakonomics for the health industry.”—Justin Sorbara-Hosker, Indigo Lifestyle blog

“[An] entertaining and thought-provoking slam.”—Publisher's Weekly

“[The] Cure for Everything is insightful and entertaining…Gently and with humour, Caulfield guides readers through the funhouse world of health sciences.”—National Post (Canada) 

“Timothy Caulfield is a science nerd. He’s also a health nut. And he’s fed up with all the bogus diet claims, expensive fitness programs and weird information that poses as scientific fact. . . . [He] spent a year combing through research and interviewing top scientists. He also exercised like a maniac and ate an ultra-healthy diet. His search for the truth resulted in . . . The Cure for Everything!”—Nancy J. White, The Toronto Star

About the Author

Timothy Caulfield is the research director of the Health Law and Science Policy Group at the University of Alberta, where he holds appointments in the Faculty of Law and School of Public Health.

More About the Author

Timothy Caulfield is the author of "The Cure for Everything: Untangling Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness, and Happiness" (Beacon Press, 2012). As a researcher in health law and policy, Timothy Caulfield has spent almost two decades analyzing science issues and has been involved in science and health-policy decisions related to almost all the topics addressed in this book. He teaches biotechnology in the Faculty of Law and is the editor for the Health Law Journal and Health Law Review at the University of Alberta. He has published close to two hundred peer-reviewed articles in the world's top science journals, including Science, Cell, the Lancet, Nature, and Biotechnology, and in the popular press.

Photographer Copyright Credit Name: Akiko Taniguchi, 2011

Customer Reviews

Nothing bad - it just takes too long sorting through the details to get what you are looking for.
Jayesh
Mr. Caulfield lays out a clear and well-researched blueprint for health and weight loss that really comes down to hard work and common sense.
M. Hennecke
I found the book to have good information although I did think that the author repeated his message more frequently than was necessary.
frugal grandma

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By M. Hennecke on May 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read a lot of diet and fitness books and consider myself pretty knowledgable, but this book blew apart a lot of what I thought I knew. Tim Caulfield marshals the fact to argue that working out is great for your heath, but has very little to do with weight loss. That stretching is a waste of time, and possibly harmful. That building muscle isn't going to burn significantly more calories. That a long even-paced jog isn't nearly as good for you as a tough workout with weights. Nuggets like this are all through the book, revealed in a light and witty manner as you follow the author on his own personal journey to solve the not-so-simple mystery of what to eat and how to workout to be fit, trim and healthy. Mr. Caulfield lays out a clear and well-researched blueprint for health and weight loss that really comes down to hard work and common sense. No gimmicks. No vitamins. No workout videos sold separately. Mr. Caulfield is a health policy analyst, not a trainer or a doctor with a product line to sell. His only interest is in untangling the messages we hear in the media every day and sorting out those with a solid basis in science. I really felt as I read this book that I was getting to the bottom of things at last. This will be the book I wrap in birthday and Christmas paper most often this year.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lawgix on May 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is no shortage of health based books that preach the mantra "exercise more, eat less". Timothy Caulfield's book is no exception. What sets this book apart from all others is the blend of science with style. Timothy Caulfield takes on the health industry with a ruthlessly empirical approach. While keeping an open mind (he presents himself as a guinea pig) he puts theories to the test and tells us the truth. No recommendation is made until the scientific evidence supports the conclusion. To convey his message, Professor Caulfield employs a self-effacing, intimate and humorous style. There are some surprising revelations, a hint of conspiracy and even a few cliffhangers, making this book read more like a spy novel than a fitness manual. Professor Caulfield confirms what you likely already know: that there are no quick fixes. He makes it clear, though, that if you are broken, you can be fixed and you hold the key to the cure.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By F. Dumaine on February 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In this publication, Timothy Caulfield offers a stunning contribution to public health. The book sheds light on so many realities surrounding health and fitness that you are left wondering how anyone could afford not to read it. Just like watching pro golfers, his untangling of facts and realities is done in a way that looks so effortless that you just know there is a tonne of experience and thinking behind all the findings he presents.

Some may find the book rather depressing (everything gets a good beat-up, from stretching, to running, yoga, homeopathy, mainstream medicine, etc.), but in reality it is remarkably empowering. It allows people like myself to keep running, but to know exactly what to expect from it (and loosing weight is not one of these things).

With this book, Caulfield won't make too many friends among the multi-billion dollar industry of health and fitness, but he can rest assured that those of us who are just trying to live a healthy life will be forever grateful that he found the courage to publish it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Douglas on February 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Maybe I had mistaken expectations for this book, but I was hoping for more science. Instead, it's written in a more self-helpish way than I would have liked. Part of this is the decision to forgo footnotes, instead putting all the actual studies and books Caulfield relies on in a long references section in the back of the book. (And I'm not kidding about long. When I finished the actual text of the book, my Kindle told me I was at just about 70%. The acknowledgments and index made up about 10% of the book, and the references about 20%.)

He'll say something like "50% of your diet should be fruits and vegetables," without really saying where that comes from or what it means. Is that 50% of volume or calories? There's a big difference. Nor does he say how he came upon that number. Should someone whose diet is 60% vegetables eat less of the things? No idea. So though this is probably good advice for a lot of people, it's fuzzy science at best.

I liked the chapter on gene therapy/screening the best, because it's a field where Caulfield is personally involved. This was the only chapter in which I learned much of anything new.

I also liked the way he threw some personal quest into each of the chapters--to work out like a Hollywood star, see if alternative treatments could cure his motion sickness, etc. This wasn't very scientific either, as Caulfield admits, but it was entertaining and often enlightening.

In the alternative medicine chapter, I don't think he gave the practitioners a fair shake. He went for commentary almost exclusively to people who are publicly known as opponents of alternative medicine.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Siegel, M.D. on September 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the health arena, there is a great deal of mythology, fiction, unproved dogma and "religion" present. In the words of the author, scientific "information" (as opposed to true science) conveyed to the public is often wrong, hyped, spun, twisted and contorted by ideological agendas, commercial interests and our own preconceived beliefs, values, and fears. Timothy Caulfield does a capital job at debunking such myths and dismantling the hype and agendas to reveal solid scientific evidence where it exists and its absence where the research is lacking. A quintessential theme is the purity of science--a discipline marked by dispassion, independence, and objectivity--with the strength of its being self-critical, self-correcting, and eternally evolving. And so how easily its integrity can be debased by the special interests of money, pride and ideological leanings.

I enjoyed reading this refreshing, dogma-shattering treatise written in a very self-effacing style by an author who a Canadian researcher in health law and policy and a fine writer, even though he has a fondness for commas the likes of which I have rarely experienced!

As a physician, wellness advocate, fitness enthusiast and author ( [[...]] ), this book resonated powerfully with my knowledge and experience. In this regard, I found the following excerpts particularly poignant:

The three most frequent myths and also the most worrisome as they are often associated with unfounded and potentially harmful diet products: first, the idea that we need to detoxify or cleanse our bodies; second, the idea that we need a plethora of dietary supplements to stay healthy; and third, the idea that eating specific foods or products will increase metabolism and make us lose weight.
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