2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Appreciated, but not a great book,
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This review is from: The Truth About Caffeine (Paperback)
I'd like to keep clear on the difference between the value of the author's message and on whether this is a good book. Yes, I appreciate what the author has to say. As a recovering caffein addict (only a few cups a day, but it was ruining my life), I was thankful for the affinity she provided and confirmation that caffeine can affect some people severely, even if less so for others.
But as a book it was a challenging read to stick with and after finishing it I was disatisfied. It's scope is laudable, trying to catalag a variety of negative effects and reference related studies. As a result its main utility may be for people to draw a connection they had not realized before between their personal maladies and their caffeine consumption. And this would especially be the case for doctors, who may be entirely ignoring caffeine as the source of serious health issues such as nerve or heart problems. The author relates a number of misdiagnosises in this area.
The biggest problem is that the book suffers from weak logic in many arguments it is making. Unfortunately, at this time most studies cannot yet link caffeine as a direct CAUSE of problems, only a correlation. That's a real challenge for any author who is trying to sound an alarm about that, because it is not possible to be definitive in your arguments. Rather than outright acknowledge that, the author sometimes reverts to cheap statements like this snippet from page 58 ("What is caffeine?"), "As with cocaine, heroin, and morphine, caffeine is white."
I did appreciate the call out about how caffeine is in so many products. There are striking similarities between its use and how cigarette makers spike tabacco with audictive enhancers, but it was surprising this book did not pursue that much. The fact that we and our youth are being fed a constant stream of this subversive drug is perhaps where the real call to arms should come from. I hope one day someone can pick up on that and make some change. This book might inspire that.