A Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2018
A straightforward appraisal of why health myths exist, dispelling many of them, and teaching readers how to navigate the labyrinth of health advice and the science and misinformation behind it.
Hype is Dr. Nina Shapiro's engaging and informative look at the real science behind our most common beliefs and assumptions in the health sphere.
There is a lot of misinformation thrown around these days, especially online. Headlines tell us to do this, not that—all in the name of living longer, better, thinner, younger. Dr. Shapiro wants to distinguish between the falsehoods and the evidence-backed truth. In her work at Harvard and UCLA, with more than twenty years of experience in both clinical and academic medicine, she helps patients make important health decisions every day. She's bringing those lessons to life here with a blend of personal storytelling and science to discuss her dramatic new definition of “a healthy life.”
Hype covers everything from exercise to supplements, alternative medicine to vaccines, and medical testing to media coverage. Shapiro tackles popular misconceptions such as toxic sugar and the importance of drinking eight glasses of water a day. She provides simple solutions anyone can implement, such as drinking 2% milk instead of fat free and using SPF 30 sunscreen instead of SPF 100. This book is as much for single individuals in the prime of their lives as it is for parents with young children and the elderly.
Never has there been a greater need for this reassuring, and scientifically backed reality check.
Surgeon Shapiro (Take a Deep Breath) sets out to clear up medical misperceptions in this feisty, fact-filled diatribe (even the acknowledgment page complains that "hype abounds and needs to be bashed"). She tackles such questions as how to put risk into perspective (readers should worry more about eclairs than Ebola), how to understand the causation/correlation distinction, and how to make sense of medical jargon, with the overall aim of turning patients into savvy consumers and perceptive judges of information. Shapiro argues for accuracy on such topics as the efficacy of vaccinations (she comes down hard on the "antivaxx" movement) and shares research on the utility of vitamins (the main outcome of which, she claims, is "very expensive pee and poop"), drinking eight glasses of water per day ("follow the money" to the multibillion-dollar bottled-water industry), and juicing (skip the blender and just eat fruits and veggies). Her skeptical, no-nonsense approach and probing assessment of fact versus fiction make for lively reading that is likely to help readers make better health and medical choices.
Great book, with facts!
In this day and age of fads and untrue information regarding health, this book lays all aspects of health and nutrition in an easy to read guide. Well done!