3 out of 4 stars
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Did you know, one of the several adverse consequences of skipping breakfast is weight gain? Who'd have thought skipping meals would add weight? Then, have you known that stretching before exercises is not only useless but actually likely counterproductive with regard to exercises of strength? Maybe yes, maybe no. But, don't you think we should be more aware of these things which affect our health? I think we should and if you agree with me, then I'll gladly recommend Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks by Morton E. Tavel, MD to you. I'll assure you, you won't regret your choice.
Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks consists of three parts: health tips, myths, and tricks like in the title. Despite this division, there is much overlap, and the author has warned us about it in the introduction. The author has also stated that the initial motivation for creating this book was derived from his research used in the preparation of one of his previous books, Snake Oil is Alive and Well.
The 62 chapters in this book are categorized according to the three parts. Health Tips, the first part consisting of 32 chapters, is about health and wellness that can be incorporated into one’s daily life. They are about a wide range of subjects like weight loss, breakfast, coffee, red wine, cigarettes, etc. Even if they don't have any apparent connection to each other, how they affect our health is clearly depicted. Here, 'what you should avoid', 'what's best for you and in what proportions', 'what happens when you don't stick to the range' are stated.
The next 20 chapters belong to the second section, Myths. It's about some common misconceptions like belief in conspiracy theories about health, irrational fears, genetically modified food, organic food, gluten-free diets, etc. Here, how these misconceptions are used to earn money and how our ignorance is taken advantage of is given.
Tricks, the third part consisting final 10 chapters, is devoted to various stratagems that are designed to part readers from their hard-earned money in exchange for useless or dangerous products and information like fake cures, Snake oil, scams presented by legitimate drug companies, the truth about certain media health authorities, etc.
The author has written this book in a manner easily understood by the average public, and he has made it interesting with lighthearted comments. I'm not suggesting that he's joking when presenting scientifically-proven data. It's well researched and a list of references are found in the final pages of it. Links to websites where you can find further details are also included in it. While I like all these very much, what I like best is the author's honesty in stating where researches were not done on certain subjects or further researches need to be done. I also like the inclusion of the Hippocratic oath in the final chapter of the book.
If there is something I don't like about this book, it is the emphasis on the fact that conventional medicine is the best and all the other alternative medicine are fake. This little detail is repeated again and again. Another thing I find lacking but can be remedied is the editing or the lack of it. My copy of this book is a PDF copy, and it desperately needs editing. Even if I didn't see any grammatical errors, the typos are too numerous to count. In the contents alone, the error count exceeds 10. The errors with page numbers were found in the 32nd chapter and all the chapters from the 44th chapter. Due to the issue with editing, I have to deduct a star. If it isn't such a great book, I'd have to deduct two stars for the number of errors. But the time and hard work that went into this book deserve more than 2 stars. So, I'm awarding it 3 out of 4 stars.
Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks
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