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Book: Hardcover | 235 x 159mm | 320 pages | ISBN 9780670065233 | 27 Dec 2011 | Viking Canada
Tim Caulfield

Timothy Caulfield is a professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health as well as research director of the Health Law and Science Policy Group at the University of Alberta. In recent years he has led and collaborated on a number of research projects having to do with the social challenges associated with genomic technologies, stem cell research, and the application of ethics in health sciences. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He has also been involved with a number of national and international policy and research ethics committees, including Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee, Genome Canada’s Science Advisory Committee, and the Federal Panel on Research Ethics.

Caulfield is a ...


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THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING!

UNTANGLING THE TWISTED MESSAGES ABOUT HEALTH FITNESS AND HAPPINE

Tim Caulfield

The surprising truth about what it takes to be healthy

In The Cure for Everything! health-law expert Timothy Caulfield exposes the special interests that twist good science about health and fitness in order to sell us services and products that mostly don’t work.

Want great abs? You won’t get them by using the latest Ab-Flex-Spinner-Thingy. Are you trying to lose ten pounds? Diet books are a waste of trees. Do you rely on health-care practitioners—either mainstream or alternative—to provide the cure for what ails you? Then beware! Both Big Pharma and naturopathy are powerful forces that have products and services to sell.

Caulfield doesn’t just talk the talk. He signs up for circuit training with a Hollywood trainer who cultivates the abs of the stars. With his own Food Advisory Team (FAT) made up of specialists in nutrition and diet, Caulfield makes a lifestyle change that really works. (Mainly it involves eating less than he is used to. Much less.) And when he embarks on a holiday cruise, dreading motion sickness, he takes along both a homeopathic and pharmaceutical remedy—with surprising results. This is a lighthearted book with a serious theme. Caulfield demonstrates that the truth about being healthy is easy to find—but often hard to do.

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INTRODUCTION
THE COOKIE CONUNDRUM

“Ninety-five percent of all disease is caused by a build-up of acid in our bodies,” said the instructor emphatically. She had an unusual accent. A mix of Bavarian barmaid and Southern preacher. She was large and sturdy, and seemed to believe everything she was saying. Every seat in the room was taken by her audience of middle-aged couples, so I sat on some exercise equipment at the back. I was on summer holiday and my wife, Joanne, had convinced me to attend the lecture. “I bet it will be fun,” she said. “Who knows? You might learn something.” Her smile told me she knew I wasn’t likely to agree with her optimistic knowledge-enhancement prediction.

“We need to cleanse our bodies,” the instructor said. “Just like a car, we need to clean our bodies to make sure they work properly so we don’t get diseases like cancer and diabetes. By cleansing our bodies we will become more fit and our metabolism will increase and we will lose weight, especially in all those tough spots: the arms, the belly, and the bum.” She pointed to the relevant region of the body as she said arms, belly, and bum. The latter got a laugh from the crowd. They were captivated. Some were writing notes as she explained the details of detoxification.

I knew that absolutely every statement she made was incorrect or misleading. Complete crap. We don’t need to detoxify and cleanse our bodies. Detoxification will not result in weight loss. You cannot cause a particular part of your body to lose weight by consuming algae, which was her recommended remedy for the elimination of flab.

It was, however, an amazing performance, a mix of pseudoscientific jargon, faith-healing proselytization, and over-the-top fear mongering. Some of her claims were so absurd that I had to suppress a laugh. For example, she informed the crowd that if you eat meat and don’t “cleanse” on a regular basis (i.e., irrigate your bowel) the lower colon gets clogged with an immovable, thick, mucousy sludge. This sludge, apparently, causes a host of ailments, and some of us are carrying around as much as ten pounds of this disgusting substance. Some of her other claims infuriated me because of their simplistic inaccuracies, especially those that implicated a serious disease. She told the audience, her grave tone reinforced by scientific-looking diagrams and terminology, that the toxins in deodorants cause breast cancer. Nonsense.

At the end of the talk came the sales pitch. “Do you want to be healthy? You can’t blame aging,” the instructor informed us all. “You can only blame yourself. You must take control and detoxify your body. An acidity and toxicity assessment costs...

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“A good read that may change the way you view your daily latte.”
Winnipeg Free Press

Timothy Caulfield is a professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health as well as research director of the Health Law and Science Policy Group at the University of Alberta. In recent years he has led and collaborated on a number of research projects having to do with the social challenges associated with genomic technologies, stem cell research, and the application of ethics in health sciences. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He has also been involved with a number of national and international policy and research ethics committees, including Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee, Genome Canada’s Science Advisory Committee, and the Federal Panel on Research Ethics.

Caulfield is a frequent speaker at academic and public gatherings. He contributes often to popular media. He lives and works out vigorously and often in Edmonton.

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About the BookTim Caulfield
Praise

“A good read that may change the way you view your daily latte.”
Winnipeg Free Press

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