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The Cure for Everything!: Untangling the Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness and Happiness [Hardcover]

Mr. Timothy Caulfield
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 27 2011

In The Cure for Everything! health-law expert Timothy Caulfield exposes the special interests that twist good science about health and fitness 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 healthcare practitionerseither mainstream or alternativeto provide the cure for what ails you? Then beware! Both Big Pharma and naturopathy are powerful twisting forces with 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, he makes a lifestyle change that really works. (Mainly it involves eating less than he is used to eating. 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 light-hearted 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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The Cure for Everything!: Untangling the Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness and Happiness + The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work
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Product Description


“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 --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author


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.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Health Reality Check Jan. 12 2012
Caulfield strips away all of the hype and promotion around fitness, diet and genetics to give the reader a few key messages about what we can really do to be more healthy. He wades through the science and talks to the experts to tease out a few central truths that can be supported by clear evidence. While he is hard on alternative medicine he is equally critical of many aspects of modern healthcare, especially the role of the pharmaceutical industry. Caulfield weaves in his personal journey through his research which lightens the message and provides a few laughs. Beware - if you justify your eating habits by exercising you might not want to read the sections on exercise and diet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great read April 27 2013
By Vickie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a interesting examination of the hype surrounding basic health related recommendations and behaviours. The author included personal experience and a sound examination of the science behind healthy diet, exercise, genetics, alternative medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. The take home message is that there are simple health related behaviours that we should all follow (e.g., high intensity exercise, no junk food and lots of fruits and veg). He goes on to demonstrate that, although the message is simple, actually doing this is difficult. There is no magic or easy way to quickly and permanently lose weight. It takes hard and persistent work. Although this may not be what we want to hear, the simplicity of the message means we can ignore the mixed messages that tell us to do a certain program or use a particular supplement or weight loss 'cure'.

By taking a simple approach to healthy living based on sound scientific evidence, I now feel I can better ignore the hype around weight loss, exercise programs and so on. Instead, I can focus my time and efforts (and money) on actually doing the work of healthy living. The message that this is very hard work and most of us fail was difficult to take at first. However, I think that it has helped me come to the point of accepting I have to be persistent about diet and exercise and understand that there will be times that they are not the best. This is not a reason to give up.

Although this book is science based, the author has made it a good read for the average person by providing good explanations as well as his (often humorous) personal experience related to each section of the book
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be Prepared! March 29 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There are a few pearls in Timothy Caulfield's "A Cure for Everything" but it is a slog through some very narcissistic ramblings to weed them out. The chapters on Fitness and Diet are very good and insightful, but the Remedies and Magic chapters less so and more of a rant againts big Pharma and Naturopathic remedies. Not that they both don't deserve some nocks but this is a little over the top.
As for his narcissistic style, it becomes painful fromt he start. He is as interested in telling stories of his personal travels aaround the work and how important he is as a lecturer as he is teaching us about the premise of the book. He even manages to work in details about a cruies he and his family went on.....please. He writes a book supposedly based on science and then makes a foolish statement about his wife, who is a GP, being one of the best doctors in Canada and perhaps the world. Now where is the science in that self gratifying statement ? And how the last paragraph got past the editor is beyond me, describing how much he enjoyed his son's birthday party, what does that have to do with the premise of the book?
It seems as if he could not decide whether to write an autobiography or a book on the ailments and their scientific cures or myths so just combined the two.
As stated, there are some areas of interest but be prepared to hear all about
Timothy Caulfield along the way!
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am sure there will be many people that find it difficult to accept when he debunks magic processes and things to take. I found it refreshing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book July 23 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great book, well written, a lot of research was done, and it shows. He keeps things simple and straighforward. Would recommend.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cure for Everything Oct. 20 2012
By Doug
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book gives an excellent insight as well as information on diet. It is gifted with personality as well as fact.
While the above is true for the first half of the book, dealing as it does with an individual's efforts, the second
part falls into generalized discussion about what society needs, rather than one person's individual need.
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