The Cure for Everything: Untangling Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness, and Happiness

Timothy Caulfield's inspiration for The Cure for Everything came from "an obsession with facts... a personal interest in health and fitness, and two decades of involvement with science policy." The result is a highly informative, often surprising, thoroughly entertaining handbook to health that focuses on four areas: fitness, diet, genetics and remedies.

The first section begins by differentiating fitness from simply "looking good." Caulfield debunks the myth that exercise alone will result in weight loss and learns that true fitness involves high-intensity circuit training with heavy weights. In the section on diet, he verifies that portion control is the key to weight loss; while researching this section, Caulfield lost more than 20 pounds by following the basic principles of a healthy diet: 50% fruits and vegetables; 25% whole grains; 25% meat and dairy.

He then discovers that genetic research is largely funded by "addiction industries"--gambling, junk food, alcohol and especially tobacco. In the section on remedies, he attempts to overdose on homeopathic sleeping pills (and fortunately fails). In addition to debunking naturopathic and homeopathic "cures," he also exposes the influence of Big Pharma over conventional medicine, emphasizing the necessity of an independent entity to conduct all clinical trials.

While many of his findings are surprising, Caulfield's ultimate conclusion is not: "There are no magical cures or programs," he writes. "Exercise often and with intensity... eat small portion sizes [of whole foods], try… to maintain a healthy weight... do not smoke... drink moderate amounts of alcohol." While a magic cure for everything may seem easier, the true path to fitness simply requires hard work and discipline. --Kristen Galles from Book Club Classics

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