Reviews for Tell Me the Truth, Doctor : Easy-To-Understand Answers to Your Most Confusing and Critical Health Questions

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #1

ABC News chief health and medical editor Besser, a pediatrician and veteran of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), addresses 68 health questions, from persistent misunderstandings of the common cold to worries that cell phones may cause brain cancer. Despite 21st-century medical advances, many of these questions--like whether eating eggs raises cholesterol levels and taking aspirin prevents heart attacks and strokes--continue to stump the average person. But Besser, writing with cookbook author Jeanne Besser (his wife), ably analyzes popular myths (the "Freshman Fifteen"), considers pros and cons (HRT and statins), and mostly takes unequivocal stands on the issues (e.g., a resounding "no" to the question of whether magnetic jewelry has an impact on sports performance). For each question, there is a short discussion, followed by Besser's concise "bottom line," with highlighted sections on, for example, when it is advisable to call in sick to work and how to find reliable Internet sources of health information. Quite often, his comments and suggestions surprise; for instance, Besser prefers old-fashioned soap and water to antibacterial soap, he states that vitamins and supplements are a waste of money, he promotes tap water as the go-to beverage for good health and weight maintenance, and he says that old-school gathering of family medical history trumps genetic mapping for identifying risk factors. Particularly helpful are his guidelines for avoiding the harmful effects of health care and hospitalization (too many tests, infections, etc.). (May)

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