Medical Myths debunked

Don’t Swallow Your Gum: and Other Medical Myths Debunked by Dr Aaron Carroll and Dr Rachel Vreeman

This short book looks into about seventy-five medical myths and old wives tales, examines the evidence, and debunks them.

Many will have read Ben Goldacre’s bestselling book Bad Science – (If you haven’t read it, do! My review is here) in which the author did some serious scientific debunking. I would guess that Bad Science is preaching mostly to the converted, non-believers wouldn’t necessarily choose to read a book like that. However this book, although also in the debunking business, is light and funny but also full of useful information with wide appeal.

It’s split into six sections – Myths about: your body, illnesses and injuries, sex and pregnancy, babies and children, what we eat and lastly myths that spark controversy and debate. It starts off with a funny – The Myth that men with big feet have bigger penises, but soon you’re learning that you don’t need to poo every day; if you’re thirsty you’re probably not dehydrated, you’re just thirsty under normal circumstances; that it’s never safe to eat food that’s been dropped on the floor even if it was for just a couple of seconds, and many, many more. Most of the chapters are only a couple of pages, so it was an ideal book to dip into over a few lunchtimes (it would also make a good toilet book for those that use them!). An entertaining popular science read. (6.5/10)

0 thoughts on “Medical Myths debunked

  1. farmlanebooks says:

    I love this sort of book, but haven't read Bad Science yet. I was a scientist before I left to have my children and I enjoy reading about the science behind every day things. I think I'll put them both on my Christmas list.

  2. bookheaper says:

    Oh dear, am always eating food dropped on the floor following the five-second rule, i.e. if it's not there for longer than five seconds, it's okay. I obviously need to get this to correct my behaviour! Don't think I'll be putting it in the smallest room though, it might bring on chronic constipation.

  3. Annabel Gaskell says:

    Bad Science is an important book, the other is fun. It reminds me of when I went to see Dr Phil Hammond this summer and he spent ages talking about constipation and the Bristol Stool Chart – hilarious.The 5 second rule is a myth, and double-dipping is out too – don't put that half-eaten dorito back in the dip … but you can be too paranoid about these things – I've never had any obvious stomach bugs from picking food up – yet!

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