Cover image for Eat, drink, and be merry : America's doctor tells you why the health experts are wrong
Eat, drink, and be merry : America's doctor tells you why the health experts are wrong
Edell, Dean.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.
Physical Description:
x, 347 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RA776.5 .E342 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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"Help me, Dr. Dean! I want to be healthy, but I just don''t know where to turn for advice."

No wonder. How often have you felt whipsawed by the experts, confused by conflicting advice, or torn with guilt over what you eat, drink, think? Prepare yourself for a shock: You can relax, enjoy life, and still be healthy.

This is a different kind of health book by a different kind of doctor. Dr. Dean Edell, a former surgeon whose radio call-in show is heard by millions of listeners every day, sifts through the outrageous health claims flooding the media. He takes on the health gurus who urge you to abandon much of what you enjoy in life and make you worry needlessly. He frankly discusses sex and drugs, evaluates alternative medical practices, and pleads with our germ-phobic society to just calm down. He also gives you the scoop on what really goes on inside hospitals and inside the minds of doctors.

Chill out. Dr. Dean is going to change the way you think. You can eat certain fat-laden foods and be healthy. You can exercise far less than you thought and in ways you never imagined. You can enjoy sex and even some mood-altering substances in moderation, and do a world of good for your body and mind.

Dr. Dean''s radio audience has heard him condemn the very media that keep him in business. In the book and on the air, Edell exposes the sloppy, irresponsible, and dangerous health reporting that is the daily fodder of newspapers, talk shows, and TV news segments. Scare stories and miracle cures make news, responsible follow-ups do not. From the headlines, you''d think that rare diseases like mad cow and ebola are lurking in every hamburger or on every toilet seat. Read the chapter on germs to learn why our abuse of antibiotics poses a far greater threat to our health. In other chapters you''ll discover the link between chronic fatigue syndrome and environmental illness, and find out why you should relax and enjoy that glass of wine with dinner.

Dr. Dean''s experience within the medical establishment, in the alternative medicine community, and in the media give him a unique vantage point from which to evaluate breaking medical news. He offers a critical perspective that cannot be matched by anyone else today, either in the media or in medicine.

Dr. Dean tells you what has been scientifically proved and what has not. Most important, he gives you the tools you need to make good personal health decisions about the next crop of health gurus and the next medical "breakthroughs." He teaches you to rely on common sense and a critical eye, and to trust yourself and your judgment, based always on what is scientifically sound.

Seasoned, frank, funny, and compassionate, Dr. Dean is an iconoclast who takes on the medical establishment, the health-and-fitness industry, and the media with equal gusto. In Eat, Drink, and Be Merry he offers you the truth about healthy living. Be forewarned: Some of your most cherished beliefs about health may fall by the wayside.

Did You Know That . . .

People who crave ice chips may have a nutritional deficiency? An octogenarian in China disclosed his secret of longevity: a diet that includes rats? Saturated fat may reduce the risk of stroke? Some canned and frozen foods can be more nutritious than fresh? Dementia appears to be less common among those who eat more fish? You can lose weight by fidgeting, chewing on a pencil, or drinking coffee? Exercising in polluted air is worse for your lungs than not exercising at all? Playing an instrument is not only good for your mental health, it burns 160 calories an hour? Certain snake oils may have actual therapeutic potential? Research shows that aloe vera slows healing of wounds? Sex can cure headaches? The aromas of pumpkin pie and lavender can be erotic stimulants? It can make a difference what gender your doctor is? Studies show that people often postpone dying until after holidays?

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

" Dr. Dean" and his health news stories are familiar to millions of TV viewers. Not your usual physician, he is a former hippie and wanderer with experiences that have given him a broad, understanding outlook. In contrast, most other physicians have spent years getting educated but have little exposure to people until they hang out their shingles. Edell advises people listening to media health news to attend more to the science than to the hype. Watch out for distortion, misleading information, and ax-grinding, he says, and raise the red flag whenever anyone announces a breakthrough. Remember that a scientific study should involve more than three patients and should be announced in a medical journal rather than a newspaper, whose reporters go for the "startle effect" and usually aren't as eager to follow up with corrections and retractions. Edell is liberal toward alcohol, drugs, and sex--but not tobacco--which may bother some. He also corrects, clearly and often humorously, myths about beta-carotene, exercise, and, especially, diets. Lives, he believes, should be lived and enjoyed. --William Beatty

Publisher's Weekly Review

Can this book possibly live up to its subtitle? After all, Edell hosts a national health-related radio talk show and is himself an acknowledged "health expert." Edell does not shatter conventional medical wisdom, but his engaging style and common sense make this an excellent overview of the keys to healthy living. Some of his recommendationsÄthat fad diets don't work or that communication is the key to good sexÄwon't come as revelations. But he covers an impressive number of bases, including nutrition, fitness, food safety, drugs, alternative medicine, even the quest for happiness. Edell backs up his recommendations with university studies and his personal experiences as a physician. Most chapters include summaries and checklists of the most important information. The result is a book that is both authoritative and user-friendly, mixed with a good dose of humor (the chapter on why sex is good for your health is called "There is a Santa Claus"). In the end, Edell may not prove all the health experts wrong, but he does deliver what he promises in his introduction: "common sense choices and options... always based on science." (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved