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Can You Believe It? Health Hype Vs. Medical Science

Can You Believe It? Health Hype Vs. Medical Science

I went to medical school a long time ago. In another millennium, on another coast, in a galaxy far, far away. I’ve forgotten a lot of what I learned, back in the dark ages before Twitter, and even Facebook. But the information I’ve learned since then has more than made up for what I’ve lost. […]

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A professor of medicine reveals what the SPF on your sunscreen really means

A professor of medicine reveals what the SPF on your sunscreen really means

* Sunscreen, along with avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, can help prevent skin cancer. * The SPF number on sunscreen stands for “sun protection factor,” and represents time the lotion will protect you — not its strength. * The sun emits two different types of rays: ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). It […]

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The ‘Attitude Roots’ Underlying Antivaccination Beliefs

The ‘Attitude Roots’ Underlying Antivaccination Beliefs

Because of large-scale vaccination campaigns, diseases such as measles, mumps, and pertussis have reached levels of elimination or near-extinction. In recent years, however, there has been an increase in the incidence of these vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States and abroad. For example, there were 667 reported cases of measles in the United States in […]

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Serious medicine or snake oil? New book Hype serves up what patients need to know

Serious medicine or snake oil? New book Hype serves up what patients need to know

Dr. Nina Shapiro regularly encounters patients who have misinformed ideas about health. And it’s easy to see why, considering everyone, doctors included, are constantly inundated with health information in the form of news media, studies and advertising. “So much of it is not necessarily … wrong or false or fake, but it’s exaggerated and twisted […]

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The Bizarrely Effective Way Placebos Change Our Bodies

The Bizarrely Effective Way Placebos Change Our Bodies

It’s not just mind over matter. People who claim to have been cured or aided by unconventional approaches often owe their success to what’s known as the placebo effect, a remarkable phenomenon in which a fake treatment—an inactive substance such as distilled water, sugar, or a saline solution—can sometimes improve a patient’s condition simply because […]

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Doc Talk: Steering Clear of Health Hype

Doc Talk: Steering Clear of Health Hype

As director of pediatric otolaryngology and a professor of head and neck surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Nina Shapiro, M.D., has met plenty of misguided parents. They want the best for their families but have trouble sorting what’s healthy from what’s not.

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Don’t Believe the ‘Hype’: This New Book Separates Health Fact from Fiction

Don’t Believe the ‘Hype’: This New Book Separates Health Fact from Fiction

Dr. Nina Shapiro is used to getting questions. After all, she’s both a surgeon and a professor at UCLA. And at a time when people are having a hard time distinguishing between facts and misinformation, Shapiro thought it would be the perfect opportunity to put all of those questions into a new book, called “Hype” […]

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The Fake News Epidemic in Health

The Fake News Epidemic in Health

It’s never been easier to get health information. It’s also never been more wrong. Very few, if any, areas in medicine—and its practice—are absolute. But plenty of sound data exists—if you can find it—to help you make the best decisions…

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Opinion: These ‘pseudo-cures’ for ‘pseudo-illnesses’ will just make your wallet sick

Opinion: These ‘pseudo-cures’ for ‘pseudo-illnesses’ will just make your wallet sick

Cryotherapy, alternative treatments for candida albicans and pills to boost your adrenal function are best at slimming your wallet, not boosting your health. If you’ve ever bought into a trendy health fad—a diet, a supplement, a specific type of exercise equipment, an alternative treatment for this or that—then you’ve likely been duped by the $3.7 […]

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People don’t go to doctors to be entertained. Why turn to celebrities for health advice?

People don’t go to doctors to be entertained. Why turn to celebrities for health advice?

Americans believe in experts. We look to CPAs to complete our tax returns, lawyers to handle our disputes, plumbers to fix our pipes. So it baffles me that an astounding number of us turn to movie stars and other celebrities for health advice. Take a recent article in Parents magazine: “Where 13 Celebrity Parents Stand […]

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