Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
Until I listened to The Great Course's "The Myths of Nutrition and Fitness" (2011), I hadn't had a class on nutrition since a one week course, part of a required high school health class, more than 30 years ago. Since then, I've been getting my eating and exercise info from the popular press, like Cosmopolitan and The Huffington Post.
Anthony A. Goodman, MD's series of lectures convinced me those articles on diet and exercise - well, disgusting juice fasts and enemas (gross!) aren't going to work; cutting all carbohydrates out of a diet is really going to do a number on your health; and the best way to exercise and stay fit is to find things that make you happy to do, and keep doing it on a regular basis.
I found the discussion of simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates really helpful: I'd spent years thinking my preference for a slice of good whole grain bread sans butter as a snack was somehow the dietary equivalent of having a candy bar. That's probably what some article in People Magazine said 20 years ago, and I never realized science had long since discarded that silliness.
The section about kids, exercise, and diet (meaning what they eat, not a weight loss program) was really helpful: I've got a three sport teenager that sometimes works out or plays 6 hours a day. I've been worried about how to make sure she's eating enough, and what kind of rest she needs to make sure she doesn't get hurt and she gets what she needs from a workout. Goodman makes it clear that when training, muscles need rest to build. He also talks about distinguishing good pain from bad pain, and when it's a horrible idea to 'work through the pain' that signals a nasty injury.
Goodman is relying on published, peer reviewed studies on nutrition, exercise, illness, and injury in his lectures, and he often cites the specific author and paper. Where information and conclusions in studies needs more research, he says so. There are a few anecdotes drawn from actual case studies that support data, but by no means is this a "I knew this one guy who lost weight by/Follow this one weird tip Oprah recommends" listen.
There's a quick Easter egg in the last section on extremely athletes: he met Mountaineer Tenzing Norgay (1914-1986), who was one of the two people on the first successful summit of Everest. They discussed endurance and mountain climbing. Goodman was convinced a successful climb to the top of Everest required supplemental oxygen. Norgay thought it could be done without, as long as the climber was very quick. Norgay was right.
Goodman's narration was lively, although he had a little bit of a nasally thing going on.
[For anyone interested in reading published, peer reviewed studies on nutrition and exercise, the National Institutes of Health's PubMed database aggregates and indexes papers. There are, for example, 72,616 papers mentioning body mass index (BMI) in the abstract; 20,627 are free.]
[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]
This book reiterates the findings of Campbell's The China Study that concludes a whole food, plant based (WFPB) diet significantly reduces illnesses caused by the standard Western diet. However, Campbell directly attacks the Medical-Agricultural-Academic complex as committing fraud on the American people by seeking maximum profits through largely ineffective and harmful medical solutions.
This book supports the premise that US medicine is purely a profit driven industry that will not acknowledge nutrition as the single most effective cure for most of the illnesses that prevail in America today. Campbell supports his conclusions that many doctors and medical researchers are in the pockets of Big Pharma and other ancillary industries that benefit from the status quo. With personal anecdotes and other studies, including The China Study, he questions industry-funded research projects which are skewed to reach the most profitable conclusions. Alarmingly, the medical industry itself is the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer, but this statistic is ignored by US government authorities.
He also attacks the dietary supplement industry and genetic researchers as largely favoring a "reductionist" versus a "holistic" view of health and nutrition. It is profitable to sell a drug. It is not profitable to sell a lifestyle based on eating plants.
This book is an excellent sequel to The China Study and expands on an increasingly popular theme that rightly contests the validity of what we're being told and sold. Books such as Wrong by David Freedman and Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre are also excellent Audible selections in this genre.