The Vitamin Pushers: How the Health Food Industry Is Selling America a Bill of Goods

The Vitamin Pushers: How the Health Food Industry Is Selling America a Bill of Goods

by Stephen Barrett, Victor Herbert
     
 

Drs. Barrett and Herbert present a detailed and comprehensive picture of the multibillion-dollar health-food industry and counter the phony assertions of health-food hucksters with reliable, scientifically based nutrition information. Includes appendices on balancing your diet, evaluating claims made for more than 60 supplements and food products, and much more.

Overview

Drs. Barrett and Herbert present a detailed and comprehensive picture of the multibillion-dollar health-food industry and counter the phony assertions of health-food hucksters with reliable, scientifically based nutrition information. Includes appendices on balancing your diet, evaluating claims made for more than 60 supplements and food products, and much more.

Editorial Reviews

USA Today
Stephen Barrett may be the most visible face fighting health fraud.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a trenchant, authoritative expos based on extensive research, psychiatrist and consumer advocate Barrett, and Herbert, a professor at New York City's Mount Sinai School of Medicine, accuse the health-food industry of scaring the public into purchasing vitamins and other dietary supplements, which, they contend, are not only unnecessary but often dangerous. They cite the 1989 outbreak of a disabling disease (EMS) traced to the amino acid L-tryptophan, used as a supposed cure for multiple sclerosis, now banned by the Food and Drug Administration. The authors decry alternative medicine and debunk myths such as that mega-protein makes better athletes. They explore the role of powerful lobbies and industry associations like the National Health Alliance-which, they say, regularly defy the FDA and other government agencies-and list 30 ways to spot ``quacks and pushers.'' Also useful are some simple truths about nutrition, including advice for those on the run that a balanced meal takes no more time to prepare and eat than an unbalanced one. Illustrations. (Nov.)
William Beatty
"Having observed the health-food industry for many years, we consider it a form of organized crime." With this as their ruling belief, Barrett and Herbert amass case studies, statistics, and reports to make an overwhelming argument against the production, marketing, and use of vitamin supplements and therapeutic health foods, scoring such current useless or harmful fads (they say) as antioxidants and extra proteins and vitamins for athletes. Well known for their battles against quackery, Barrett and Herbert don't shrink from naming individuals and businesses--Adelle Davis, Earl Mindell, and Kurt Donsbach, for example, and Enzymatic Therapy, Shaklee, and Sunrider International, all of which are subjects for dissection and exposure. In addition, Barrett and Herbert turn the spotlight on such organizations as the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the National Health Federation. Anyone who eats a balanced diet has no need for supplements, they say: "If humans needed to eat pills for nutrition, pills would grow on trees."
Booknews
The authors, both MDs, present a comprehensive picture of the health- food industry which, they charge, has amassed huge fortunes by preying on the fears of uninformed consumers. Although they devote a lengthy chapter to "Elaborate Marketing Schemes," they ignore the most elaborate of all--the one by which MDs threaten to gain the sole authority to prescribe vitamins, minerals, and other "nutritional supplements." Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780879759094
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
10/28/1994
Series:
Consumer Health Library Series
Pages:
536
Product dimensions:
6.29(w) x 9.26(h) x 1.34(d)

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