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You've Been Had!

How the Media and Environmentalists Turned America into a Nation of Hypochondriacs

Melvin A. Benarde (author)

ISBN: 9780813530505

Publication Date: Jun 2002

Format: Hardback

Despite media reporting, annual reports from the Surgeon General show Americans are the healthiest people on the planet. This volume aims to set the record straight and conteract the culture of complaint and worry with an unbiased account of the scientific facts.

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With all of the negative media about environmental threats over the last four decades, is it any wonder that most people believe disaster is just around the corner? But despite what the media would lead us to believe, annual reports from the surgeon general show that Americans are the healthiest they have ever been, are becoming healthier, and are, in fact, the healthiest people on the planet. In You've Been Had! Melvin A. Benarde aims to set the record straight and counteract the culture of complaint and worry with an unbiased account of the scientific facts - facts that suggest we are anxious and frightened about the wrong things. Contrary to what the media would have us believe, he atgues that the environmental factors that most adversely affect our health are those that are within our power to alter, such as smoking, diet, drugs, stress, guns, speed, and our sedentary lifestyle. Topics covered include: carcinogens and anticarcinogens; dietary supplements and neutraceuticals; food additives, pasteurization, and irradiation; genetically modified foods; microbial threats to health; hazardous and toxic waste; radiation and skin cancer; asthma and allergies; global warming; risk-taking; obesity; and violence. Benarde also looks at the ways the media reports scientific studies, shows readers how to interpret what the media report, and offers reasonable and doable solutions for eradicating our widespread hypochondria.


Many in the scientific community are horribly frustrated by the distortions disseminated by self-appointed citizens' groups and slavishly repeated in the media, in spite of their very minimal scientific competence. In confronting these views and exposing their inadequacies, You've Been Had! performs a very important public service. - Bernard L. Cohen, professor of physics, University of Pittsburgh
Illustrations 16 b&w illustrations
Pages 304
Date Published 30 Jun 2002
Subject/s Media studies   Media, information & communication industries   Public health & preventive medicine  
MELVIN A. BENARDE is the author of nine books including Our Precarious Habitat and Global Warning/Global Warming. He is the former director of the Asbestos/Lead Center at Temple University and former associate director of the Environmental Studies Institute at Drexel University.

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