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Consumer Health : A Guide to Intelligent Decisions

Consumer Health : A Guide to Intelligent Decisions - 7th edition

ISBN13: 978-0072485219

Cover of Consumer Health : A Guide to Intelligent Decisions 7TH 02 (ISBN 978-0072485219)
ISBN13: 978-0072485219
ISBN10: 0072485213
Edition: 7TH 02
Copyright: 2002
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company
Published: 2002
International: No

Other Editions for Consumer Health : A Guide to Intelligent Decisions

Consumer Health : A Guide to Intelligent Decisions - 7TH 02 edition

ISBN13: 978-0072485219

Stephen Barrett

ISBN13: 978-0072485219
ISBN10: 0072485213
Edition: 7TH 02
Copyright: 2002
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company
Published: 2002
International: No

The most comprehensive text in Consumer Health, this edition continues to provide a vast amount of information to enable consumers to choose health products and services intelligently. New texts now come packaged with Health and Human Performance Power Web!

New to This Edition

  • Explores the influence of the Internet on today's health care in a new chapter.
  • Places icons throughout the text to refer the reader to the wealth of resources that can be found on Dr. Barrett's consumer health site
  • Expands coverage of key topics such as the Internet, dietary supplements and herbs.
  • Features the latest information including the U.S. Preventative Task Force Guidelines in Chapter 5: Science-Based Health Care, a thorough discussion of the new food labels, and the latest U.S. Dietary Guidelines in Chapter 11: Basic Nutrition Concepts.
  • Offers a special web site (Consumer Health Sourcebook, which contains links to journal abstracts and full-text articles cited in the text.
  • Provides adopters of the text with a free weekly e-mail newsletter (Consumer Health Digest), which includes summaries of relevant news and links to source documents.
  • Uses a list of common consumer health decisions, summaries of the vast amount of misleading information today, and a section on consumer protective forces and their functions and limitations to introduce the reader to consumer health in Chapter 1: Consumer Health Issues.
  • Provides current, focused web-based information with exercises, by packaging a passcard providing access to Power Web, with the text.


  • Discusses over 80 potentially preventable diseases informing consumers of what interventions are science-based and cost-effective.
  • Includes updated and timely information on managed care, the need for health care reform, and the rapidly changing insurance marketplace in Chapter 24: Health Insurance.
  • Encourages readers to make wise choices about personal health care with features such as "It's Your Decision" and "Personal Glimpse" boxes, and "Consumer Tips" boxes that provide quick, buffeted lists and suggestions to follow when making decisions.

Author Bio

Barrett, Stephen : Quackwatch, Inc.

Stephen Barrett, M.D., a retired psychiatrist who resides in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has achieved national renown as an author, editor, and consumer advocate. In addition to heading Quackwatch, he is vice-president and a board member of the National Council Against Health Fraud, a Scientific Advisor to the American Council on Science and Health, and a Fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). In 1984, he received an FDA Commissioner's Special Citation Award for Public Service in fighting nutrition quackery. In 1986, he was awarded honorary membership in the American Dietetic Association. From 1987 through 1989, he taught health education at The Pennsylvania State University. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America and received the 2001 Distinguished Service to Health Education Award from the American Association for Health Education.

An expert in medical communications, Dr. Barrett operates six Web sites; edits Consumer Health Digest (a weekly electronic newsletter); writes weekly columns for and Health Scout; is medical editor of Prometheus Books; and is a peer-review panelist for several top medical journals. His 48 books include The Health Robbers: A Close Look at Quackery in America and six editions of the college textbook Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions. One book he edited, Vitamins and Minerals: Help or Harm?, by Charles Marshall, Ph.D., won the American Medical Writers Association award for best book of 1983 for the general public and became a special publication of Consumer Reports Books. His other classics include Dubious Cancer Treatment, published by the Florida Division of the American Cancer Society; Health Schemes, Scams, and Frauds, published by Consumer Reports Books; The Vitamin Pushers: How the "Health Food" Industry Is Selling America a Bill of Goods, published by Prometheus Books; and Reader's Guide to "Alternative" Health Methods, published by the American Medical Association.

Table of Contents

Part I Dynamics of the Health Marketplace

  • Consumer Health IssuesMisleading Information
  • Quackery and Health Fraud
  • Problems with Products
  • Problems with Services
  • Problems with Costs
  • The Need for Consumer Protection
  • Intelligent Consumer Behavior
  • Separating Fact from Fiction
  • How Facts are Determined
  • Problems with Health Information
  • Prudent Use of the Internet
  • Further Suggestions for Consumers
  • Frauds and Quackery
  • Definitions
  • Frauds and Quackery Today
  • Why People Are Vulnerable
  • Hazards
  • Common Misconceptions
  • Recognizing Quackery
  • Conspiracy Claims
  • The Freedom-of-Choice Issue
  • Advertising and Other Marketing Practices
  • Psychologic Manipulation
  • Puffery, Weasel Words, and Half-Truths
  • Advertising Outlets
  • Professional Advertising
  • Marketing by Hospitals
  • Prescription Drug Marketing
  • Nonprescription Drug Advertising
  • Food Advertising
  • Dietary Supplement Promotion
  • Tobacco Promotion
  • Mail-Order Quackery
  • Weight-Control Promotions
  • Youth and Beauty Aids
  • Exercise and Fitness Products
  • Infomercials
  • Multilevel Marketing (MLM)
  • Telemarketing Schemes
  • Industry Self-Regulation
  • Government Regulation

Part II Health-Care Approaches

  • Science-Based Health Care
  • Health-Care Personnel
  • Choosing a Physician
  • Basic Medical Care
  • Surgical Care
  • Quality of Medical Care
  • Disciplining of Physicians
  • The Intelligent Patient
  • Mental Health Care
  • Who Should Seek Help?
  • Mental Health Practitioners
  • Psychotherapy
  • Drug Therapy
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Psychosomatic Disorders
  • Selecting a Therapist
  • Hospital Care
  • Questionable "Self-Help" Products
  • Questionable Practices
  • Dental Care
  • Dentists
  • Auxiliary Dental Personnel
  • Tooth Decay
  • Fluoridation
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Self-Care
  • Dental Products
  • Dental Restorations
  • Endodontics (Root Canal) Therapy
  • Orthodontics
  • Dentures
  • Dental X-Ray Procedures
  • Questionable Procedures
  • Dental Quackery
  • Smokeless Products
  • Choosing a Dentist
  • "Alternative" Methods
  • Definitional Problems
  • Acupuncture, Qigong, and "Chinese Medicine"
  • Reflexology
  • Chiropractic
  • Naturopathy
  • Natural Hygiene
  • Iridology
  • Homeopathy
  • Psychic Healing
  • Occult Practices
  • Astrology
  • Biorhythms
  • Transcendental Meditation
  • Yoga Therapy
  • Visual Training
  • Other "Alternative" Practices
  • Unscientific Medical Practices
  • "Holistic Medicine"
  • "Medical Freedom" Laws
  • The NIH Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • Self-Care
  • Purposes of Self-Care
  • Health Promotion
  • Self-Diagnosis
  • Home Medical Tests
  • Self-Treatment of Chronic Diseases
  • Self-Help Publications
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Health Care Facilities
  • The Joint Commission
  • Outpatient Medical Facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Home Care Services
  • Nursing Homes

Part III Nutrition and Fitness

  • Basic Nutrition Concepts
  • Major Food Components
  • Human Nutrient Needs
  • Food-Group Systems
  • "Junk Food"
  • Dietary Guidelines for Infants
  • Vegetarianism
  • Nutrients of Special Concern
  • Nutrition Labeling
  • Reliable Information Sources
  • Nutrition Fads, Fallacies and Scams
  • Food Faddism and Quackery
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Megavitamin Claims vs. Facts
  • Appropriate Use of Supplements
  • "Organic" Foods
  • "Health" Foods
  • "Natural" Foods
  • "Medicinal" Use of Herbal Products
  • Macrobiotic Diets
  • Promotion of Questionable Nutrition
  • Promoters of Questionable Nutrition
  • Weight Control
  • Basic Concepts
  • Eating Disorders
  • The Diet and Weight-Loss Marketplace
  • Questionable Diets
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Nonprescription Products
  • Low-Calorie Products
  • Questionable Products and Procedures
  • Government Regulatory Actions
  • Surgical Procedures
  • Weight-Control Organizations
  • Suggestions for Weight Control
  • Exercise Concepts, Products, and Services
  • Public Perceptions
  • Benefits of Exercise
  • Types of Exercise
  • Components of Fitness
  • Starting an Exercise Program
  • Sports Medicine Specialists
  • Exercise Equipment and Supplies
  • Exercise Facilities
  • Children's Exercise Centers
  • Exercise While Traveling
  • Corporate Fitness Programs
  • Exercise and Weight Control
  • Nutrition for Athletes
  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Other "Ergogenic Aids"

Part IV Major Health Problems

  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Significance of Cardiovascular Disease
  • Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease
  • Blood Lipid and Homocysteine Levels
  • Cholesterol Guidelines
  • Dietary Modification
  • Lipid-Lowering Drugs
  • Preventative Use of Aspirin
  • Questionable Preventative Measures
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Attacks
  • Diagnostic Tests
  • Surgery to Restore Blood Flow
  • Rehabilitation Programs
  • Arthritis and Related Disorders
  • Types of Arthritis
  • Scientific Treatment Methods
  • Susceptibility to Quackery
  • Questionable Treatment Methods
  • Sources of Information
  • Guidelines for People with Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Risk Factors for Cancer
  • Preventative Measures
  • Diagnosis
  • Prognosis
  • Evidence-Based Treatment Methods
  • Diet and Cancer
  • Susceptibility to Cancer Quackery
  • Questionable Methods
  • Promotion of Questionable Methods
  • Reliable Information
  • Treatment Guidelines
  • Consumer Protection Laws
  • AIDS
  • Course of the Disease
  • Testing Procedures
  • Prevention
  • Treatment
  • Treatment Costs
  • AIDS-Related Quackery and Fraud

Part V Other Products and Services

  • Drug Products
  • Medication Types
  • Pharmacists
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Generic vs. Brand-Name Drugs
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug Recalls
  • Internet Pharmacy Sales
  • Innovations in Drug Delivery
  • Over-the-Counter Drugs
  • FDA's OTC Review
  • Allergy Products
  • External Analgesics
  • Internal Analgesics
  • Antacids and H2 Blockers
  • Antibiotics
  • OTC First-Aid Antimicrobials
  • Aphrodisiacs (Alleged Sex Enhancers)
  • Remedies for Common Foot Problems
  • Cough and Cold Remedies
  • Sore-Throat Products
  • Diarrhea Remedies
  • Ophthalmic Products
  • Alleged Hangover Products
  • Hemorrhoidals
  • Iron-Containing Products
  • Laxatives
  • Motion Sickness Remedies
  • Sleep Aids
  • Smoking Deterrents
  • Stimulants for Fatigue
  • Home Medicine Cabinet
  • Prudent Use of Medication
  • Skin Care and Beauty Aids
  • Cosmetic Regulation
  • Soaps
  • Moisturizers
  • Questionable Claims
  • OTC Tretinoin
  • Fade Creams
  • Antiperspirants and Deodorants
  • Acne Care
  • Hair and Scalp Care
  • Hair Loss
  • Sun Protection
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Laser Phototherapy
  • Camouflage Cosmetics
  • Especially for Women
  • Menstrual Products
  • Menstrual Problems
  • Vaginal Hygiene
  • Vaginitis
  • Contraception
  • Voluntary Abortions
  • Infertility
  • Genetic Testing and Prenatal Counseling
  • Pregnancy and Delivery
  • Infant Feeding
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hormone-Replacement Therapy
  • Mastectomy Prostheses
  • Health Devices
  • Medical Device Regulation
  • Vision Products and Services
  • Hearing Aids
  • Dubious Water Purifier Promotions
  • Humidifiers
  • Personal Emergency Response Systems
  • The Latex Allergy Epidemic
  • Quack Devices
  • Coping with Death
  • Advance Directives
  • Donations of Organs and Tissues
  • Hospice Care
  • Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
  • Reasons for an Autopsy
  • Body Disposition
  • Grief and Mourning
  • Life-Extension Quackery

Part VI Protection of the Consumer

  • 24 Health Insurance
  • Basic Health Insurance
  • Major Medical Insurance
  • Contract Provisions
  • Types of Plans
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Loss Ratios
  • Indemnity vs. Managed Care
  • Medical Savings Accounts
  • Choosing a Policy
  • Collection of Insurance Benefits
  • Disability Insurance
  • Health-Care Economics
  • Health-Care Costs
  • Cost-Control Methods
  • Insurance Fraud and Abuse
  • National Health Insurance (NHI)
  • Consumer Laws, Agencies and Strategies
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • Other Federal Agencies
  • State and Local Agencies
  • Nongovernmental Organizations
  • Consumer Action

Appendix: Reliable Sources of Information

  • Marketplace
  • From

Other Editions for Consumer Health : A Guide to Intelligent Decisions

Cover of Consumer Health : A Guide To Intelligent Decisions 8th edition