The global health and fitness industry is worth an estimated $4 trillion; we spend $90 billion/year on health club memberships and $100 billion/year on dietary supplements. In this industrial climate, meagre regulations on the products we’re sold (the supplements, fad-diets, training programs, trainers and garments) result in marketing campaigns underpinned by strong claims and weak evidence. In addition, our critical faculties are ill-suited to a contemporary culture characterized by business, fake news, social media, and bad science. We’ve become walking, talking prey to the 21st-Centruy Snake Oil salesmen.
In The Skeptic's Guide to Sports Science, Dr Nick Tiller (Exercise Physiologist, Harbor-UCLA) confronts the claims behind the products and the evidence behind the claims. In this treatise on the commercialization of science in sport and exercise, the author discusses what might be wrong with the sales pitch, the glossy magazine advert, and the celebrity endorsements that our heuristically-wired brains find so innately attractive. Tiller also explores the appeal of the one quick fix, the fallacious arguments that are a mainstay of product advertising, and the critical steps we must take in retraining our minds to navigate the pitfalls of our modern consumerist culture.
This informative and accessible volume pulls no punches in scrutinizing the plausibility of, and evidence for, the most popular sports products and practices on the market. Consumers are encouraged to confront their conceptualizations of the industry and, by the book's end, readers will have acquired the skills they need to judge product effectiveness for themselves. The Skeptic’s Guide to Sports Science is a must-read for exercisers, athletes, students, and practitioners who hope to retain their intellectual integrity in a vast, lucrative health and fitness industry that is spiralling quickly out-of-control.
Chapter 1: Snake Oil for the 21st-Century
Chapter 2: Sharpen Your Tools
Chapter 3: Logical Fallacies in Sports Science
Chapter 4: Show Me the Research
Chapter 5: Placebo Products and the Power of Perception
Chapter 6: Sports Nutrition
Chapter 7: Supplements and Drugs
Chapter 8: Training Programmes and Products
Chapter 9:Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Sport
Chapter 10: Check Your Ego