The Skeptic's Guide to Sports Science: Confronting Myths of the Health and Fitness Industry, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Skeptic's Guide to Sports Science

Confronting Myths of the Health and Fitness Industry, 1st Edition

By Nicholas B Tiller


256 pages

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Paperback: 9781138333130
pub: 2020-04-08
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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.

Table of Contents

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

About the Author

Nicholas B. Tiller resides as a research fellow in exercise physiology, at Harbor-UCLA Medical Centre. He was born in London, England. He holds a Master’s and doctoral degree in Human Applied Physiology, and is accredited with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). He currently writes popular science articles on health, exercise, and critical-thinking, and is an avid ultra-marathon runner.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HEALTH & FITNESS / Healthy Living
HEALTH & FITNESS / Diet & Nutrition / General
SCIENCE / Applied Sciences