National Post | Full Comment

In a four-part series, contributors to Canada’s C2C Journal explain how pseudoscience is undermining our health.

The popularity of TV talk shows in the 20th century gave rise to a new kind of doctor: the celebrity TV doctor. Each broadcast tells us about new health products, cutting-edge treatments and scientific discoveries in chatty language we can all understand.

From this, a new industry has been born. TV shows lead to book deals, which lead to newspaper columns, specialty Web sites and access to the lucrative speakers’ circuit. As society ages, and the audience for TV doctors (mostly women aged 25 to 54) becomes increasingly health-conscious, one can only expect this industry to grow.

Successful TV doctors perform theatre; they invite us in, speak sensationally and have a commanding presence. They use phrases such as “miraculous cure,” “unbelievable finding” and “magical treatment.” Everything works for everyone, and in the world they…

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