The sickness of social organisation

Inequality will be the death of us

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  • Published 20170502
  • ISBN: 9781925498356
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

TAKE A LOOK in your medicine cabinet; these days, it’s where wellness lives. No longer satisfied with treating illness when it occurs, we strive for something more. Every part of our body, inside and out, has a ‘natural’ product aimed at improving it. We take pills for energy during the day and pills to help us sleep at night. Few of these products have any evidence that even vaguely supports the promise that they work, let alone proof. In fact, they may be doing you harm – even the relatively mainstream, like vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene. (The jury is still out on a definitive answer, but all of these, and some other vitamins, have been linked to cancer deaths when taken at high doses.)

Australians are currently spending around four billion dollars a year on complementary and alternative medicines and therapies. That’s more than double the entire annual health budget of the Northern Territory. It is our fastest-growing area of health spending. The federal drug regulator provides an ongoing catalogue of the failings of the more bizarre products to which we direct our wellness dollars: herbal detoxes that contain illegal ingredients; vaginal probiotics; naturopathic arthritis medication.

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About the author

Amy Corderoy

Amy Corderoy is a freelance journalist and former health editor at The Sydney Morning Herald. She has received the National Press Club’s Excellence in...

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