Monday, April 22, 2013

Detox is a cultural product, not a science

Because it has no scientific meaning, detox is much better understood as a cultural product.  Like the best pseudoscientific inventions, it deliberately blends useful common sense with outlandish, medicalized fantasy.  In some respects, how much you buy into this reflects how self-dramatizing you want to be or, in less damning terms, how much you enjoy ritual in your daily life.  When I go through busy periods of partying drinking, sleep deprivation, and convenience eating, I usually decide--eventually--that I need a bit of rest.  So I have a few nights in, reading at home, and eating more salad than usual.  Models and celebrities, meanwhile, "detox" with Master Cleanse and the Fruit Flush Diet.  
From Ben Goldacre's Bad Science, which is interesting and enjoyable so far.

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