Fact and Fiction of Health and Wellness with Dr. Nick Tiller & Neil deGrasse Tyson

Fact and Fiction of Health and Wellness with Dr. Nick Tiller & Neil deGrasse Tyson

What are the top myths in the health and fitness industry? Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly explore pseudoscience, “quick fix” fads like Ozempic, and how to navigate wellness with exercise scientist, Dr. Nick Tiller.

Are all fitness trends bogus? Do some have some benefits that just get exaggerated? We parse through plausible claims versus implausible ones. Is there any harm to the placebo effect? We talk about pseudoscience, whatstheharm.net, and whether we are equipped to handle modern marketing tactics. We discuss the interplay between intuition and intellect: how do we determine if a claim is real or fake?

We dive into common health and wellness industry myths. Can there be simple solutions to complex problems? We explore our human need for efficiency and whether that is the same as laziness. What type of exercise is best? Do any dietary supplements work? Learn how the FDA treats dietary supplements and why you should be wary of quick fixes.

We talk about the health impacts of fad dieting and how to handle fitness and lifestyle trends in the media. Does someone having a large audience equal expertise? We discuss the impact professional athletes have on the health and wellness industry and claims made in chiropractic. All that, plus, how can we skeptically approach fitness and maintain our health?

Find Dr. Nick Tiller on Twitter @NBTiller, or on his website at www.nbtiller.com.

Thanks to our Patrons David Butler, Aliaksandra Basalayeva, Savage162, Nicholas Pompelia, Fred Lombardo, and Kris Brown for supporting us this week.

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Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

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00:00 – Being a Health and Wellness Skeptic
03:20 – Working in Fitness and Wellness Skepticism
05:45 – What’s the Harm? Placebo Effect & Disinformation
11:00 – Are We Equipped to Navigate Modern Marketing?
17:00 – Leaving Pseudoscience Unchecked
20:35 – Fiction #1: Simple Solutions to Complex Problems
26:45 – Fiction #2: Exercise Means Weight Loss
31:50 – Fiction #3: Supplements Are Necessary For Your Health
38:00 – Economics of Eating Healthy
40:57 – Fiction #4: Muscle Turns to Fat
43:00 – Fiction #5: Followers Are Credentials
48:05 – Fiction #6: Chiropractic

48 Comments

  1. I’ve "lost" one of my best friends because she decided to "study" acupuncture and thought I was being unreasonable for not supporting her decision. All I said was that there is no conclusive evidence that it works, and I even reiterated that it was not my place to tell her what to do or not, that I was just stating the facts.
    Haven’t heard from her in a few years… Oh well, to be fair, she believes in god too, so…. she was already a bit too far gone anyway.

  2. Placebo is BS, it is like praying to Jesus.

    Hydrox is not horse medicine btw, they were talking about ivermectin, both work, funny how they made fun of what is scientifically proven.

  3. The problem is our foundation first.
    When justice, politicians, doctors and scientists in general are corrupt there is no reason trusting them.
    Justice: So many, sooo many criminals are out of jail or just slapped on the wrist while so many innocent people are jailed.
    Politicians: Come on.
    Doctors: So many unhealthy health ministers. + The food pyramid is false. + Big pharma. + a lot of doctors are just simply bad.
    Doctors just try to keep you alive, not healthy. They tell you to exercise because it’s good but also to eat bad food because they don’t know any better.

    Don’t forget that because they have Dr. in their title it doesn’t mean that they are good… Or else Bill Gates would visit my doctor too. Why do the rich go to private clinics for the best doctors instead of random ones.

  4. Don’t forget all these BS “products” on the market are “FDA Approved” with tax payer $…….. we pay to be poisoned and lied too

  5. I’ll respectfully disagree with Dr Tiller based on my own anecdotal evidence. Some 10 years ago I had a terrible lumbar pain. Went to a physician and after imaging my back he told me the only course of action would be surgical. I asked him what about physical therapy, which he said it doesn’t work. That was a highly rated doctor btw. So I went straight to a highly rated chyro and after an actual physical examination (which the doctor didn’t do) he told me my back muscles were too weak and that’s why my spine was taking a higher load than it should. After one month of exercises, stretching, heat and electricity stimulation my pain had gone. I haven’t stopped exercising since and never have felt that again. So, can’t put all professionals in the same basket

  6. This guy couldn’t be more wrong about chiropractic care; he actaully said one could get the same relief from drugs, which is absolutely false. Often the medication causes neck pain to be worse. (via Vegas nerve, then subsequent rotation inflammation of C4)

  7. Your knowledge is good and right to certain point but metabolic syndrome is an ailment more complex than every day choices. I recommend you to bring someone that knows about the problem. I appreciate all of you .

  8. Does Neil not know that a word can have multiple definitions? What’s up with him and the word “myth” lol

  9. Okay let me add a bit of knowledge from personal experience. I like doing Tai-Chi and Yoga for a couple of practical reasons. Tai-chi is dynamic movements and yoga in large is static stretching. For someone like me that has balance issues these things help. Now, is it that the mystical is wrong or is it that the mystical is explained wrong? If you read the tai-chi classics or even with modern teachers they will tell you about building chi. or in yoga this is called chakra. I had an instructor that stated "Chi follows the blood" Another instructor explained it differently. Chi in some contexts translates to breath of life or oxygen. Oxygen does follow the blood and blood flow can be improved as can oxygen. So is it that you don’t actually have an energy flow or is it that we have interpreted it incorrectly? Energy flow to me means improved circulation through improved mobility. Most supplements are crap, but if you actually follow the known science and look at things in several different lights you might find benefits even in the things that sound like complete crap.

  10. still amazed why Neil is not the leader of USA? imagine a smart person with charisma to lead a nation?

  11. I’ve only been subbed to Startalk a couple of months, but I absolutely love it and appreciate every upload from a learning perspective. & Chuck, he is so great with his humor to the topics and discussions. His parts are almost like the, "ok so lets process what we just said and went over in this dialogue.. with a quick gut-laughing input" Its never off topic- and not far off if any and it seems he learns a bit from just sitting in these clips as well. Startalk is more entertaining and able to digest than those old Bill Nye vcr clips we’d watch in school. Lol, I don’t care what anyone says- it’s great having folks like him on board; especially with the attention span that some cats my age (25) and younger will usually have in today’s time. Salute, guys. Thanks, & great content you folks put out!!!!

  12. I have never been to a chiropractor so I cannot say whether or not they work, but it is clear to me that some of these people have never had chronic pain. Popping an aspirin and feeling better is a thing of the past for many suffering. And when you’ve done all you can in the western side of medicine and nothing is helping, you start looking for other solutions, anything to make that pain stop. By reading these comments many have been helped by this field, as long as you go in not expecting a miracle. Just my 2 cents on that last topic.

  13. Oh friend, i had terrible sciatica in my left side leg and buttock due to raptured spinal disc. Just going to the toilet was excruciating. Even sleeping was difficult with constant pain. Your scientist doctors gave me painkillers and said to lie down and didn’t offer any treatment. After just one visit to chiropractor i felt massive relief. Now after a year of treatments and excersises and stretchings i have zero issues. Be ashamed of critisising alternative medical practices only because you didn’t see some double blind, triple randomised trials and reaserches over 10 year period. Dont need to be done cause it works and people know they work

  14. Sadly, people still make the “its natural!” Or “its chemicals!” Arguements. When everything is natural and chemicals. Basic chemistry teaches us that, but unfortunately theres too many uneducateds out there. (Same with “processed” versus “unprocessed” foods, all processed foods means is: it has undergone a process by humans.)

  15. Alternative medicine is like Alternative facts. You can believe in it. But it won’t help you any.

  16. In other countries food is just food. It doesn’t have any yellow #1, sodium benzoate, butylated hydroxyanisole, sodium aluminum phosphate, red #40, etc.. in it.

  17. Most supplements are made of dirt. The advertising industry takes that product. And they add a liberal scoop of what comes out of the south end of a north bound bull.

  18. I’ve always wondered why tonics are looked down upon within the science community when a decent amount of pharmaceuticals are made from concentrated elements found in plants. The poppy flower is a great example of this.

  19. Without being master of OM- NutriGenomics or similar..I wouldn’ allow myselve to talk about such themata..🤪

  20. 19:12 I’ve had cupping done for muscle tightness/soreness. Especially in the area of my back along my shoulder blades. Where no amount of stretching, massaging, etc..could relieve the pain. And after just 1 session of cupping along with massaging. The sharp pains I was experiencing in that area were gone. For certain muscle strains/soreness, cupping definitely helps. But that’s about all it’s good for. It’s not going to exorcise the demons out of you or cure any other types of ailments lol

  21. But it is all natural…..so is poison ivy. All natural (if it actually is) doesn’t mean it is good or safe.

  22. I use the scientific method at work, and I bag peanuts for a living lol. But with this method, I can resolve problems that others really struggle with.

  23. THREE TIMES A WEEK isnt in ANY WAY a "reasonable place to start" its not reasonable at all for any normal person, thats END GOAL "fitness guru" levels of commitment there dude.

  24. Great show; I knew a lot of this but good to hear multiple opinions. No magic bullet. PT is the only and working out is the only true way, not scam chro fake science.

  25. I would very much disagree with your statement about the relief one gets in the lower back from chiropractic care is the same as taking a pill. From one who hurt her back simply bending over to pick up a book that fell over. I could barely walk and called my chiropractor on a Saturday morning; their not open on weekends. He met me at the practice, took xrays & gave me an adjustment. I could walk and stand better. Advils would never had done that. But I will say that some claims of chiropractic care are not believable.

  26. Gary mate, I am sure there is a pill that will help manage your anxiety about quick fix solutions 😄

  27. There’s a YouTube channel Project Farm. In his video, "Do Stop Leak Products Work? Do They Damage Engine Seals? Will They Destroy an Engine? Let’s Find Out"… when he tested the Snake Oil, I laughed so hard. He benchmarked Snake Oil vs stop leak products.

  28. Whenever we stay in a vacation home rental with my brother in law, he always chooses the bedroom closest to the fridge, not unlike the chimps with the almonds.

  29. I have a job where I sit all day. It takes me 2 hours a day of constant exercise (no rest) a day with weight resistant to stay skinny (8% body fat). I might take off 2 days every other week.

  30. When I was doing trigger point release therapy, I would tell a client that whoever you go to does what they learned how to do, and if that matches your problem, you’re in luck. By the way, I only got two of the five supplements that work, caffeine and creatine. Never heard the other three. Did I miss it?

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