biology, Documentaries, medicine, society

A User’s Guide to Cheating Death

YEAR: 2017   |   LENGTH: 6 parts (47 minutes each)

DESCRIPTION: The anti-aging industry is worth almost $10 billion a year. People want to live forever, and they want to look good while doing it. But how much of it actually works? And is any of it harmful?

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate the fact from fiction as magazines, television, and countless internet articles tout new therapies, diets and health trends as the secret behind a healthier, happier, and longer life.

“A User’s Guide to Cheating Death” is a documentary series that casts light on increasingly controversial procedures, diets and revived ancient therapies that are being sought by people desperate to dramatically alter their bodies or radically improve their health, and the booming industries that are more than happy to accept their business.

Health law professor, writer and debunker-extraordinaire Timothy Caulfield dives deep into the science, and the social issues behind today’s cutting edge health trends in order to separate the truly good advice from the excess of high-priced placebos. – source

01. Detox

What does it take to flush all the bad stuff from your body after a weeklong bender? Or after several years of eating junk food? Can you atone for your health sins and start fresh? No. Detoxing isn’t actually a thing. But it’s become a fixation of the western world. Stemming from the guilty pleasures of overindulgence and under-exercising, a belief has emerged that we must regularly rid our bodies of toxins via detoxifying diets, fasts, technologies, and more. The evidence – or lack thereof – behind this popular trend will be uncovered. The science, the risks, and the underlying beliefs and fears will be explored.

02. The Fountain of Youth

Youth may be wasted on the young, but luckily, you can buy it back. People are using everything from face-lifts to second skin tech to keep their youthful advantage. However, with the many unproven therapies on the market, how many actually work? This episode examines our evolutionary leanings toward finding youth appealing and pop-cultural portrayals of youth, before diving head-on into the strange, fascinating and unregulated world of the anti-aging industry. “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death” is in search of the truth for those who try to defy aging.

03. Genetic Revolution

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing is being used by a growing number of people to make important health and life decisions, despite these tests being largely inaccurate. What are the consequences of using these faulty methods to make “healthy life choices” and is there any benefit in any of it?

04. Slimming Down

Obesity is one of America’s biggest public health concerns. Two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. The pressure to lose weight is intense and many are turning to surgical means to achieve results. The issue is even affecting children as kids as young as 13 undergo extreme surgeries to deal with their weight. Weight Loss Tourism is a huge market. Places like Tijuana, and Dubai’s Talise Bay offer the most luxurious spas in the world, that double as weight loss packages, including an on-site team of medical doctors, personal trainers and a wellness chef ready to provide personalized care throughout your stay.

05. The Natural Way

As a society, we’ve become obsessed with the concept of organic food and products, chemical free farming, healing foods, and natural remedies. But what is causing people to distrust modern medicine and approaches to farming? Where does this romantic notion of “natural is better” come from? And most importantly, are these stances scientifically supportable?

06. Scienceploitation

For those suffering from a chronic illness or degenerative disease, our rapidly evolving world is offering more promise for a cure than ever before. But with such a great volume of treatment options and so much conflicting information available, it’s also becoming more difficult for those suffering to make critical treatment decisions. People are wasting thousands of dollars, and worse, wasting time. From cryotherapy to stem cells that regenerate a human heart, “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death” explores the evidence behind cutting edge disease management research, new breakthroughs and untested procedures while meeting the real patients who swear by them, and how the media is exploiting genuine excitement.