This podcast helps its listeners discern fact from fiction, in a way that is exciting and engaging
“Body Stuff with Dr. Jen Gunter” is a podcast from TED Audio Collective. The name of the podcast might cause some to balk, but I promise it’s not as weird as it sounds. Dr. Gunter, an OB/GYN and pain medicine physician, busts some of the biggest health myths and trends in an informative and exciting way.
As of now, there are eight episodes in season one. Lasting around 30-40 minutes, the episodes break down a variety of popular health myths. Dr. Gunter brings in a few guests in each episode to help explain why certain myths have been prevalent and how they’re incorrect. Not only does she provide scientific evidence, but she also explores the cultural reasons why such myths have become accepted as truth.
Certain topics, such as an episode titled “Do You Need to Do a Detox?”, explain health practices that most people probably have been skeptical of before. Other episodes, such as “How Much Water Do You Actually Need in a Day?”, combat misinformation that most people have taken to be true.
All my life, I’ve heard that you need eight glasses of water a day. Most of my friends try to drink lots of water everyday. I even used to compete with my friends to see who could drink the most ounces of water every day in an effort to be more “healthy.” But after listening to this episode, I realized that my beliefs had been wrong.
Dr. Gunter explains where this myth of eight glasses a day came from. She details how a small study deliberately manipulated the conditions of the participants (forcing them to go without water hours before riding a bike for a set time) so that results which show they needed a lot of water after exercising.
It was eye-opening and a good reminder to be critical of information, even when it is backed by a scientific study. Over the course of the episode, she also talked about the influence from large companies, such as Quaker Oats (which at the time produced Gatorade), who pushed those running the study to manipulate results so the results would support the idea that people needed sports drinks to stay hydrated.
Beyond information, what makes this podcast special is how fun it is! While covering a topic that runs the risk of being dry or boring, Dr. Gunter brings in a variety of guests and tells compelling stories to help listeners learn more about health myths and how they can take care of themselves.
In a media landscape that is full of content about health and wellness, it is difficult to discern fact from fiction. Health has always been a field affected by the social, cultural and political biases of those creating health guidelines and information. It is crucial that people have the tools they need to deconstruct health claims and sift through information. This podcast helps people do just that.
This podcast is available on all streaming platforms.