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Maintenance Phase

Maintenance Phase

Debunking the junk science behind health fads, wellness scams and nonsensical nutrition advice.

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maintenancephase.com

Episodes

Bonus: Mike's New Podcast!

Mike and Aubrey introduce Mike's new show, If Books Could Kill! Find it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Google and wherever else you get your podcasts.

Also, don't forget to pre-order Aubrey's new book!

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2022-11-08
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Paul Bragg & The Rise of Apple Cider Vinegar

The French Paradox

How an early-'90s newsmagazine show convinced a generation of Americans to start drinking red wine. For the antioxidants!

Special thanks to Susanne Stolpe and Alexander H. Sandtorv for helping us fact-check this episode!

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Links!

Diet and alcohol in heart disease risk: the French ParadoxAbsorption of three wine-related polyphenols in three different matrices by healthy subjectsFrom red wine to polyphenols and back: A journey through the history of the French ParadoxWine as a Biological Fluid: History, Production, and Role in Disease PreventionCardiovascular Risk Factors and Confounders Among Nondrinking and Moderate-Drinking U.S. AdultsAlcohol, Drinking Pattern, and Chronic DiseaseThe French paradox: lessons for other countriesMyocardial Infarction and Coronary Deaths in the World Health Organization MONICA ProjectCoronary heart disease in France and in Europe: Where are the facts?Wine And Juice Management And Marketing Decisions: The Case Of The French ParadoxDecline of coronary heart disease mortality is strongly effected by changing patterns of underlying causes of deathThe Medical Autopsy: Past, Present, and Dubious FutureNew dimensions in cause of death statisticsShould socioeconomic factors be considered as traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease, as confounders, or as risk modifiers?Wine, alcohol, platelets, and the French paradox for coronary heart diseaseAlcohol, Ischemic Heart Disease, and the French Paradox Death certificates are not reliable: revivification of the autopsy 

Thanks to Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!

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2022-09-27
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BONUS: Moon Juice Taste Test

This week's episode is running late so here's something to tide you over!

Last year, we did an episode on Gwyneth-adjacent influencer Amanda Chantal Bacon and her wellness company, Moon Juice. This year we decided to TASTE THE DUST.

This episode was originally for our Patreon supporters. Click here if you'd like to sign up!   

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Thanks to Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!

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2022-09-06
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The Scarsdale Diet Murder feat. Sarah Marshall

In 1982 a murder captured America's imagination. Forty years later, two podcasts joined forces to talk about it.

Hear more from Sarah at You're Wrong About and You Are Good!

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Links!

Diana Trilling?s ?Mrs. Harris?Shana Alexander?s ?Very Much a Lady?"The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet"


Thanks to Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!

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2022-08-23
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Diet Book Deep Dive: ?How To Take 20 Pounds Off Your Man?

This week, Mike and Aubrey take on a manual for creep behavior masquerading as a diet book. Along the way, we cover shopping guides, journalism salaries and the proper preparation of Cornish game hens. We love our curvy husbands.

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Links!

How to Take 20 Pounds Off Your Man by Kalter, Suzy: (1984) | The Book Store Suzy Kalter Gershman ObituaryThe book cover

Thanks to Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!

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2022-05-10
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Zombie Statistics Spectacular!

Debunking some of the most widely repeated myths about fat and health.

Here's Mike's new video

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Thanks to Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!

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2022-04-19
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Bonus: Fad Diets

This week's show is still in the oven so we're releasing one of our first Patreon bonus episodes. We asked our listeners for the wildest and wackiest fad diets they've ever tried and ended up doing mini-deep dives into The Rotation Diet, The Shangri-La Diet, The Special K Diet, Bethenny Frankel's "Naturally Thin" plan and the Blood Type Diet. Enjoy, and see you next week!  

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Thanks to Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!






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2022-03-29
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Jordan Peterson Part 1: The Carnivore Diet

Oops all meat: How a '50s bodybuilder, a Grateful Dead roadie and an unreadable professor accidentally launched one of America's wildest fad diets.

Here's Mike's "Cancel Culture" video!

Note: In our discussion of Jordan Peterson?s political correctness lecture, I made a sarcastic comment about looking ?slim in this dress.? After the episode came out, we started hearing from listeners that my comment reminded them of fatphobic jokes they?d heard in the past and didn?t feel consistent with the message of the show. They were right! It was a bad joke and we've removed it from the episode. We'll be discussing this and our approach to handling feedback and editing past episodes in more detail soon. Thanks to everyone who wrote in to let us know! ? Mike

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Links!

Joe Rogan Experience #1070 - Jordan PetersonAtlantic article on the all-beef dietJordan Peterson, Custodian of the PatriarchyIs Jordan Peterson the stupid man's smart person?How dangerous is Jordan B. Peterson?The Intellectual We DeserveJordan Peterson & Fascist MysticismThe Pronoun WarriorJordan Peterson?s Gospel of MasculinityThe Bizarre Fad Diet Taking the Far Right by StormInside the World of the 'Bitcoin Carnivores'Human Ancestors Were Nearly All VegetariansMy carnivore diet: what I learned from eating only beef, salt and waterThe Inuit ParadoxWhy Right Wingers Are Going Crazy About MeatOwsley ?The Bear? Stanley?s Active Low-Carber Forum Posts


Thanks to Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!

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2022-03-01
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Vibrators

It's a sexual health episode! This week, Mike and Aubrey dive into the hotly debated medical history of vibrators and ask: who fact-checks the fact-checkers? 

Note: A previous version of this episode included language that referred to ?the female downstairs,? implying both that gender is linked to genitals (it isn?t) and that vibrators were used primarily by cis women (they weren?t). We love our trans listeners and we don?t want to do anything that makes them feel excluded, so we?ve removed the sections where that language appeared. We'll be discussing this and our approach to handling feedback in more detail soon. Thanks to everyone who wrote in to let us know! ? Mike


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Links!

The Technology of Orgasm by Rachel MainesBuzz by Hallie LiebermanSignior DildoHysteria! trailerVibrators had a long history as medical quackery before feminists rebranded them as sex toysA Failure of Academic Quality Control: The Technology of OrgasmHow Gosnell Duncan Changed the Sex Toy Game ForeverVictorian Doctors Didn't Treat Women With Orgasms, Say Historians (Almost) Everything You Know About the Invention of the Vibrator Is WrongSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/maintenancephase)
2021-11-30
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Diet Book Deep Dive: Angela Lansbury's "Positive Moves"

At the height of her "Murder She Wrote" fame, Angela Lansbury released a home workout video full of synth music, peach jumpsuits and ~sensuality~. This week, we?re exploring the anti-Goop-ness of Angela?s fitness book and video, "Positive Moves."!  It gets a little heavy toward the end, but we promise: No one was canceled in the making of this episode. 

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Links!

Positive Moves video on YouTube (cued up to ?moving freely?)Positive Moves bookWhat is Gaslighting? The 1944 film Gaslight is the best explainer.Support the show
2021-10-26
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Rachel Hollis Part 1: Hashtag Relatable

Marianne Williamson

The Great Protein Fiasco

How Nestlé executives, global health institutions and a very racist white lady seeded a series of nutritional misconceptions we're still living with today. 

Special thanks to John Nott for helping us out with this episode! Here's his papers on the history of protein and the British Empire.

?No one may starve in the British Empire?: Kwashiorkor, Protein and the Politics of Nutrition Between Britain and Africa?How Little Progress?? A Political Economy of Postcolonial Nutrition

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Links!

Cicely Williams? dissertationDariush Mozaffarian's "History of Modern Nutrition Science"The Incidence Of Protein-Calorie Malnutrition Of Early ChildhoodAn Error of Medicine? Kwashiorkor and the ?Protein Gap?Childhood Malnutrition In Developing Nations: Looking Back and Looking ForwardThe Politics of ProteinThe Impact of Colonialism on Health and Health Services in TanzaniaBreast-Milk and the World Protein GapThe Influence of Colonialism on Africa?s Welfare: An Anthropometric StudyFood, Colonialism and the Quantum of HappinessRevisited: Is Subclinical Protein Deficiency A Significant Public Health Concern?Listening to the Ga: Cicely Williams? Discovery of Kwashiorkor on the Gold Coast?Milking the Third World: Humanitarianism, Capitalism and the Moral Economy of the Nestlé Boycott?The Controversy Over Infant FormulaWar on Want?s ?The Baby Killer ?75 years of Kwashiorkor In AfricaThe Rise and Fall of Protein Malnutrition in Global HealthSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/maintenancephase)
2021-08-31
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The Body Mass Index

The BMI is EVERYWHERE. But is it scientific or scientif-ish? While many Americans think of the body mass index as an objective measure of health, its history reveals a more complicated story. This week, Mike and Aubrey tackle the first in a two-part series about the BMI and the ?Obesity Epidemic.? Along the way they visit 18th century Belgium, learn a gross new acronym and dissect Dracula's facial features.

LINKS!:

The Bizarre and Racist History of the BMI (Elemental) Adolphe Quetelet, Social Physics, and the Average Men of Science, 1796-1874 (University of Pittsburgh Press)Mindful of eugenics? dark history, researchers are reexamining the genetics of social mobility (Quartz) Adolphe Quetelet (1796?1874)?the average man and indices of obesity (Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation)For Researchers on Obesity: Historical Review of Extra Body Weight Definitions (Obesity)Quetelet, Adolphe (Canada?s Eugenics Archives)Top 10 Reasons Why The BMI Is Bogus (NPR)The False Science Linking Body Shape to Personality (The Atlantic)Obesity task force linked to WHO takes ?millions? from drug firms (The BMJ)Impact of weight bias and stigma on quality of care and outcomes for patients with obesity (Obesity Reviews) 



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2021-08-03
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School Lunches, P-Hacking and the Original "Pizzagate"

2021-07-20
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The Keto Diet

So long, root vegetables! This week, we dive into the strange and surprising history of the 100-year-old ketogenic diet. Along the way, we encounter a Victorian bodybuilder, an infamous podcast bro and the possibility of a bad Meryl Streep performance (!). Get in, loser, we're counting macros!

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Links!

What Is the Keto Diet and Does It Work? (NYT)The Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss (Today?s Dietitian)Meet the Wackiest Billionaire Ever to Run for President (Money)Trailer for "First, Do No Harm"Keto Diet History - How the Ketogenic Diet Went Mainstream (Men's Health)7 Dangers of the Keto Diet | Health.com (Health Magazine)15 Keto Diet Side Effects to Know ? Possible Keto Diet Dangers (Prevention)Ketogenic Diet May Lead to an Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes (The Physiological Society)



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2021-07-06
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Oprah Winfrey & "John of God"

Special guest Kimberly Springer joins us to talk about an infamous, dangerous faith healer and his two ? two! ? appearances on Oprah's talk show. This episode contains, we're sorry to say, detailed descriptions of sexual assault. 

Buy Kimberly's books:

Stories of Oprah: The Oprahfication of American CultureLiving for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968-1980

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Links!

Behind the Bastards podcast series on John of God The O Magazine articleJohn of God, the Miracle HealerCelebrity Healer in Brazil Is Accused of Sexually Abusing FollowersOprah?s 2012 article


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2021-06-22
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Oprah Winfrey & The ?Wagon of Fat?

Do you have weird feelings about Oprah? So do we, and so does our guest! Kimberly Springer, co-editor of "Stories of Oprah: The Oprahfication of American Culture," joins us to talk about the rise of Oprah Winfrey and her infamous "wagon of fat" weight loss episode.

Buy Kimberly's books:

Stories of Oprah: The Oprahfication of American CultureLiving for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968-1980

Support us:

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Clips!

Oprah Winfrey Rolls Out A Wagon Of Fat  (Buzzfeed)How Oprah's Weight Affected Her Relationship with Stedman (Oprah)MadTv - Oprah - Fat Cam (Mad TV)

Links!

The Importance of Being Oprah (New York Times Magazine)Oprah's 'Fattest' Mistake (CBS News)5 awesome objects from the new Oprah exhibit (Washington Post)Oprah's biggest on-air mistake? The wagon of fat (Today)Diet That Made Oprah Winfrey Slim Demands Discipline, Specialists Say (New York Times)Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/maintenancephase)
2021-06-08
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Celery Juice

Do you have viruses? Cysts? Cancer? Are you tired sometimes? According to Instagram, the  problem might be a lack of liquefied vegetables! This week, Mike and Aubrey take on a troubling taste test, meet a ghost with bad intentions and encounter the longest list of problematic celebrities we've ever seen.

Plus, we start the show with an announcement: We're doing Patreon-only bonus episodes! Sign up here: https://www.patreon.com/maintenancephase

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Links!

Anthony William on ExtraAnthony William on Keeping Up with the KardashiansCelery Juice Is the Perfect, Probably Pointless Trend for 2019 (Vanity Fair)Food Isn't Medicine. Here's Why It's Dangerous to Believe It Is. (Huffington Post)Is celery juice a viable alternative to nitrites in cured meats? (McGill University)Is Celery Juice a Sham? (The New York Times)Today's Diet Fads (Today's Dietitian)People think celery juice can protect you from COVID-19. Here's why that's categorically false. (Mama Mia)

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2021-05-25
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The Wellness to QAnon Pipeline

Special guest Mike Rothschild tells us how the road to wellness can be an on-ramp to a conspiracy theory. Along the way we debunk oil pulling, explore Instagram aesthetics and bemoan anti-vaxx argumentation tactics . Mike gets the date of the January 6th insurrection wrong and he is sorry.

Mike Rothschild is on Twitter and you can pre-order his book here!

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Thanks to Ashley Smith for editing assistance and Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!




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2021-05-11
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Diet Book Deep Dive: Ed McMahon?s ?Slimming Down?

This week is our first  Diet Book Deep Dive, where we dig into some of the worst and wildest weight loss advice we can find.  First up: Tonight Show sidekick Ed McMahon's pun, alcohol and misogyny-fueled diet plan from the 1970s. Hope you like broiled steak and Sanka!

Clips!

Ed McMahon & Britney Spears on Star SearchEd McMahon for American Family Sweepstakes

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Thanks to Lynn Barbera for editing assistance and Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!

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2021-04-27
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Eating Disorders

Fat people have them too! This week, special guest Erin Harrop tells us about one of America's most under-diagnosed and misunderstood problems. Along the way we talk about elbow bumps, Twitter etiquette and '90s sweatpants. Our content warnings are becoming increasingly threatening.

Here's Erin's faculty page and a bunch of her research!

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Thanks to Mitra Kaboli for production support and Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!

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2021-03-30
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The Master Cleanse

Are your moods too stable? Is your face free of cold sores? Get your lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper ready, because this week we're talking about celebrity favorite THE MASTER CLEANSE!

Along the way we roast New Atheism, praise Gwyneth Paltrow (!) and endorse garbanzo bean salads. Mike wishes to clarify that he adores Kate Bush and quips with the utmost affection.

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Links!:

The Master Cleanser by Stanley BurroughsI Heard It Through the Diet Grapevine (New York Times)Improving Ourselves to Death (The New Yorker)Cleansing's Dirty Secret (Marie Claire)Mr. Clean: Jeffrey Steingarten Puts the Master Cleanse to the Test (Vogue)The Dubious Practice of Detox (Harvard Health)


Thanks to Ashley Smith for editing assistance and Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!

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2021-03-02
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Snake Oil

The world of dieting and wellness is full of so-called snake oil salesmen?but what IS snake oil? This week, we take a wild ride through the history of health scams and discover a startling twist about an everyday idiom. Along the way, Aubrey delivers fun facts about sanitation from memory and Mike roasts the state where most of his family lives. 

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Links:

Snake Oil, Hustlers & Hambones by Mary AndersonA History Of 'Snake Oil Salesmen' : Code Switch (NPR)How Snake Oil Got a Bad Rap (Hint: It Wasn?t The Snakes? Fault) (Collectors Weekly)

Thanks to Ashley Smith for editing assistance and Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!

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2021-02-02
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Halo Top Ice Cream

WE?RE BACK! A new diet ice cream is taking your grocery store by storm. But what even is it? This week, Mike and Aubrey talk biohacking, dieting for straight dudes and the extremely ill-advised "Halo Top diet."

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Links!

What is biohacking? The new ?science? of optimizing your brain and body. (Vox) Halo Top Is Now the Most Popular Pint of Ice Cream in America (Food and Wine) What It's Like to Eat Nothing but This Magical, Healthy Ice Cream for 10 Days (GQ) Is Halo Top Good For You? The Truth About Low-Calorie, Low-Fat Ice Creams (HuffPost)Seven in 10 young people would eat whole tub of low-cal ice cream (The Grocer UK)

Thanks to Ashley Smith for editing assistance and Doctor Dreamchip for our lovely theme song!

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2021-01-05
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