Throw the word “health” at Google, and you will retrieve, as I write this, about 958 million results. Alternatively, if you feel up to reading them, you could directly consult the medical journals for information; the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE service indexes about 5,000 of them. If you are into health and fitness magazines, you probably have more than 100 of those to choose from.
Clearly, a world of health information is out there and readily available if you want it. The problem is one of navigating through it to worthy destinations. Finding your way to relevant, trustworthy information, presented in terms that are not only understandable but appealing to your interests, is still a challenge.
That is why we dare to think the magazine you hold in your hands, Scientific American Body, has something special to offer to the curious health consumer. Scientific American has been covering new developments in medicine, science and technology for more than 162 years. It brings together leading health professionals and experienced journalists to explain the significance of new discoveries, the state of current knowledge and the bright possibilities just coming over the horizon. And as the realm of knowledge about health and medicine continues to expand, Scientific American is proud to present new offerings in print and online to keep you informed about it.
We believe that sophisticated health readers want more than a service-oriented breakdown of what to eat, what drugs to take and how to exercise. Scientific American Body therefore brings you just enough of the science underlying health recommendations for you to draw your own conclusions about their solidity or even their safety. Yet we also realize that health and wellness is not purely a matter of medical science—that there is an artistry to healing that needs to take into account the whole of a person. Thus, Body also includes voices of personal testimonial, discussing their own experiences with illness, recovery and prevention. We are also eager to take a clear-eyed look at the state of alternative medicine and to hail it for its successes or to criticize it for its failures, depending on what the data show.
But Body is more than just this printed issue. Follow its links online to www.SciAm.com/Body, where you can further explore all these health topics and many more, through the full informational resources of Scientific American. You will also find there growing communities of patients, family members and health professionals ready to share their insights and hear what you have to say, too.
Read on and be well.
Editor in chief
This article was originally published with the title The Science of Staying Well.