Top positive review
174 people found this helpful
The best current book on the subject. Readable. Practical.
on September 28, 2013
My doctor is a cranky old Frenchman (aren't they all?) who asks every fifty year old the same question: Do you want to get healthy or do you want to do drugs? His point is both cultural and personal: your health is your responsibility yet in America we mostly ignore lifestyle and start popping pills. Dr. Katz makes the same points in his new book Disease Proof.
For anyone interested in personal and public health this is not a new message. What Katz brings, though, is a reasoned argument based on the best research that is presented in a readable and accessible way. Not everyone will appreciate the message: I have neighbors who are fat, eat terribly, and sneak out for a smoke whenever they think no one is looking. Yet they vacation every year in Mexico for two weeks of chelation treatment to `clear' the toxins from their bodies. They really aren't interested in `food, less of it, mostly plants' or in daily exercise or in taking daily responsibility for their health. For those interested in real health, though, Katz offers up a comprehensive guide to holistic health and systemic changes.
There are a few things that separate Katz from the crowd. He has an impeccable academic resume and has developed the NuVal system for nutritional labeling. He has a long history of successful work in obesity and health that includes books, programs, and organizations. Mostly, though, he probes deeper and deeper into the physiological mechanisms of health and well being and is able to present them to a lay audience in a meaningful way. In Disease Proof he wraps all of this up into a neat little package.
Though his message sounds like your grandmother's his arguments are based on research. The real kind. Peer reviewed, tested, tested again, and then reviewed again. This is different from the stuff than you'll hear on Saturday morning AM radio. (Take only three pounds of vitamin D a day to cure all ills!) It is hard to argue with his reasons.
I like his take on the genetic component to health. This is typically tossed up as something we can't fight. Katz recognizes this but argues that, while we can't alter our genes, we can improve our general health to the point that genes which might promote disease have little to work with.
The book is an easy read and a strong challenge to anyone who wants increased health. He offers both scientific reasons and practical means for smart decision making. The writing is accessible and the presentation flows well. In all maybe the best book presenting current academic understanding of the total health picture.