Yes, women, there is such a thing as being too
lean--if a working reproductive system is desired, that is. In Female Fertility and the Body Fat Connection
, Dr. Rose Frisch neatly condenses 30 years of her own dogged research into one illuminating thesis: a critical, minimum amount of body fat is necessary for reproduction. To prove her theory, Frisch virtually opens her lifelong research journal, offering human sexuality refresher notes here, anthropological perspectives there, anecdotes from worldwide scientific conferences, and a heavy dose of the fascinating studies she has initiated and supported. She shows how body fat (not chronological age) plays the lead role in initiating menarche; how a lack of body fat signals the brain to "turn off" a woman's ability to ovulate; and how exercise and food intake can be maximized for long-term health. Mathematical formulae to help women assess their "fertile" body mass index provide the only tools for encouraging pregnancy here. Frisch calls her work a "scientific saga," undoubtedly because of the trials she endured as a humble researcher toting a whopper of a theory. But, she prophecies, the saga shall further unfold as societies digest--and act upon--these exciting biological discoveries. --Liane Emory Thomas
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From Library Journal
Although women tend to abhor body fat, it plays an important role in the reproductive process. Frisch (associate professor emerita, Ctr. for Population and Development Studies, Harvard Sch. of Public Health) has studied the relationship between body composition and fertility for many years. In her fascinating book, she explains the intricate relationships among weight, body composition, and hormones. Using data from her longitudinal studies of young girls and women, she demonstrates that a "critical fitness level" is necessary for reproduction, noting that women who are too lean or too fat have trouble conceiving. Frisch also shows that diet and exercise are very important for women's long-term health and tells readers how to calculate their body mass index, the ratio of weight to height that indicates fitness. Charts will allow readers to see if their body mass index is within the healthy range. Unlike more clinical resources like C. Maud Doherty and Melanie Morrissey Clar's The Fertility Handbook, Frisch's book provides a thoroughly understandable account of important scientific research that will provide women with the tools to regulate their health. Highly recommended for all collections. Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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