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Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples Paperback – August 28, 2007

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Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples + The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 Reprint edition (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345490118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345490117
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

How do the Abkhasians of the Caucasus Mountains, the Vilcabambans of Ecuador and the Hunzans of Pakistan live to a very old age while enjoying full physical and mental health? Robbins—who famously rejected his Baskin-Robbins inheritance to pursue a healthful and compassionate lifestyle that he would eventually trumpet in his bestselling Diet for a New America—explains that all three cultures eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and other natural foods that are low in calories, protein, sugar and fat. They cherish their children and their elders, foster a positive mental attitude and place a premium on vigorous and constant physical activity that is built into their daily routines. Industrialized nations, on the other hand, fear and loathe the aging process and disrespect the elderly. Their citizens often lead stressful lives, stuff themselves with processed foods and drive everywhere. As Robbins challenges readers to give up bad habits and adopt smarter routines concerning food, exercise and work, he distills the familiar philosophies of Dean Ornish and other gurus and serves up some hippie-dippy pap ("Dance in the moonlight"). Yet his advice is mostly commonsensical and scientifically sound, and readers seeking that elusive fountain of youth would be wise to listen up. (Sept. 12)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Robbins has moved on from his career as a successful ice-cream manufacturer to a zealous devotion to encouraging his fellow Americans to eat better. Here he examines selected data from four diverse cultures renowned for the numbers of centenarians among them. Robbins contends that the reason for these long lives lies in food and lifestyle issues. He sets store by organic foods, small portions, and lots of heart-stimulating exercise, the attributes he finds in common among all these old people despite their vast geographic remove from one another. Robbins' arguments would be strengthened if he presented more rigorous life-expectancy statistics about the general populations in which these elders flourish. Does every person in these societies live to 100? If not, what are the differences between the elders and the rest of their own societies? Advocates of globalization will cringe at Robbins' negative assessment of the inroads of world culture on formerly isolated societies. He stands on much firmer ground when he advocates greater respect for the elderly, their experience, and their wisdom in contemporary, youth-obsessed Western culture. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

John Robbins is the bestselling author of Voices of the Food Revolution, No Happy Cows, Diet for a New America, and many other landmark works. He is founder of EarthSave International and the co-founder and co-host of the 100,000+ member Food Revolution Network,

Robbins' books also include THE NEW GOOD LIFE: Living Better Than Ever in an Age of Less, HEALTHY AT 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples, THE AWAKENED HEART: Meditations on Finding Harmony in a Changing World, and RECLAIMING OUR HEALTH: Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the Source of True Healing.

Robbins' work has been the subject of cover stories and feature articles in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Life, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and many of the nation's other major newspapers and magazines. His life and work have also been featured in an hour long PBS special titled Diet For A New America.

The only son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire, John Robbins was groomed to follow in his father's footsteps, but chose to walk away from Baskin-Robbins and the immense wealth it represented to "...pursue the deeper American Dream...the dream of a society at peace with its conscience because it respects and lives in harmony with all life forms. A dream of a society that is truly healthy, practicing a wise and compassionate stewardship of a balanced ecosystem."

Considered by many to be one of the most eloquent and powerful spokespersons in the world for a sane, ethical and sustainable future, John has been a featured and keynote speaker at major conferences sponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Beyond War, Oxfam, the Sierra Club, the Humane Society of the United States, the United Nations Environmental Program, UNICEF, and many other organizations dedicated to creating a healthy, just, and sustainable way of life. He is the recipient of the Rachel Carson Award, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, the Peace Abbey's Courage of Conscience Award, and lifetime achievement awards from groups including Green America. The widespread media attention he has received has included numerous appearances on national shows including Oprah, Donahue and Geraldo. When John spoke at the United Nations, he received a standing ovation.

John serves on the Boards of many non-profit groups working toward a thriving, just, and sustainable way of life. He is the Founder and Board Chair Emeritus of EarthSave International (, an organization dedicated to healthy food choices, preservation of the environment, and a more compassionate world.

John's life is dedicated to creating an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet. He lives with his wife Deo, their son Ocean and his wife Michele, and their grandsons River and Bodhi in the hills outside Santa Cruz, California. The Robbins' offices and home run on solar electricity.

For information about John, for access to his articles and posts, or to sign up to be notified of his future posts and events, visit, or join the Food Revolution Network at

Customer Reviews

It is a great book for anyone and very easy to read.
R. Arteaga
If you want to live a healthier life, more centered in your optimum health potential, and more in touch with what really gives you life, read this book.
Theodore Hargrave
John Robbin's book Health at 100 is one of the finest books I've read on living a healthy, vibrant life.
John A. Wood

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

228 of 235 people found the following review helpful By Patrick D. Goonan on January 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At one time, I was a research scientist who studied both biochemistry and physiology in graduate school. Now, I work in the psychology area with an emphasis on integrating psychology, the world's wisdom traditions and the mind-body connection. I am well read in a variety of subject areas, I read ravenously in general and I've reviewed a lot of books on Amazon. Therefore, when I say this is a GREAT book and that I had difficulty putting it down, this is not faint praise. I actually do believe this should be a bestseller!

The core of this book is the study of four cultures who have a history of producing long-lived people. Specifically, it looks at the Abkhasia of the Caucasus, the Vilcabamba or Ecuador, the Hunza and the centenarians of Japan. It also discusses the China Study in some detail, which was the largest anti-cancer provention study ever undertaken. In short, the books discusses what these cultures have in common and provides informed opinions about the reasons they experience such long longetivity.

The whole book is punctuated by interesting facts by authoratative individuals, organizations and other studies. This lends credibiility to the author's argument for eating more whole grains, less calories, increasing the consumption of vegetables and fruits, going organic and leading an activity life that includes walking, regular exercise of other types and meaningful relationships.

One of the more beautiful and poignant premises of the book is that ALL of the cultures mentioned above revere older members of the society and a positive attitude toward aging that is lacking in our society. Mr. Robbins also repeatedly mentions the importance of close relationships and leading a meaningful life.
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Friedrich on October 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm not quite sure what I expected, but since I'm only 37 years old, I didn't expect to be completely blown away. But I was. The book is a thorough look not just at aging, but at living--at how to live a life filled with joy.

I could not agree more with Dr. Dean Ornish, who writes on the book jacket: "If you are interested in extending your health span as well as your life span, read this book! Healthy at 100 is a masterpiece."
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88 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Francis Tapon VINE VOICE on September 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
OVERALL: A must read for all homo sapiens who want to live a happy life, not just a healthy one.


* Quite rational and measured. Robbins constantly tempers his enthusiasm for the four healthy cultures he examines. He refrains from idealizing them, which strengthens his argument. He doesn't gush over their way of life and points out their shortcomings (e.g., lack of refrigeration, dirt floors, poor telecommunications, etc...).

* Adds two components that he didn't mention much in his previous books: exercise and love. He's always focused on diet, but now he spends more time talking about the importance of exercise and creating a loving community.

* He's less dogmatic about being a vegan. He admits that the longest lived people in the world (the Okinawans) eat fish regularly. His concerns are how fish have more mercury than ever and that we've over-fished our waters.

* Well researched and documented. As usual, Robbins cites his sources for those who want to dig deeper. He's professional.

CON: His argument that the gaps between rich and poor is the predictor of a nation's health is weak. I would have liked to see more evidence of that.

CONCLUSION: I love this book and recommend it to anyone. I've read 3 of his books and this is the best so far. It's balanced and persuasive. He's matured and become quite wise.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By W. Gary Goodson on March 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book which reviews four cultures which achieved health at old age. But it goes beyond the historical perspective and cites recent studies which support the lifestyle and dietary approach of these four cultures.

The book led me to read other books which support this mostly vegetarian, whole grain approach to achieving good health as one ages. I was led to The Spectrum by Dean Ornish, The China Study by Colin Campbell, and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn. They are all excellent books. But having read Healthy at 100 first they had much more meaning to me.

I was motivated to try the Esselstyn program even though I am in very good health at age 72. And without even trying I have lost 10 pounds in three weeks. This was not a real objective of the trial, but it is a nice side benefit. I was not overweight, but feel that my new weight is what I would like to maintain. I was also impressed with how easy it was for me to adjust to the vegetarian diet, although I tried to avoid eating a lot of meat before.

I was also motivated to try the vegetarian approach by the high percentage of people whose first sign that they have heart disease is the incident that causes their death. I also was impressed to learn that the four cultures discussed in the book also significantly avoided many other diseases that we have come to think are a natural part of aging.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Theodore Hargrave on September 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I laughed when I read the editorial review from Booklist, that begins with the words: "Robbins has moved on from his career as a successful ice-cream manufacturer..." Obviously, that reviewer hasn't actually read Healthy at 100.

I have, however, and I am exceedingly grateful for all I've learned, and even more for the experiences I have had while reading, and as a result of reading, this extraordinary book. In the days since I finished it, I've felt uplifted in every cell of my body. I also shared it with an older friend, who read it. She then gathered her children, friends, and grandchildren around her so that we could talk together about aging. My friend spoke of what she is grateful for in my life, and all that she is looking forward to in her later years. We talked about our images of aging, where they come from, and whether or not they serve our optimum health potential. None of this would have happened without Robbins' fabulous new book.

Prior to reading Healthy at 100, like most Americans I had adopted a pretty negative view of aging. But as a result of the exquisite blend of heartful wisdom and rational clarity in Robbins' superbly written book, I now have a positive and beautiful vision of what my wisdom years can entail, and the steps I can take not only to live long but to live well. He describes exactly the steps we can take not only to increase our life spans, but also to increase our health spans.

I have read a great number of books on health and healing, on diet and exercise, and on the healing powers of love and positive attitudes. I've never read a book as full of truth, as deeply grounded in the joys and struggles of life, as real and authentic, as Healthy at 100.
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