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289 of 298 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, basic manual addressing total body health needs
As the subtitle to this book suggests, the main purpose of this manual is to help you live a long, healthy life through educating you about your body and its needs. The first author, Michael Roizen, is the pioneer of the RealAge concept--i.e., the idea that age is better measured by lifestyle factors rather than chronology--and he incorporates much of this concept into...
Published on May 4, 2005 by Beth Cholette

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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great BASIC OVERVIEW of how to take care of yourself.
This book may be a five star read for those people who do not already know its contents, but for me, and anyone else who is generally health-conscious and up to speed on diet and exercise habits, it was old news. For example, if you already know that asprin thins the blood and therefore reduces risk of brain and heart disorders, if you already know that omega-3 fatty...
Published on June 7, 2006 by streem


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289 of 298 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, basic manual addressing total body health needs, May 4, 2005
As the subtitle to this book suggests, the main purpose of this manual is to help you live a long, healthy life through educating you about your body and its needs. The first author, Michael Roizen, is the pioneer of the RealAge concept--i.e., the idea that age is better measured by lifestyle factors rather than chronology--and he incorporates much of this concept into the current work. In order to get a baseline sense of how much you already know about your body, the first chapter includes a self-assessment, The Body-Quotient Quiz. This multiple-choice questionnaire offers some surprising answers to questions as diverse as "What is the genetic reason that men typically want more sex than women?" and "What is the main purpose of skin?"

The book proceeds to devote a separate chapter to each of the following areas/systems of the body: the heart; the brain and nervous system; bones, joints, and muscles; the lungs; the digestive system; the sexual and sensory organs; the immune system; hormones; and cancer. Each chapter provides basic educational information, much of which is conveyed in easy-to-read "myth busters" and "factoid" formats. Then, once you have learned all the essential information about that area, the authors present a "Live Younger Action Plan," which is a step-by-step guide to making the lifestyle adjustments that can help you to live a longer, healthier life. Some of these actions involve simply making yourself more aware of your own body--eg, finding out your cholesterol levels--while others involve an actual behavioral change such as modifying what you eat. The final 50 pages of the book provide a simple diet plan based on very general guidelines; for instance, the authors offer recommendations under the categories of "foods to eat daily," "foods to eat weekly," and "foods to avoid." Also in this section is a suggested ten-day menu schedule which includes approximately 40 recipes.

This book contains a wealth of important information about general health and well-being. However, readers who already have a fundamental understanding of the factors which contribute to a healthy lifestyle may find this manual to be too basic. Adding to the book's sometimes primitive presentation are the illustrations, which, while clear and helpful, also border on juvenille in that they include depictions of strange, elf-like figures. Overall, however, this book imparts a great deal of vital knowledge in a simple, straight-forward manner, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to learn basic facts about their body's needs.
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180 of 195 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your heart, lungs, and liver want you to buy this book, August 19, 2005
This is a truly great and informative book. I've been a practicing physician for almost 25 years, and I can't tell you how many patients suffer from the most basic ignorance of their own body!

I couldn't put it any easier than this. Roizen does a terrific job of squeezing years of medical training into a human body user's manual that's fun and easy to read. I now recommend it to all my patients!

Don't skip this book. Do your body a favor and learn a little about it.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great BASIC OVERVIEW of how to take care of yourself., June 7, 2006
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This book may be a five star read for those people who do not already know its contents, but for me, and anyone else who is generally health-conscious and up to speed on diet and exercise habits, it was old news. For example, if you already know that asprin thins the blood and therefore reduces risk of brain and heart disorders, if you already know that omega-3 fatty acids contained in salmon help the heart function properly, if you already know that peanuts, olive oil, and multivitamins are necessary parts of your diet, if you already know that 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week is healthy, then you probably will not learn too much by reading this book.
As far as the way it is written...there are way too many cheesy analogies that stray from the facts. It seems the book is written for teenagers but geered for adults.
Overall it is a good general health guide, but it is by no means revolutionary or even deeply informative. I would recommend it to anyone who has not previously researched diet and nutrition.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, valuable info, fun, January 13, 2006
This is one of those rare non-fiction best sellers that actually deserves to be a best seller. The title gets your attention, so you crack it open expecting to spend five minutes satisfying your curiosity. Before you know it an hour has gone by and you're cruising along absorbing a wealth of medical information of intimate concern to you and your family. It does this with the aid of editorial layout techniques you've seen before ... multi-choice quizzes, truth-or-myth blurbs, factoids, clever and effective illustrations. While such techniques in other books often come across as cheesy, in this book they are used effectively, probably because they are built from such valuable and interesting information. The book is large, but it's not an encyclopedia. The focus is on organs and conditions that are most important to the aging process, and conditions most preventable. It concerns issues you talk about and are concerned with, e.g., what is the greatest threat to your arteries (its not cholesterol); what's the most revealing sign that you might have Alzheimers; fact or fiction - ginkgo biloba is a good brain function booster? Especially nice is every chapter ends with specific recommended actions. The last 57 pages regard exercise, diet, recipes. Written for the layperson in a concise but fun style. I might disagree with a minor point now and then, but on the whole this is a great additional to a health and fitness library.

Each year I update my short list of recommended reading for my adult health & fitness clients. I chose books that are some combination of breakthrough, effective, satisfying, and fun. You: The Owners Manual easily makes the list. (For those interested, other books that made the list for 2006 are: Healthy Aging, Joe X, Backsmart Fitness Plan, Stretching, and George Stella's Livin' Low Carb.)
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent primer on health and wellness, January 1, 2006
By 
David "Indiscriminate Reader" (Halethorpe, MD, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book is for people who want a breezy overview of the human body and how its internals work. The authors cover everything from (literally) head to toe, with chapters on your senses, your internal organs, your brain, your muscles, your bones, your hormones, and so on. There is of course a chapter specifically devoted to everyone's favorite body-related subject (sex), and another one devoted to everyone's least-favorite body-related subject (cancer). The final chapter consists of an "Owner's Manual Diet." (More about that below.)

This isn't an anatomy textbook -- you get a description of all the important parts of your body, but the scientific names are incidental to the information about how care and treatment of all your various parts contributes to your health. And to make it more "readable," the text is full of rather cheesy jokes, and the illustrations are embellished with humorous variations on Latin names as well as little elves crawling around inside plumbing apparatus representing your internal organs. "You: The Owner's Manual" does not look or read like a textbook, but the humor is a bit sophomoric at times. Overlook that, and you'll learn a lot of interesting facts that even a fairly savvy student of health and fitness might not know. They even talk about how often you should poop and what it should look like! So maybe that's not something you thought you wanted to know, but now that you know it's actually another indicator of your health, aren't you curious?

Throughout the book, the authors refer to your "RealAge," which is supposedly the biological age of your body based on your habits. Practice good habits and your "RealAge" can be less than your chronological age, while bad habits will age you prematurely. The advice is good, though one wonders exactly how they are able to determine how many years you can add to your life by having frequent sex or by eating three bananas a day (1.6 and 0.6, respectively, according to the authors). (Yes, I know, it's based on statistical averages -- which to me makes it seem a little misleading to suggest that doing a certain thing will increase your lifespan by some specific, measurable amount.)

Overall, I found this to be an informative, interesting, often enlightening book that taught me quite a bit I didn't know before. There were a few bits of advice I'd take with a grain of salt (some of the alleged benefits of certain foods haven't been proven), and a lot of other advice that, while probably a good idea, is not going to be practical for everyone. (How many people will really put on SPF 45 sunblocker EVERY TIME they go outside? Or throw away every sponge they use to wash dishes after one use?) But all this information is good to know, and you can read through the entire book pretty quickly.

The Owner's Manual Diet at the end, I'm afraid, falls in the "impractical" category. The recipes look good, and they are certainly healthy, but first of all, the authors lay out a one-size-fits-all 1600 calorie-per-day meal plan that is not appropriate for everyone, male and female, regardless of your current weight and activity level! And if you engage in a regular, vigorous exercise program, their diet is also a little lacking in protein, I think. But more importantly, while they claim that many of the recipes are "easy," I found that the majority were either NOT easy or contained lots of high-end specialty ingredients you won't easily find at every neighborhood supermarket. "Grilled vegetable sandwich with fresh goat cheese"? "Teriyaki tofu with red bell pepper and shiitakes over whole-grain jasmine rice"? OK, not ALL the recipes are that yuppified, but how many of you regularly stock your kitchens with arugala leaves, whole wheat gemelli pasta, mirin, light silken tofu, and wasabi powder? (Ingredients among each of several recipes I just flipped open to at random.) If you are never short of various kinds of vinegars, oils, spices, and fresh produce, then you might have the ingredients on hand to make most of their dishes, but I really can't see these meals being the sort of thing most working people can prepare on a regular basis. It's a great mini-cookbook full of healthy, flavorful recipes, but it's certainly not a sustainable diet plan.

However, since that's just the last chapter in the book and doesn't detract much from the overall message, I deducted only one star from an otherwise exemplary "owner's manual," for the small number of items that I found to be impractical and/or questionable. Read this book with just a little bit of skepticism, rather than accepting everything as gospel truth, and you'll find it to be quite worthwhile.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU: Should be Mandatory Reading, April 18, 2006
By 
Jeanie Robinson-Pownall (The Rolling Hills of Chester County, PA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I purchased YOU: The Owner's Manual with a amazon.com gift certificate I received for my birthday in May 2005. It is now April 2006 and I am 28 pounds lighter due to some simple changes recommended in this book. I restructured my eating habits one thing at a time and I truly am surprised at how fast the weight came off. One of the biggest concepts I had to get around was not wasting food. (My parents grew up during the Great Depression and food was never wasted in our home; everything had to be "finished.") Now I eat small portions of vegetarian food and don't eat something if it isn't absolutely delicious. (I never waste precious calories on candy bars, but do indulge in Godiva chocolates from time time to time.) I simply refuse to eat something just to be polite.

Interestingly enough, I did not purchase the book with the concept it would guide me through weight loss, although I have been trying to lose weight for the past four years. I now see that everything I did in past efforts was too drastic: too all or nothing.

All systems of the body are covered and there are silly little illustrations of elves throughout. The authors tell you WHAT and describe WHY in witty, easy to understand terms. My favorite line refers to the necessity of flossing your teeth: you only need to floss the teeth you want to keep.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down to Earth, funny, and informative, August 6, 2006
By 
Melissa Niksic (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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My husband's doctor suggested that he read this book, so of course my husband bought it, handed it to me, and said, "Read this and tell me what it says!" Well, I did, and I was very impressed with the quality of this book. "YOU: The Owner's Manual" is a comprehensive overview of the different organs and systems that make up the human body. Science has never really been my thing, and I was afraid that reading this book would generate unpleasant flashbacks to my high-school biology days. That wasn't the case at all. The authors present a lot of useful information in a very humorous way, which kept me very engaged. The basic goals of this book are to educate people on how the human body works and also explain what can be done to stay healthy and lower your "RealAge" (referring to ones biological age instead of chronological age).

I like the fact that this book is geared toward the everyday person. The authors assume that the people reading the book aren't huge health or fitness nuts, and so the aim of the book is to explain how a little effort can go a long way. There are a bunch of tips on how to alter your lifestyle in small ways, and then the books explain how those small things will make a big difference in your overall health. The book also contains a bunch of interesting facts that will make for great dinner conversation. (Did you know that human beings grow a new set of eyelashes every five weeks? Were you aware that women who have sex without condoms are less likely to be depressed because semen acts as a powerful mood-altering chemical? This is fascinating stuff!)

Finally, the book includes a 10-day diet that is designed to help people jump-start a healthy lifestyle. I haven't tried the diet yet, but I'm probably going to suggest to my husband that we give it a shot. The recipes look pretty easy to make and they also sound quite tasty!

Overall, this is a fantastic book. Everyone should read it so they can learn how to protect their most important asset: themselves.
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45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You: The Owner's Manual, February 10, 2007
I purchased this book for the same reason everyone else did: I wanted to know more about my body and how to properly care for it. Unfortunately, the book wasn't nearly as informative as I had hoped. I also became irritated by jokes and silly illustrations, which I felt only took away from the presentation (and no, I'm definitely not a "humorless" type of person). I really just wanted some straightforward information with perhaps a little light-hearted humor here and there. Instead, I felt the "You" humor overpowered the book. I also felt like the information was, at times, presented in a very "dumbed-down" manner and that's never something I can appreciate.

I also had problems with some of the statistics and other "facts" which have not been proven but were presented as though they had. And when I reached the chapter on sexuality and read that "women only think about sex every two or three days, while men think about it at least once a day" (not quoted verbatim) I almost tossed the book in the trash! Hasn't this been proven inaccurate ten thousand times over? I'm a woman and I know I think about sex at LEAST once a day. I was so disgusted that two medical professionals would help spread this tired old myth!

There are some who might find this book funny and interesting; can't count myself among them. There are plenty of good health guides out there that don't patronize readers or feed them questionable information.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ever wish life came with instructions?, August 25, 2006
By 
Well this is about as close as you're going to get. Witty, informative, this book tells you what you SHOULD be doing to keep yourself healthy. It's written for both men and women's health with up to date and time proven information. Plus it's an easy and suprisingly entertaining read. I actually got my boyfriend to read it. I highly reccomend this book!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a book about ME!, May 4, 2006
By 
If you know me (which you don't), you know that I'm the type of guy that stays "under the radar." You know that person who always seems to find his way into the pictures of you and your friends? That's me.

Needless to say, my insecurities had led me to not take much care of my body. I figured that if nobody notices, why should I care? Well turns out I had it all wrong.

One evening while at the supermarket, I looked up and saw a copy of "YOU: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger" by Mchael F. Roizen. I thought to myself, "Self, FINALLY a book about ME!" I immediately grabbed a copy of the book and thew it into my shopping cart next the Orange Juice.

Fellow Amazon.com'ers - trust me on this one, this book has changed my life. Besides curing my self-confidence issues, I've seen a dramatic drop in my blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and frankly my impotence issues are gone. Get this book, read it cover to cover and watch your life change!
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