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Disease-Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well Hardcover – September 26, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“David Katz is among my most respected colleagues. When it comes to using lifestyle as medicine, there simply isn’t a higher authority. In Disease-Proof, Dr. Katz advances a mission we share: empowering people to use what we know about the power of lifestyle to promote health. This is an important book.”—Mehmet Oz, MD
“By offering insight into the hidden and not-so-hidden threats to our collective waistlines and our health and providing step-by-step advice to reverse the current obesity epidemic and the chronic diseases that go with it, Disease-Proof will empower readers to take control of their current and future health. Anyone who's interested in protecting themselves and their loved ones from these problems will want to read this book—sooner not later."—Dean Ornish, MD, author of The Spectrum
“At a time when 75 percent of our health care spending is for preventable, chronic diseases, and when we are facing an epidemic of legal drug dependency, Disease-Proof is a book we desperately need -- a reminder that, in more ways than we may realize, our health is in our hands. Dr. Katz's conclusion that we all have the ability to lead healthier lives is sensible, well-reasoned, empowering, and based on the latest scientific evidence and decades of clinical experience.”-- Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group
“Dr. Katz knows how challenging the pursuit of both health and a healthy weight can be. He also has a unique ability to convert his knowledge and insights into practical programs and tools – a talent richly displayed in Disease-Proof. If you want to build better health and a better future, this book makes an excellent tool kit.”—David A. Kessler, MD, former Commissioner, FDA and author of The End of Overeating
"Comprehensive, accessible, and indispensable, Disease-Proof makes a compelling case for how we can reclaim our medical destinies and prevent many of the chronic diseases that are currently afflicting adults and children alike. It's an urgently needed wake-up call for millions of Americans who believe their health is largely beyond their control."—David Satcher, MD, PhD, former Surgeon General and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and founder of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine
Disease-Proof is not only about knowing what to do to stay healthy; it’s also about developing the skills to apply that knowledge.  Katz and Colino make the skills look easy. I especially appreciate how they encourage readers to take responsibility for the health of others as well as themselves and work toward creating a healthy society for all.”—Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat and Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University
“The advice in Disease-Proof, if applied, will lead to a healthy, vibrant life. Everyone needs this information.”—Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause

“Disease-Proof uniquely addresses what individuals can do to promote their own health, and what we can and should do together to help us all get there from here. Just about everybody stands to benefit from reading this book.” —Joy Bauer, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition and health expert for The TODAY Show and author of Joy Bauer's Food Cures


About the Author

DAVID KATZ, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, is an internationally renowned expert in chronic disease prevention and weight management, recognized in 2012 as one of the most influential figures in health promotion. He is a specialist in preventive medicine, and the founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center. The author of twelve books, he lives in Connecticut.

STACEY COLINO’s writing has appeared in the Washington Post Health Section and in dozens of national magazines including Newsweek, Real Simple, Health, Prevention, Parents, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Self, Shape, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, and more. She lives in Maryland.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Avery; 1 edition (September 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594631247
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594631245
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are countless books out there on the topic of getting healthy and fit, but this is the most complete and practical entry I have yet seen. Disease Proof is a step-by-step guide for overcoming the barriers that stand between us and a healthier, higher-quality and, quite probably, longer life. Its innovation is a detailed explanation of how to spark and sustain lifestyle change until it becomes the new normal. Dr. Katz makes his case by employing a newly minted word, "Skillpower", which refers to the specifics of change, and breaks down the process of remaking one's life into discrete skills to be learned and practiced, whether related to food, physical activity, motivation or even happiness.

Quick story. Some years ago, my wife, sons and I were daily drinkers of whole milk. We wanted to cut out that fat, so one day we decided to try skim milk. Well, of course it was dreadful. More like semi-gloss latex rinsewater than a dairy product. So we started instead with 2% lowfat milk. A little thin at first but, after a month or so, we no longer noticed. Then to 1%. Same process, same result. Then to .5% (hard to find anymore) and finally to skim. In six months we had permanently reprogrammed our taste buds to accept skim milk as whole milk. So I should not have been surprised to find this exact plan described in Disease Proof, along with other examples to rehab our tasters away from the sweet and salty flavors that, the author says, drive appetite. There are also eye-openers here on how best to eat on the run, decoding restaurant menus and the hidden spin food manufacturers put on those objective-looking product ingredient labels at the supermarket.
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Format: Hardcover
Disease-Proof promises to teach us the "skills" we need to slash our risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases by 80 percent. That's a bold claim based on iffy statistics. Rather than rigorous medical analysis you might expect from a researcher at Yale University, in this book you get a popularized, superficial take on a serious problem.

There is some solid substance here. The book says that to improve your health you should focus on your fork (nutrition and weight), your feet (exercise), and your fingers (stop smoking). But who doesn't already know that? To some degree, the book recognizes that, and purports to give you skills to help you do what you already know you should do, like putting healthy foods on your plate and exercising portion control. But I was not impressed by those skills.

The book seems to have been largely ghostwritten by the second author, or at least it reads that way to me. It has that "rah, rah" feel that ghostwriters often give a book. We learn about Dr. Katz's horse Troubadour, about his French-born neuroscientist wife's brilliance graduating from UC Berkeley and getting a PhD from Princeton, and about his friendships with former Arkansas-governor Mike Huckabee and other famous people. Although it's hard to say, these gratuitous comments seemed more like what a ghostwriter would put in. Most authors would feel a little self-conscious doing so.

One example of what bothered me most about the book. The nuance of how our bodies deal with incoming energy sources -- fats as opposed to sugars, for example -- escapes any notice in this book. The authors say that unlike "prominent voices such as
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