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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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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.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
1. This book is not about "losing weight"; it's about living a lifestyle. As myself and friends often discuss, there is really not a lot of advantage in doing something unsustainable, such as is the case with all of these fad diets, diet pills, HCG, and all the other "I want it now / I want a lot of results for not much effort" approach that most Americans attempt to take.
2. Just because you maintain a healthy-looking appearance does not mean that you are healthy. A poignant illustration mentioned in the book is that of Jim Fixx, a famous proponent of running some 25 years ago that died of a heart attack at 51 (while running) - at least one of his coronary arteries was revealed to have 95%+ blockage from his horrible eating habits. On a similar note, just yesterday I received the news that the ex-husband of my wife's friend had a heart attack at 41. He maintained a fairly slim frame but ate like a horse (on a diet that included a lot of meat and fried foods, desserts, etc). In yet other stories we hear of runners dropping dead at marathons on a regular basis that are seemingly "a picture of health". How healthy are these people really? Have they had any checkups besides a routine physical? What about a full cardiology exam that includes things like ejection fraction, possibly atrophy of heart muscle tissue, saturation and blockage levels of coronary arteries, and others? Any genetic testing?
One feature that displaces this away from other health-oriented books is its focus on an overall sense of spirituality, love, and the fostering and maintenance of strong, loving relationships. It is comprehensive and holistic. Humanity does not live in a vacuum. You can present all the latest technical data available in order to run your body optimally, and while adhering to
that data is sure to make you healthier and less susceptible to disease etc., we simply are at our cores social creatures, and need
to interact with others frequently in ways that support each other. Multiple studies, as referenced in the book, have been done that show that in some ways, a strong network of loving relationships can overcome even an assortment of detriments combined (job stress, smoking, high blood pressure). A phrase in particular that struck me and left me speechless was "if you prepare a lunch for your spouse, etc. include a love note with the lunch". This exact thing my wife did for me for years and I have never seen that mentioned anywhere else!
Other portions of the book completely took me by surprise, such as the marked increase in Japan's life expectancy in only 20 years after WWII, when General MacArthur reconstructed the country's wealth, corporate and landowner structures and essentially "leveled the playing field", dissolving the family dynasties that ran the large corporations, capping maximum pay for business executives, and massively redistributing wealth. Wealth inequality, especially here in the U.S., is taking a huge toll on the populace not only for the obvious reasons, but for health-related reasons.
Robbins has done extensive research on medical studies and has a massive bibilography to support his approach. The book has a large bank of reference, but is not excessively technical and should be easily understood by the average person. He has done a great job in that regard to accessibility. Highly, highly recommended.
Update: After 6 months eating this way, and referencing this book and The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, I went from 217 down to 182 (I am 6' 1"). My BP is averaging around 110/70 (from before always being around 132/100), my trigylcerides are 58 and total cholesterol is 128. Excellent numbers. I am no longer tired in the afternoons, am not hungry between meals, and maintain a good volume of energy throughout the day. I generally feel much better than before. Thanks so much John Robbins and T. Colin Campbell for your tremendous efforts to inform us all of proper diet, and cutting through the immense sea of misinformation out there.
Update: 06.15.13 - After well over a year and still maintaining this type of eating regimen, my trigylcerides are 54 and my total cholesterol is 145. My doctor said that he has hardly seen numbers like that without taking medication (that is a sad thing). My weight has been kept between 167-176 for months and months. I still feel great and have a lot of energy. If you are tired of diet gimmicks and want a true path to success, this is it. Also, for great recipes that fit into this lifestyle I would recommend Rip Esselstyn's highly renowned book "My Beef With Meat". John Robbins, you are my Dalai Lama. I sing your praises everywhere I go.
A must-read for anyone interested in the health and wellbeing of their own and their loved ones.