Health hazards--from diet, technology, lifestyle choices--are resolutely examined in this cogent, well-documented, provoking work. Author of an admired study of agricultural-environmental relationships (Losing Ground, 1976), Eckholm writes a clean, level prose which makes somewhat technical subjects accessible to the general reader. Diseases related to malnutrition and poor sanitation--with known preventive measures--still affect more than a third of the world's population; the association of affluent diet/little exercise and cardiovascular ailments is sufficiently established to act on, yet people resist changes in eating and living habits; cancer patterns, increasingly visible even without single-cause or cure, exhibit marked geographical and class variations; tobacco--much despised here--is accorded a chapter of its own. In addition to these most urgent issues, Eckholm investigates dangers at the job (black-lung disease, asbestos, and other long-term agents), pollutants in the air, and the critical implications of family planning. Because these hazards are avoidable and most imperil us involuntarily, the verdict is clear: ""The true obstacles to better health. . . are political failures""--of governments to eradicate environmental risks and of individuals to alter lifestyles. A concise, undeviating report, ably condensing relevant information from a range of sources and offering its own inescapable conclusions.