When Thinner Means Sicker and Heavier Means Healthier
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New insights into the pros and cons of body fat.

Although no one can stop aging, numerous diets and exercise programs insist they can aid you in obtaining a perfect, thin body. In this easy-to-understand, well-researched analysis of body fat and the functions it plays in humans, cardiologist Lavie, with the assistance of Loberg (co-author: Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar—Your Brain's Silent Killers, 2013, etc.), opens the door to a new understanding of optimum weight and health. After examining the dangers of excess body fat—e.g., an increased strain on the heart, leading to high blood pressure, possible strokes and high cholesterol—Lavie lays out the positives of having a few extra pounds. Numerous scientific studies show that being metabolically fit despite extra weight is actually healthier, leading to a longer life span than a thinner person who looks healthy but may have hidden health risks. Unlike overweight people, who have ample reserves in their fat cells, there's no cushion for a thin person to fall back on when illness strikes or when an accident occurs. The key is to balance body fat with moderate physical fitness. "Maintaining fitness is good and maintaining a healthy metabolism is good, and if you had to choose between fitness and thinness, it looks like it's much more important to maintain your fitness than your svelte waistline,” writes the author. “Fitness appears to be a lot more protective than a low weight." After presenting the data, Lavie summarizes his explorations in ten principles that help readers absorb the notion that a few more pounds on the hips and thighs—good news for women—is actually beneficial and can lead to a longer life.

Comprehensible, practical advice that shuns yo-yo dieting and exhaustive exercise regimens for a more lenient lifestyle in which having some body fat is actually good for you.

Pub Date: April 3rd, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-59463-244-0
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Hudson Street/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2014


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