Intriguing insights for those prone to overeating.


Body Weight Regulation


An obesity researcher and clinic worker shares background science and strategies to sustain weight loss in this debut consumer health guide.

Why do some folks stay thin while others remain obese, given that everyone in modern society faces too many fattening food choices and less need, thanks to cars, technology, etc., to burn calories with physical exertion? Proietto, an Australia-based Ph.D. who has published on the topic of corpulence and has also worked in obesity clinics, breaks down the scientific reasons that cause a segment of the population to overeat. They include low levels of the hunger-inhibiting leptin protein in children’s systems as well as “epigenetic change”: there may be “common obesity-predisposing genes whose expression (not sequence) can be permanently altered by environmental factors such as high-calorie-dense diets.” After discussing various research findings, including that mice (and people) tend to return to a body-weight set point, Proietto outlines his plan for obese individuals to defy this tendency. His two-part strategy involves consuming extremely low-calorie diet products (such as Optifast) for two meals and then eating one substantial, no-carb meal a day (a protein, three non-starchy vegetables, and a salad with a dash of fatty oil) in a prescribed cycle until one’s target weight is reached. This regimen gets pounds off fast, the author asserts, because it induces the state of ketosis, suppressing an uptick of hunger-producing hormones. Proietto also recommends ramping up physical activity post-weight loss to further trick the body into maintaining its new slimmer state. Sample recipes as well as helpful lists of foods to favor or avoid are included. The author speaks with passion and authority about his subject, and wisely cautions readers to consult their physicians before embarking on his program. While his scientific discussion becomes rather dizzying, with not particularly illuminating illustrations of DNA structure included in this text, those heartbroken over being heavy will be relieved to learn the genetic underpinnings to their struggles to lose weight. While some diet suggestions remain questionable, including that fruits should be avoided in the dieting phase and appetite-suppressant drugs have a place in weight maintenance, the book still offers plenty of useful food for thought.

Intriguing insights for those prone to overeating.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5144-9701-2

Page Count: 166

Publisher: XlibrisAu

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...


A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.


A study of swimming as sport, survival method, basis for community, and route to physical and mental well-being.

For Bay Area writer Tsui (American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods, 2009), swimming is in her blood. As she recounts, her parents met in a Hong Kong swimming pool, and she often visited the beach as a child and competed on a swim team in high school. Midway through the engaging narrative, the author explains how she rejoined the team at age 40, just as her 6-year-old was signing up for the first time. Chronicling her interviews with scientists and swimmers alike, Tsui notes the many health benefits of swimming, some of which are mental. Swimmers often achieve the “flow” state and get their best ideas while in the water. Her travels took her from the California coast, where she dove for abalone and swam from Alcatraz back to San Francisco, to Tokyo, where she heard about the “samurai swimming” martial arts tradition. In Iceland, she met Guðlaugur Friðþórsson, a local celebrity who, in 1984, survived six hours in a winter sea after his fishing vessel capsized, earning him the nickname “the human seal.” Although humans are generally adapted to life on land, the author discovered that some have extra advantages in the water. The Bajau people of Indonesia, for instance, can do 10-minute free dives while hunting because their spleens are 50% larger than average. For most, though, it’s simply a matter of practice. Tsui discussed swimming with Dara Torres, who became the oldest Olympic swimmer at age 41, and swam with Kim Chambers, one of the few people to complete the daunting Oceans Seven marathon swim challenge. Drawing on personal experience, history, biology, and social science, the author conveys the appeal of “an unflinching giving-over to an element” and makes a convincing case for broader access to swimming education (372,000 people still drown annually).

An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-61620-786-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet