Robbins (Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth) looks to societies with the greatest proportion of centenarians for clues on increasing our own life and health spans. Unlike Sally Beare in 50 Secrets of the World's Longest Living People, he takes into consideration not only the length of life but also its quality. He argues that, although Americans are living longer than ever before, they are also taking longer to die than ever before. Too many of our elders, he writes, are spending too many years weak and sick. Alternately, the elders of the four native cultures he examines the Abkhazia, the Vilcabamba, the Hunza, and the Okinawans maintain lives that are both long and productive. These elders are a functioning part of their society and make necessary contributions to their families and communities. Robbins considers the ways they accomplish this and offers suggestions our own society would do well to follow. Thought-provoking enough to be a good choice for book discussion groups and highly recommended for public libraries. Susan B. Hagloch, formerly with the Tuscarawas Cty. P.L., New Philadelphia, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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? Robbinswho 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 Americaexplains 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 2006 Reed Business Information.