Anti-aging guru Roizen and celebrated heart surgeon Oz combine their popular approaches to patient-centered care in this assessment of how much, or more to the point, how little, readers know about their bodies. After taking the quizzes in the book, readers may feel shocked by their ignorance of basic anatomy and the processes required to maintain physical and mental functioning. Each chapter focuses on a body part or system (heart, brain, digestive, reproductive, etc.) and discusses diseases associated with it; genetic and lifestyle influences on its aging process; and foods, supplements and habits that can prevent or reverse related illnesses. The book has an entertaining feel: friendly elves guide readers through illustrations of the body and cartoons feature alien creatures that enter the body and cause illness. The humor is irreverent (e.g., muscle cells surrounding dead heart tissue "start fighting with each other, like Jerry Springer's guests, instead of supporting each other, like Oprah's" [incidentally, the authors will appear on Oprah in May to promote the book]). Despite a 10-day, 30-recipe food plan and a less-is-more exercise regime, however, readers may have trouble using the information to create a lifestyle that will fulfill the authors' promise of weight loss, disease prevention and longevity. Even the recipes target one specific area of the body and weaken the overall conceptual framework. This lighthearted book will be most useful to those who like their health lessons served with a side of humor. (May 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Understanding how the body works can help people understand disease processes and prevent injury and illness. In this lay guide to the human body, Roizen (medicine & anesthesiology, SUNY Upstate; The RealAge Makeover) and Oz (director, Integrated Medicine Ctr., Columbia Univ.) open with a quiz to help readers determine how much they know. Chapters on the major bodily systems follow, each beginning with a set of myths and cartoonish anatomical diagrams with humorous labels and elves meant to demonstrate the mechanics of the systems. The authors then expound on how the organs work and debunk common misconceptions. There is also information about common diseases and conditions, advice about prevention and treatment, and suggestions for diet and exercise. Though reader-friendly and amusing, this book is superficial: diet and exercise suggestions lack coherence and are scattered throughout, so a health plan is difficult to put together. To boot, the 30 recipes-which are labeled according to their benefits (e.g., calcium for bones)-are targeted to one organ only. Readers will learn more from the second home edition of The Merck Manual of Medical Information. This is an optional purchase, though a heavy marketing campaign may spur demand.-Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.