Sunday, May 16, 2010

Book Review : Skinny is Overrated

Title : Skinny is Overrated :
The Real Woman's Guide to Health and Happiness at Any size
Author : Danielle Milano, MD
Publisher : Synergy Books
ISBN-13: 978-0-9842358-3-4

Seeing the presence of innumerable books in the 'Health and Fitness' space in the market, I was wondering what new or different could one more book offer to the readers? But the level of interest that 'Skinny is Overrated' generated in me, put all my doubts to rest.

Dr. Danielle Milano presents in a wonderfully simplified fashion the seemingly very complicated area of - dieting, which food items to eat, which ones to avoid, which multivitamins to take or not take, what to look for while buying stuff off-the-shelf and many more such issues, by impressing upon today's women to just follow a single magic mantra - 'Focus on Health and not on Weight'. In contrast to other health books which mostly deal with one aspect or the other, this book can be used as a single guide to answer most of the questions that anybody could have, who intends to follow a healthier and happier lifestyle.

Compelling arguments, well supported by scientific reasons and statistics have been proposed against the most prevalent myths in the dieting world where size zero has become a craze among women. The author urges the readers to love the size they are in while sorting out the spiritual and emotional needs of the self - as first step to living healthfully. Starving the system can never lead to true health rather it can be achieved by eating right, eating at right time and exercising right.

The different types of food items have been evaluated based on their ingredients and which among them are complete 'no-no' in all circumstances. Dr Milano discusses about : different types of fats, the multivitamins that are essential for our body and cautions the readers to beware - just injecting the multivitamins does not wash away the abuse the body has been subjected to while pumping it with junk food - colas, food high on starches and not making any effort to move the TV addicted body. A complete chapter is devoted to Vitamin D in order to emphasize the significance of this essential nutrient which can help reduce the risk of getting many life long diseases and conditions.

Dr Milano has taken American context only, when she talks about off-the-shelf food items and typical lifestyle, which makes perfect sense since she practices in Boriken Health Centre in East Harlem, treating American people suffering from obesity and diabetes but then the international appeal gets lost. Also exercise part was a little inadequat. When she handled the food, diet and calories part so brilliantly, I was expecting some more on the physical activity part too.

I was amazed at the amount of information that has been packed in this book in such a readable form. A very well written book which cleanly avoids the trap of 'too much talking while providing no concrete solutions' since it is beautifully peppered with some very easy and handy recipes. Besides, full assistance has been provided to the beginners in the kitchen, even in guiding them about which tools and containers to buy so that no one is left with any excuse for not following it.

The book has been written in a conversational style, spiced with just perfect amount of humor here and there, and can be used as a wonderful hand book which can be read over and over again as a guide to an energetic tomorrow and a healthier life ahead.

1 comment:

  1. This is what Dr. Milano has to say about her book and my review:
    Ms. Sharma,

    You wrote a very kind and insightful review of my book, "Skinny Is Overrated: The Real Woman's Guide to Health and Happiness at Any Size." Not only did I want to thank you, but I wanted to comment on your comments.

    You are absolutely correct is your assessments. The book is geared to Americans, and, there could have been more information on exercise. If there is ever a second book, I will be sure to correct those deficiencies. Since America is such a conglomerate of different regions, ethnicities, and nationalities, it was already a difficult task. But you are right, India has a burgeoning diabetes epidemic. There is a great need for information in order to slow the growth of this epidemic. It is especially true since just a few lifestyle changes can have huge impact to prevent the development of diabetes.

    Although I did try to find a way to email you, it seems as though FaceBook was the only to send a message to you. Please excuse the intrusion, but did want to send you a warm "Thank You", for the time and trouble you took to review my book.


    Danielle Milano, M.D.


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