Nov 112009
 

diet2Just to give you fair warning, this is a negative review. I picked up the audio copy of You on a Diet, by Mehmet C. Oz and Michael F. Roisen with interest. I’m always looking for good diet and nutrition information, and Oz and Roisen seemed loaded with information.

And indeed, the book is FULL of excellent information. The science is both fascinating and compelling.  Oz and Roisen really know what they are talking about, and their explanations of how your body works to digest food will leave you alarmed and awe-struck.

But… as interesting as the information was, I couldn’t finish the book. It was the writing style. It just stumbles over itself trying to be witty and cute. Here’s an example from the first few pages:

“Our ancestors never thought about a diet in the way we do – and their bodies had the approximate density of granite. Us? We obsess about diet more than red-carpet reporters obsess about designer dresses, and our bodies have the consistency of yogurt.”

The writers pile on metaphor after metaphor, simile after simile, cute analogy after cute analogy until I just wanted to scream. I had to stop listening. I’ve still included a link to the book. It got excellent reviews overall. For some people, the writing style might be very attractive. It’s certainly a… peppy book.

And the content is excellent. The doctors explain how hunger, digestion and nutrition work at a cellular and chemical level. They point out all the modern pitfalls that can hijack our nutrition. After all, our digestions were perfectly evolved for the hunter-gatherer lifestyle of our early ancestors, and haven’t really had a chance to adapt completely to pizza and coke.

The book (what I managed to endure of it) is full of excellent tricks for resetting the body’s appetite and digestion to the correct levels with food changes, supplements and exercise. The detailed knowledge of the terrible damage that bad nutrition does to the body at the the molecular and cellular level is scary, and very motivating.

Perhaps you can get through the corny writing style of the book and enjoy it. I wish you luck. If you do, there are other books by Oz and Roisen, no doubt written in the same cheery style.

If you’ve read the book, and had a better experience than I did, by all means let me know.

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