Review Detail

Why diets don't work
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Healthy takes a critical look at a variety of concerns, and does a good job at balancing information about food with information about the psychology of weight gain. There is a broad range of information as well, on a variety of topics. While some college students will be familiar with some of these, even high school educated students will have gaps in their knowledge due to the lack of quality health education programs in many schools.

Starting with an explanation of why some students gain weight and beginning from the idea that many students haven't really thought much about nutrition, there are chapters that talk about what healthy eating is, and what the consequences are if students consume a diet that is largely processed food. The benefits and drawbacks of different types of diets, such as vegan, organic, etc. are covered briefly.
Good Points
I found the chapter that detailed different types of "fad" diets to be very informative. I'm not sure how widespread these are, but since my older daughter came home from college with a juicer, I can only imagine that when faced with weight gain, some college students do try a variety of these plans, so it's good to see them described and evaluated in terms of effectiveness or risk.

The last part of the book lays out some useful skills, such as reading and interpreting food labels and then delineating why our bodies need certain kinds and combinations of food. Healthy options and cooking basics, as well as a rudimentary guide to exercise, round out this volume.

While useful, this could have also included more information on dealing with food service food, and choosing from the options that are most likely to be seen, as well as a discussion of the REAL reason that most people probably gain weight-- socializing that centers around consumption of ice cream, pizza and beer!

This is a good choice for high school or college students who haven't previously given much thought to their diet, but would be an overview for athletes and others who are already embracing a healthy lifestyle. Be very careful about giving this to a college student.Luckily, my own daughter reacted positively to being handed this book. She said that the book just showed her that she needed to make better choices. She knew most of the information already, but had just been ignoring it, and this book was a helpful reminder to get herself back on track!
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