Drop Dead Healthy

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 April, 2012, 12:00am


Drop Dead Healthy
by A.J. Jacobs
Simon & Schuster (audiobook)

Weight: 168. Hours of sleep: 6. Gym visits: 12. Bench press: 55 pounds, 15 reps. This is not a poke at Bridget Jones' Diary. It is A.J. Jacobs' good-humoured record of his quest to be as healthy as humanly possible. A bout of pneumonia, he says, prompted him to evaluate his lifestyle. At 41, he was not morbidly obese but 'skinny fat' with a 'python-that-swallowed-a-goat type of body' - the worst kind of fat. So he descends into 'orthorexia nervosa', an unhealthy obsession with healthy foods. Jacobs, an Esquire writer who narrates his book in a Seinfeld-type voice, then tests all the usual fads associated with health to find out how to improve, among other things, his teeth, feet, skin, genitals and butt. Determined to be less sedentary, he starts tapping away on his laptop while working out on a treadmill. Jacobs peppers Drop Dead Healthy with just enough interesting factoids - read how blueberries came to be a 'super food' - but readers with an average knowledge of health matters won't learn much new. Still most will probably persevere with Jacobs' experiment to see the results.