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Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  764 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Why do some people age in failing health and sadness, while others grow old with vitality and joy?

In this revolutionary book, bestselling author John Robbins presents us with a bold new paradigm of aging, showing us how we can increase not only our lifespan but also our health span. Through the example of four very different cultures that have the distinction of producing
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Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Sally
Enjoyable reading, solid research, good end-notes, great book.

I like how he put Weston Price in perspective. Either people revere him or discredit him. Robbins acknowledges that he made great observations, but had rather limited exposure to the peoples he visited, so it's not completely solid "science." Dr Price's suggestions are great ideas, but should be balanced with other great ideas. Use what works for you.

The chapter that blew me away was "Breaking Free from the Cultural Trance, or the rea
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Pat
What sets this book apart from most books on health is that the last third of the book focuses on how strong interpersonal relationships are more of a determiner of health as we age than smoking or poor diets! Here's a favorite..

Four hugs a day are necessary for survival, eight a day for maintenance, twelve for growth!
In the four healthiest cultures, "Instead of going shopping, they go visit one another"

In a heart disease study it was found that men who used the first-person pronouns the most o
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Jesse
Nothing has inspired me to eat better and live better more than this book.
Dawn
This is one of the most beautiful and positive books I've ever read. Anybody and everybody should read it - I think there is something in it that will appeal to each person on this planet.

The theme of the book comes down to this: getting old should not be scary, and should nt be treated as something to fear. Each one of us can prevent the mental and physical deterioration that is often associated with getting old by simply eating well, exercising, and surrounding ourselves with people we love a
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Shel
Live longer and healthier via diet and lifestyle.

Eat vegetables — Dean Ornish, Joel Furhman, Caldwell Esselstyn, T. Colin Campbell, and John McDougall.

Volunteer, maintain strong social ties, act in love and compassion—Mother Teresa, Karen Armstrong, and Dame Cicely Mary Saunders.

Add John Robbins'Healthy at 100 to the cannon of books/voices urging us to eschew the Standard American Diet (SAD) and live longer in great health. In addition, Robbins' makes a case against our society's toxic ageism.
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Kevin
This is one of the few books I come across that deserves 5 stars. I am happy that Robbins mentioned the village of Vilcabamba in Ecuador. I've known about the longevity of their people for a long time. The differences among cultures is astounding. With regards to stress, (and the fact that so many people in my industrialized culture are overfed, overmedicated, and overstressed) my favorite passage from the book is as follows:

Pages 34-35: ...a mystic from India who was introduced to New York City
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Michael
The son of Baskin-Robins, wrote a book on health. Yeah, he exposes the dangers of unhealthy eating, and lifestyles. A great read and motivator.

Publisher's Summary
Why do some people age in failing health and sadness, while others grow old with vitality and joy? In this revolutionary audiobook, best-selling author John Robbins presents us with a bold new paradigm of aging, showing us how we can increase not only our lifespan but also our health span.
Through the example of four very different cult
...more
Geoff
Mar 09, 2008 Geoff rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Die Hard fans of John Robbins
I really wanted to like this book. John Robbins 'Diet for a New America' was very influential on my journey towards being Vegan. Healthy at 100 does have its heart in the right place. The problem is that it probably would have made a better magazine article than book. Robbins repeats himself over and over and over again. Sections end with long 'to do lists' which feel like brainstorming notes and the end takeaway is pretty simple: eat veg, connect with the community, get exercise, find purpose a ...more
Amanda
Here's the short version of my review:
I highly recommend his to everyone. It's not just about eating good food and being fit, but about having loving relationships and contributing to your community and society. Feeling like you are loved and that you matter and have a purpose. Excellent book that also reminds us that we should be ashamed of the way we treat elderly people in this country.

The longer version:
Robbins is a near-vegan, and the societies he chose for this book reflect that. There are
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Jill
I fully understand that putting this one out there officially qualifies me as OLD, but this book was fascinating and illuminating, throwing the paradigm of old = lame right out the window. I picked it up at my parents house, thumbed through it and couldn't put it down. Christina, this was the book we talked about at dinner. Worth a read!
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
It was especially interesting to me to learn about some little-known cultures and their simple lifestyles. Robbins can be a little wordy at times, and a tad too "New Agey" for me, but he comes from the heart, and the information is valuable.
Thom
Really enjoyed this book. Lots of solid references in the back also. How to be healthy at 100? Eat fresh vegetables, sing and dance, and generally be positive. :)
Pennyjar
fascinating and so simple...really loved the notion that it is as much our cultural paradigm that aging is a bad thing, as anything we eat or do that affects how we age.
Michael
Eye opener book for me about nutrition and health. After reading the book, I changed my diet.
Autumn
there are folks who have made different choices. in their elder years they are vital and vibrant, they have something to offer. they are glad they’re alive, instead of degenerating they’re celebrating. they take no medications and have no pain. wisdom years richly earned, treasured, filled with well being, grace, consciousness and beauty. that is really a possibility.

studies of the communities of the Vilcambans of Ecuador, the Okinawans of Japan, the Hunzans of Pakistan, and the Abkhasians of th
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Jennie Richards
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robin
Nutrition author John Robbins explains his method for long and healthy life, beginning by taking a look at four of the world’s oldest cultures in which individuals live long lives and are healthy and vital. He uses a combination of scientific research and humanitarian conjecture to help us apply what these cultures have in common to our own lives. He considers physical factors such as activity and healthful eating, psychological factors such as satisfaction with life, and social factors such as ...more
Amelia Mulder
Although at times a little long-winded and repetitive (a good editor's hand should have prevented this), this did little to distract from the insight and value I got from this book (hence the 5-star rating). Robbins artfully balances scientific data with anecdotes and historic reference, making this an easy, yet enlightening read. Whereas most books on health tend to focus mostly on diet and exercise, 'Still Healthy at 100' is much more comprehensive, detailing also, with scientific evidence, th ...more
Sarah Shea
The beginning of the book focuses entirely on the different tribes, their health, diet, etc. That is what I got the book for, and I found these parts to be very interesting. He made these places sound very picturesque but balanced it by mentioning some of the downsides (although I could tell the noble savage picture was hard to shake for him).

However, after talking about Okinawa, the books interested completely dropped off for me. The rest of the book is pretty much the typical information abou
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Steve Allat
Although I am already on the side of healthy living, veganism and even a high-raw food diet, I learned a lot from this book - which, in this case, was a great reward.
John presents information in a very easy to digest manner, and doesn't pander too much to one side, even appearing at some instances to backstep a bit in his own ideals in order not to sound too emphatic about what he condones.
The main premise of the book reinforces a lot of positive changes that society is embracing and gives proof
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Ganesh
Jul 11, 2007 Ganesh rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone trying to kick their jellybean habit and needing some motivation
Pre-reading thoughts:

I enjoyed John Robbins' talk at the Green Festival, which is a huge environmental conference held in San Francisco, Seattle, and D.C. In his book and talk, he explored the lifestyles of indigenous people known for their longevity and good health.

I agreed with just about everything he said: that it is important to accept and honor the aging process and to practice the art of relationships. However, I don't agree with his notions of what a healthy diet is. I certainly don't s
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Jane
Nov 19, 2008 Jane rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: health seekers
Recommended to Jane by: book club
This was a different sort of book club choice, made by the oldest lady in my local book group, for our selection this month (we meet every other month). Because I like sociology/anthropology and am interested in concepts (and practices, when possible!) of healthy living, I found this book quite interesting. It's somewhat sad to think about how our American culture has evolved to rely so heavily on processed/packaged/fast foods, and how little exercise is naturally incorporated into most people's ...more
Jack
Robbins takes on health and nutrition from a distinctive but ultimately essential angle. 'Healthy at 100' examines the remarkable longevity and health of four relatively small communities: the Okinawans of Japan, the Hunzans of Pakistan, the Vilcambans of Ecuador, and the Abkhasians of the Caucasus Mountains. All have stunned scientists over the course of the 20th century for the high number of centenarians in their communities, all of whom were vibrant, active, and 100% healthy. Their prosperit ...more
Christina
This book lived up to its intro. I'm having my husband read it, and I'm tempted to make it an automatic gift to family and friends over the holidays. Robbins extensively covers food and exercise, like Michael Pollan, in the first half. Then he moves on to how people of different cultures treat each other, the priorities of different cultures (ex. sharing vs. hoarding), and the importance of being part of a loving community, convincingly describing with studies and anecdotal stories how all these ...more
Luke
Quite a good book to read if you want a recipe for better health. I especially like his attack on Atkins and other low-carb diets. There isn't a lot of scientific discussion or rationale, but more a matter of "emulate the successful people". Normally this is not an appealing tactic, but in the case of nutrition and lifestyle, science is yet unable to give any certain answers anyway. Spoiler alert: he ends up recommending a CRON diet.

There's a lot more stuff than diet, though most of it is imprac
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Alicyn
interesting but a bit repetitive. most (maybe all?) chapters ended with to-do lists, which were very tedious to listen to with the audiobook. i thought the tone used when describing the long-living cultures was not objective enough (too many absolutes like "no crime", "no physical punishment of children").
Cyrus
There's some specious claims about some of the diets, studies, and old age of the culture groups (this can be found by doing some searches on the 'nets). But the overall message is still sound.

This book got me to move to 90% vegan. Unfortunately the false (or at a minimum disputable) information kind of ruins it and pushes this from "I love this book" to a little bit uncomfortable recommending the book without giving the whole asterisk to watch out for. It's too bad-- it didn't need to be that
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Laurel
Another textbook done!
This was a good book with good information. The studies that were done for the longest-living cultures were fascinating but I didn't feel they were well related back to today's society. There were a lot of good points about the differences in diet and definitely showed WHY some cultures live longer than the average North American, I just didn't feel a connection. Perhaps because what was being said seems very basic to me. Eat whole, natural foods. Limit saturated and trans
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Andrea
p 169 Jack LaLanne, "God, please give me the willpower to refrain from eating unhealthy foods when the urge comes over me. And please give me the strength to exercise even when I don't feel like it." p 301, Little Girl, "Never juduge a day by its weather." P 301 Morrie Schwartz, "If you're always battling against getting older, you're always going to be unahppy, because it will happen anyway." p 305 Buddha, "For there is not any means by which those who have been born can avoid dying" P 308 MLK ...more
Anney Ryan
Okay, I read half of it. Then it was due at the library. What I read was great. John Robbins gives anthropological proof that the healthiest lifestyle is the vegan lifestyle with daily exercises. He also argues that disease-riddled aging is a western phenomenon. Given the right food, the right activity, the right state of mind, he says anyone can live healthy and active into the age of 100. There is so much evidence for and against this belief, that I lie in the middle of the road: a yogurt-slur ...more
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John Robbins is an American author, who popularized the links among nutrition, environmentalism, and animal rights. He is the author of the 1987 Diet for a New America, an exposé on connections between diet, physical health, animal cruelty, and environmentalism.

Robbins is the son of Irma Robbins and Baskin-Robbins co-founder Irv Robbins. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in
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More about John Robbins...
The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth The New Good Life: Living Better Than Ever in an Age of Less May All Be Fed: 'a Diet For A New World : Including Recipes By Jia Patton And Friends No Happy Cows: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Food Revolution

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“Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product. attr to Buthan's King Jigme Singye Wangchuck” 4 likes
“The Pygmies and the Bushmen, these oldest of all peoples, remind us that our capacities for mutuality, cooperation, and empathy are every bit as real and every bit as much a part of our humanity as our capacities for greed, competition, and exclusiveness. Raising their children with unlimited respect and treating each person as having infinite worth, they have survived longer than any other culture known to science.” 2 likes
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