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January 24, 2012

News & Opinion: The End of Illness

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 6:59 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

On one hand, this book is not our usual thing. On the other hand, nothing can move forward if our health isn't in order. So, it's completely worth pointing out Dr. David B. Agus' new book, The End of Illness.

The provocative title certainly draws our attention, and we might be expecting a "to-do list" of things we've heard before. Certainly, there are some universal truths in here that we've heard all our lives (the question is, are we adhering to them?), but also, there are more than a few discoveries in here that might surprise us, about the medical industry, about science, about food, about vitamins (don't take them?), and about the prevention of a variety of illnesses.

Here are some questions I sent Dr. Agus in reaction to reading it:

Why do you advise individuals to take more control over their own health concerns - isn't that risky?

Dr. Agus: I advise people to team with their doctor.  Download the personal health questionnaire from www.theendofillness.com and bring all of this information with you to your doctor.  This team approach will yield benefits!

What are some reasons why we need to be more active in maintaining our health more than any other generation?

Dr. Agus: We now have a tremendous knowledge bank on preventive medicine, and I want everyone to use it!  While it is hard to reverse or cure disease like cancer, heart disease or neurodegenerative disease, the data on prevention are real and achievable for all of us.

What are some of the health disadvantages to office work and how might we improve them?

Dr. Agus: The big disadvantage is that you have to sit at a desk normally all day.  Figure out a way to move around.  When someone is coming to meet with you, it is a great sign of respect to have them go on a walk with you and talk, instead of sitting at your desk.  Try and get up and walk around every 20 minutes or so if you can.

How might we be more certain that we're eating healthy?

Dr. Agus: Eating healthy shouldn’t be complex.  The details are in The End of Illness, but in brief:

1.       Regular schedule
2.       Know where your food is from
3.       Moderation
4.       Variety
5.       Fresh foods
6.       Stay away from processed foods, vitamins and supplements

Is the end of illness really possible?

Dr. Agus: I believe presently (with the current state of science and medicine) we can delay illness to the ninth decade of life.  As to the future, who knows!!! I am optimistic. . .

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This is a highly interesting book written in a sensible, well-thought out and researched method. None of it shocks the reader into adopting a new lifestyle that seems freakish, yet the simple reality presented here is a logic that very few of us are likely completely in tune with.

You want to be a better manager and leader? You want to create a successful company? You want to work in smarter ways than you have before? Then start with this book, start with your health, and the rest will follow.

 

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.