New South Beach diet book focuses on prevention, exercise - USA Today

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When writing about cardiovascular health, cardiologist and best-selling author Arthur Agatston has focused on prevention and the roles nutrition and exercise play.

The South Beach Wake-Up Call, the newest edition of the South Beach diet.

That is not changing. What is new in his latest book The South Beach Wake-Up Call (Rodale) is the age of the unhealthy patients for whom the dinner bell tolls. They're are younger — and "achier and more tired than ever" — and are destined to be the "sickest generation," he writes.

The first generation born into the "fast-food, sedentary, screen-obsessed culture,'' is coming of age, Agatston adds, warning if you're between 30 and 45, "you should be very worried.''

The subtitle Why America Is Still Getting Fatter And Sicker, Plus 7 Simple Strategies For Reversing Our Toxic Lifestyle is a tough-love smack on expanding waistlines. Agatston is not the only doctor with a diet book aimed at losing weight, preventing or reversing heart disease and other diseases, but he is also a father, "trying to eliminate the toll poor nutrition is taking on our kids." He offers tips on teaching kids to eat right and exercise and to get a good night's sleep (Strategy 7 is sleep longer, live longer).

One change since his 2003 The South Beach Diet: A chapter on gluten, a protein found in wheat that experts think might adversely affect a majority of Americans. After taking his patients off gluten, he says their gastro-intestinal problems have cleared up.

What is healthy at mealtimes? He remains steadfast about eating like our hunter-gatherer ancestors: naturally lean animal proteins — low in saturated fat — nutrient-rich, fiber-dense fruits and vegetables, but add some whole grains. Eating these foods and exercising leads to a healthy weight, he adds. "If we fail to [do this], we do so at our own peril.''

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12 Oct, 2011

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