Author: Marie Savard, M.d., with Carol Svec.
ISBN: : 978-0-7434-9713-8
The following review was contributed by: Kathryn Atwood: Click Here To View More Of Kathryn's Reviews
“All fat is not created equal.” That small phrase is the thesis of Dr. Savard’s insightful new book, “The Body Shape Solution to Weight Loss and Wellness.” In summary, women who tend to gain weight around their middle and have a high waist-hip ratio (WHR) are considered “apples.” Those whose waists are significantly smaller than their hips have a low WHR and are considered “pears.” These two groups have extremely different health issues simply because fat behaves very differently depending where it is found in the body. Aside from being unsightly in certain clothing (and this reviewer knows of what she speaks), excess fat does relatively little harm and can actually be healthfully beneficial when found solely in the thighs and hips.
Extra fat around the middle, however, provides “apples” with some serious health concerns because “apple” fat, according to Dr. Savard, is “metabolically active” in a way that “pear” fat is not. In short, “apples” have medical propensities similar to those of men (who are generally apple-shaped), and, like their male counterparts, apple-shaped women who are even slightly overweight are especially prone to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain cancers. The good news is that apple fat is fairly easy to loose (at least it’s the first to go in the weight loss process) and something as simple as brisk, consistent walking can help melt it away.
Lest I’ve given the impression that “pears” can skip Dr. Savard’s book, the chapters on menopause reveal that women with a pear shape are often prone to apple-type weight gain during menopause, which makes the all warnings for “apples” universally requisite. “Pears” also have a higher propensity to develop osteoporosis and varicose veins than do “apples”and they also experience more severe menopausal symptoms. Because of society’s perception of female beauty, “pears” rather than “apples” are also very prone to eating disorders.
Dr. Savard provides sensible diet and exercise tips for both groups as well as advice on everything from body-shape appropriate birth control to hormone therapy. Her detailed postulations, solidly backed by previous studies, current research and her own private practice are presented in very knowledgeable yet understandable terms and her empathetic tone throughout makes this insightful book a very enjoyable read.