Too Much of a Good Thing: How Four Key Survival Traits Are Now Killing Us

Too Much of a Good Thing: How Four Key Survival Traits Are Now Killing Us

by Lee Goldman


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The dean of Columbia University's medical school explains why our bodies are out of sync with today's environment and how we can correct this to save our health.

Over the past 200 years, human life-expectancy has approximately doubled. Yet we face soaring worldwide rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, mental illness, heart disease, and stroke. In his fascinating new book, Dr. Lee Goldman presents a radical explanation: The key protective traits that once ensured our species' survival are now the leading global causes of illness and death.

Our capacity to store food, for example, lures us into overeating, and a clotting system designed to protect us from bleeding to death now directly contributes to heart attacks and strokes. A deeply compelling narrative that puts a new spin on evolutionary biology, Too Much of a Good Thing also provides a roadmap for getting back in sync with the modern world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316236812
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 12/08/2015
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Dr. Lee Goldman is dean of the medical school at Columbia University. An internationally renowned cardiologist, he developed the Goldman Criteria (a set of guidelines for healthcare professionals to determine which patients with chest pain require hospital admission) and the Goldman Index (which predicts which patients will have heart problems after surgery). He's the author of more than 480 medical articles and also the lead editor of Goldman-Cecil Medicine, the oldest continuously published medical textbook in the U.S.

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

Part I The Pros and Cons of Four Key Human Survival Traits

1 How Our Bodies Became What They Are 11

2 Hunger, Food, and the Modern Epidemics of Obesity and Diabetes 39

3 Water, Salt, and the Modern Epidemic of High Blood Pressure 88

4 Danger, Memory, Fear, and the Modern Epidemics of Anxiety and Depression 120

5 Bleeding, Clotting, and the Modern Epidemics of Heart Disease and Stroke 157

Part II Protecting Our Bodies in the Modern World

6 Can Our Genes Evolve Fast Enough to Solve Our Problems? 193

7 Changing Our Behavior 218

8 Changing Our Biology 248

Acknowledgments 283

Notes 285

Bibliography 327

Index 331

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