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Bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich explores how we are killing ourselves to …

Review of 'Natural Causes' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

If you’re looking for smug justification for poor health choices, whether it’s smoking, living a sedentary lifestyle, or eating junk, Barbara Ehrenreich is here for you. This book is funny and entertaining, and critically examines our society’s obsession with clever tricks to stave off death. But it ultimately misses the point: Making good choices about one’s health (both physical and mental) isn’t about living forever, it’s about having better quality of life during the few years we’ve got. And as much as the author pokes fun at the mercurial nature of health fads, the core is what matters: Live a physically active life and eat “not too much, mostly plants” (to quote Michael Pollan). Ehrenreich is free to enjoy as much Wendy’s and Popeye’s as she wants, treat physical activity as a horrendous chore rather than a fun way to feel better, and scoff at meditation and other mindfulness initiatives, but I’d rather enjoy my short stay on the planet by minimizing my physical and mental pain. I loved “Nickled and Dimed,” and didn’t enjoy this book as much, although I did learn a lot of interesting facts about the human body.