Chasing Life

Dr. Sanjay Gupta gave the keynote lecture at my alma mater University of Rochester’s Meliora Weekend  October 16, 2010.  I enjoyed his warm, authentic story-telling style as much as insights like:

I learned that hopes, dreams and aspirations are spread evenly throughout the world…

So, I bought his book, Chasing Life, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  With each page that I turned, I visualized myself appearing smarter in front of patients when asked for advice:

  • Hara hachi bu: An Okinawan expression for pushing away from the table when one is 80% satiated (p.20); Okinawans have one of the longest life-spans in the world
  • Tatyana Pozdnyakova who won the LA marathon in 2004 at age 49: “My age is very high, but my head is strong.  It is not about your body.  It is discipline.” (p.80)
  • Inadequate sleep decreases leptin production (an appetite suppressant) and increases ghrelin (an appetite stimulant), suggesting a link between sleep deprivation and obesity (p. 161)
  • An estimated 1.4 million Americans start smoking each year, half under age 18 (p.161)
  • An estimated 20.8 million Americans are diabetic; approximately 30% undiagnosed; over 1/3 of insulin-dependent diabetics who started a low-fat, vegetarian diet were able to stop taking insulin (p. 168-171)
  • The death of a spouse increases the risk of death of  his or her partner within the next 2 years by 17% for women and 21% for men (p.182)
  • The brain scans of people who meditate show less aging than comparable people who don’t (p. 195)

These are just a few of the well-reported insights in this entertaining book; reading it is a painless growth experience.

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