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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 4 March 2014
A very comprehensive analysis of how evolution has shaped human development and how this does not really match with modern lifestyles.
I found the level pitched about right, not too technical but assuming some general background knowledge. It provided some real insights into how some modern "diseases" are the consequence of our lifestyles changing much faster than evolution and how cultural evolution is replacing genetic evolution in some circumstances. Whilst not dwelling on possible "cures", it becomes very apparent that sensible modifications of lifestyle and diet might provide some benefits in quality of life as we age. He takes a common-sense approach, advocating achievable changes rather than revolutionary ones.
Daniel tries to give balanced views and references which help to show that this is not an exact science - there is still much uncertainty and much work to be done. Occasionally the lack of references in a section gives a clue that a particular view may be a personal one.
It was overlong with a lot of repetition, I got the feeling that the author was aiming for a target shelf width - otherwise I would have given it 5 stars.
It has certainly provided me with enough evidence to motivate myself to make some modifications to my lifestyle.
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on 3 February 2014
I couldn't put this book down as I find this subject really interesting...understanding the human body through Evolution and learning about health and diet is something that anyone could benefit from . Well written, not full of big scientific words...I would recommend this book..
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on 6 May 2014
I would recommend this book to anyone who has even the slightest interest in being healthy.

It explains the evolutionary basis of who we are today and why we get everything from diabetes, obesity to running injuries and how they are totally preventable by applying common sense and bit of knowledge that would come from simply reading the label on the food that we buy.

It explain in lucid detail why "low-fat" food make you fatter. I followed these principle for a year and lost over 10% of my body weight and my fitness level at a level I never thought imaginable. And all this in my middle-age!

Highly recommended.
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on 28 March 2014
I am a trainer who uses an evolutionary fitness model in both my personal lifestyle and in the education and straining of others.

This book sums up the various facets that affect fitness and wellness (movement, nutrition and lifestyle) and how they relate to our background as a species.
It highlights mismatches between our environment of evolutionary adaptation and our modern post industrialised world distilling the information in an easily absorbable way.

There are great examples all along the way and a wide range of studies and resources are cited with a sizeable bibliography at the end for further reading.

This is a highly practical guide for anyone wanting to know anything real about what makes us human and how to look after ourselves.

Lieberman garners the readers trust by way of the fact that he himself is a peer reviewed and respected professor of anthropology with a wealth of experience in the field.

The only problem is it is so well researched that I feel I will become academically lazy and use this book as a single source for my evolution fitness based questions.
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on 21 February 2016
In this book Daniel goes through the evolution of the human body, followed by talking about mismatch diseases and effects of sugar, fat, salt and low activity on human body, which I found quite educating read.

You will find out such things for example such as how body converts sugar into energy, energy consumption by hunter gatherers versus modern human, brain size relative to primates and what being not active does to our body. These are only few snippets from the book, there is much more.

The book covers quite a lot of stuff. In human evolution part he talks about Apes and Humans and our common ancestors, on how we became bipedals, following by culture and rise of farming which caused our population to explode which exposed us to all sorts of diseases and then ending book with looking at whats causing certain mismatch diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and how our body responds to them.

By reading this book you will learn more about human evolution, on how environment and history made us who we are today. You will also learn more about the way your body works, health, diet and what can cause certain mismatch diseases. The book is eye opener and I would highly recommend it to read it through.
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on 6 April 2014
This might be the most useful book I have ever read. As someone who needs to understand the reasoning behind health advice I found this book perfectly suited me. I am fascinated by evolution so really enjoyed it from this perspective but I also dramatically increased my understanding of health, fitness, disease, etc from an evolutionary angle in a way that I can practically apply to day to day life. I cannot recommend this book strongly enough.
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on 24 July 2016
I believe this is a very important book. Daniel Lieberman takes a methodical, clear-eyed approach as he draws upon the evidence we have to hand to show that human beings evolved to be hunter-gatherers and that our bodies are the bodies of hunter-gatherers. While he does not present this era as a paradise, he shows that for 200,000 years we did not suffer from the diseases and problems that we have now in modern society: there were no epidemics (there were too few of us and we were not crowded together), there was not diabetes, cancer etc. on the scale we have today. We did not harm the environment like we do now. Lieberman shows, more incisively than most similar books, that two massively important cultural changes -- the introduction of farming roughly at 7000 BC in the Middle East, and the mass industrialisation at the end of the 18th century -- have created huge problems for the human body on many levels. This book really nails many of our problems today.
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on 20 April 2014
I wish everyone could be made to read and understand this book. An understanding of how our bodies got to where they are, and how we're abusing them, would remove the excuse of ignorance for those who refuse to believe in the importance of diet and exercise...
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on 13 November 2013
Very clear and concise read,ideal for the layperson who wants to grasp the essence of what makes the human body work as well as the stresses and disease with which it has to contend.
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on 4 August 2014
I've finished the first 2 chapters only, however I will say I have learned a lot, more than I thought I would. The author has a way of writing that will keep you engaged while reinforcing lessons though out each chapter without it sounding repetitive. This is great for me because there is a lot to learn and I don't want to be taking notes the whole time.
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