"Go Wild" by John Ratey, MD and Richard Manning
What is this book is about?
This book explores the idea that as humans have “progressed” towards a modern way of living, we have inadvertently created an environment that predisposes us to diseases of civilisation, including diabetes, heart disease and depression. With this as their hypothesis, the authors examine the key changes that have occurred to the way we eat, move, sleep, think, interact with nature and connect with one another that have led to this outcome.
What I liked about the book...
I like the fact that this book challenges us to consider that easier is not always better. The authors encourage the reader to revise our perception of what it means to live “wild” and consider our lifestyle choices not only in terms of the short-term benefits but also the long-term implications. I enjoyed how each chapter took me on a detailed journey back in time to learn how and why our ancestors lived the way that they did, pinpointing the moment in time when humans discovered “breakthroughs” in agriculture, transportation and technology, and the negative impact that these changes have had on our health. I also enjoyed the final chapters, where the authors describe their own personal life stories and the transformations they have made as a result of writing this book.
Who should read this book?
Well, everyone. With global rates of obesity now reaching tipping point and more people in the world being overweight than not, now is the time for each of us to re-evaluate our lifestyle choices and the way we interact with our environment. In particular, health professionals and leaders who have the potential to influence health systems need to read this book in order to understand how we have got to this point and what needs to transform so we can start reversing these changes and save the human species.
Other work by John Ratey, MD
Dr John Ratey is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an internationally recognised expert in Neuropsychiatry. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles, and 11 books published in 17 languages, including the ground-breaking ADD-ADHD “Driven to Distraction” series with Ned Hallowell, MD. With the publication of "Spark-The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain," Dr. Ratey has established himself as one of the world's foremost authorities on the brain-fitness connection. You can watch his TED talk here