Forty Years & Four Months

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Observations based on scientific evidence gathered over time lacks the punch of “Forty Years & Four Months,” and “Lessons Learned from the Bogalusa Heart Study” never seemed quite as sexy as “You Can Fix The Fat From Childhood – & Other Heart Disease Risks, Too.”

Four months advanced from previous post, Mizrizbaboo continues to tout the new book. You can buy it here:, or you can order it from Amazon. With self-confidence and a solid sense of humor and, you might even ask your independent bookseller for a copy; promotional information went to about three million bookstores, but who knows whether any bought in to helping sell the book that could become the go-to source for individuals who want and need to lose weight, for people who need information about obesity related to heart diseases, for families who need insight and inspiration to prevent early disability and death from heart disease?

Reviewers like the book.

MPB’s “Southern Remedy” host and University of Mississippi Medical Center professor Dr. Rick deShazo said the book “is must reading for every parent, grandparent, teacher and other caregiver attempting to raise healthy children in our fat, sugar, salt-rich food environment. Weight control is not only essential for good health, but is achievable when children and adults understand the implications of bad choices and have a toolset to make good ones. This book provides both. I highly recommend it and suggest it be shared with all friends and family interested in stopping our epidemic of obesity related bad health and early diabetes.”

Author and book reviewer Vicki Liston of New York likes the book, too: “Authors Dr. Gerald S. Berenson and NancyKay Sullivan Wessman, MPH, utilize their extensive wealth of knowledge gained from the Bogalusa Heart Study and lay out the facts in an organized fashion and in understandable language. The book’s format ensures that the reader gets exactly what they need to implement a healthier lifestyle without overwhelming them with hundreds of pages, difficult medical terminology, or extended explanations. You can literally pick it up, read it in a day, and get started on the road to better health right away. Dr. Berenson and Wessman write with an authoritative yet playful tone – they may be medical professionals with years and years of practical experience but they are also relatable and likable. They convey intelligence, empathy, and encouragement, and I felt like I was getting the best advice from true experts in the field.”

Producing the book took some seven years – well, 40 years going all the way back to the beginning of the Bogalusa Heart Study. Berenson began the Study in 1972 at Louisiana State University as a national Specialized Center of Research. The study continues through Tulane University and National Institutes of Health funding. BHS remains the only long-term cardiovascular, community research program in the world in which both African American and Caucasian individuals have consistently participated from early childhood through adulthood and middle life into old age. The Study encompasses clinical, epidemiologic, and experimental programs on atherosclerosis, essential hypertension, and diabetes as they relate to later coronary and hypertensive heart disease – and also how these begin in childhood. Before, no comprehensive examination of all children in a total biracial (black and white) community had been undertaken with this detail.

Why seven years? Most of the data already existed and a first-attempt draft had emerged in the late 1980’s.  A New York-based writer revealed Berenson’s findings of increasing obesity and “superobesity” (morbid obesity) among youngsters two decades before most people observed the bulge, the beginning of The Obesity Epidemic. America’s children even then were growing fatter, not fitter.

Berenson and Wessman connected in 2005 and dug out the old manuscript, buried years earlier upon the demise of its writer. Through various creative yet scientific-sensitive revisions to the original draft, the co-authors finally agreed in early 2012 that the work met their aim to write a book that can help families achieve healthier lifestyles, lose weight if needed, and prevent the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

“Why even write, much less self-publish, a book like this?” Berenson asked. “We have been at it for over four decades. We practice clinical medicine and see the ravages of heart disease. We know the cost. We see and have endured the emotional trauma. We have done the research and are beginning to understand prevention. We can’t cure heart disease or prevent death – that is the natural course of living. But we can delay that eventuality and perhaps improve quality of life.”

With his determination to spread the word about primordial prevention – knowing about and following healthy lifestyles before bad risk factors begin and result in heart disease and such related issues as diabetes – and Wessman’s knowledge of the publishing industry, the two turned the carefully crafted and neatly polished manuscript into a self-published book. They’ve only just begun.

The real reason to write a book is not publication but actually getting people to read the book. That’s where Mizrizbaboo fits, having announced publication four months ago and now revving the marketing engines to get the word out about the book’s messages and availability. Despite the title, this book offers not a diet of nutrition and exercise but a style of deliberate health-conscious living.

“You Can Fix The Fat From Childhood – & Other Heart Disease Risks, Too” can guide your family to discover risk factors and understand how you can avoid or reduce the effects of those risks through childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle age, and the late years of life. Adults can learn to change the health of children and teens positively before disease becomes an issue. Importantly, children can learn to achieve a healthy existence for life!

Reclaiming optimum health – losing extra pounds to achieve “normal” weight – requires a complex recipe of attitudes and actions. Losing weight can feel like hard work and involved change; it’s not fast or easy, but Mizrizbaboo is doing it and you can, too!


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