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December 7, 1984

Well Body, Well Earth

Author Affiliations

Center for Environmental Health Centers for Disease Control

JAMA. 1984;252(21):3027-3028. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350210069045

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


As the title of this book implies, the earth and the human body are associated holistically for good or ill. In general, the authors' ideas are appealing, because if we destroy the balance of nature by polluting the earth, we increase the likelihood that the earth's illness will boomerang and lead us to extinction. Furthermore, the authors urge that the time for change is now and that change will come from personal life-style modification, local environmental action, and nationwide or international political pressure.

In places, the book seems to advocate a return to the "good old days" when humankind communed with nature, lived as hunters and gatherers, and had minimal technology to pollute the earth. Unfortunately for the authors' thesis, life spans were usually only three or four decades, species became extinct without human interference, and the chemicals, technology, and resultant pollution from producing books such as this did not