Arnot, Robert Burns 1947(?)–
Arnot, Robert Burns 1947(?)–
PERSONAL: Born c. 1947; son of Robert E. (a psychiatrist) and Mary A. Arnot; married; wife's name, Courtney; children: Bobby, Hayden. Education: Attended Notre Dame University; Dartmouth College, B.S., 1972; McGill University, M.D., 1974. Hobbies and other interests: Sports, flying.
CAREER: Physician and writer. Physician in Africa, c. 1974–76; physician for U.S. Olympic Ski Team, 1977–80; Lake Placid Sports Medicine Center, Lake Placid, NY, founder, 1978; XXIII Winter Olympics, Lake Placid, physician, 1980; National Emergency Services, medical director, 1980–84; CBS News, medical correspondent, 1984–96; NBC News, special foreign correspondent, 1996–2001, MSNBC, special foreign correspondent, 2001–04. Member of board of directors of U.S. Ski Team, Save the Children, and U.N. High Commission for Refugees.
AWARDS, HONORS: Dupont Award, for television segment 48 Hours on Crack Street; Overseas Press Club award (with others), for team coverage of floods in Mozambique.
(With Charles Latham Gaines) Sportselection, Viking (New York, NY), 1984.
(With Charles Latham Gaines) Sportstalent, Penguin (New York, NY), 1986.
(Under name Bob Arnot) The Best Medicine: How to Choose the Top Doctors, the Top Hospitals, and the Top Treatments, Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1992.
(Under name Bob Arnot) Dr. Bob Arnot's Guide to Turning Back the Clock, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1995.
(Under name Bob Arnot) Dr. Bob Arnot's Revolutionary Weight Control Program, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1997.
(Under name Bob Arnot) The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet: The Powerful Foods, Supplements, and Drugs That Can Save Your Life, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1998.
(Under name Bob Arnot) The Biology of Success, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2000.
(Under name Bob Arnot) The Prostate Cancer Protection Plan: The Powerful Foods, Supplements and Drugs That Could Save Your Life, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2000.
(Under name Bob Arnot; with Barbara Sutherland and Rita Mitchell) The Breast Health Cookbook: Fast and Simple Recipes to Reduce the Risk of Cancer, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2001.
(As Bob Arnot) Wear and Tear: Stop the Pain and Put the Spring Back in Your Body, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.
(As Bob Arnot) Seven Steps to Stop a Heart Attack, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2005.
Special advisor to The Complete Manual of Fitness and Well-being, Viking (New York, NY), 1984. Author of medical column for Good Housekeeping magazine, beginning 1994, and Self magazine.
SIDELIGHTS: Physician and journalist Robert Burns Arnot—best known as Bob Arnot—has been a visible proponent of healthy living in the American media since the mid-1980s. His first television appearances were a result of the pioneering sports medicine clinic he founded in Lake Placid, New York, to help prepare athletes for the 1980 Winter Olympics. The television crews who reported on his clinic were impressed with Arnot, and soon the physician was doing sports commentary and health segments for television networks. In his news reports and in the many books that he has written, Arnot sings the praises of regular, vigorous exercise and healthy eating.
Arnot's 1992 book The Best Medicine: How to Choose the Top Doctors, the Top Hospitals, and the Top Treatments "is an invaluable tool for those who wish to improve the health care they or their loved ones receive," declared a Publishers Weekly critic. Arnot lists some of the best medical centers in the country for performing each of fourteen surgical procedures and treating each of eleven major chronic illnesses, but he also gives the reader the tools to evaluate their own doctors and those doctors' recommendations for treating these conditions.
Arnot describes his own extreme exercise regimen in Dr. Bob Arnot's Guide to Turning Back the Clock, a book written for middle-aged men who hope to continue to enjoy the same level of physical fitness they did in their twenties. He encourages men to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and less refined flour, fat, and sugar; to lift weights to fight the loss of muscle mass that often comes with age; and to participate in aerobic sports that they enjoy. The guide is "substantive [and] sensible," commented a Publishers Weekly contributor who particularly praised Arnot's "illustrated and user-friendly guide to weight training."
Arnot's most controversial book is The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet: The Powerful Foods, Supplements, and Drugs That Can Save Your Life. The book, which Arnot was inspired to write after his mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer, encourages a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables, and soy and low in fat, as well as the use of dietary supplements such as fish oil and flaxseed. Critics, including many within the medical profession, contended that Arnot oversold the existing research on the connection between diet and cancer, much of which was preliminary and performed on animal rather than human subjects. Arnot and his supporters countered by arguing that eating healthy has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer, even if it does not eliminate it entirely, and that, given the low risks and other health benefits of his recommended diet and the high number of women diagnosed with breast cancer every year, eating well certainly cannot hurt and could help. As Arnot explained in an interview with Kim Hubbard for People, "This diet is similar to the cuisine of Asia, where the incidence of breast cancer is very low…. The best argument for it is simply, why not?"
Arnot followed The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet with The Breast Health Cookbook: Fast and Simple Recipes to Reduce the Risk of Cancer, a collection of healthy recipes created with Barbara Sutherland and Rita Mitchell. As Arnot explains in the book, he realized that the three most important things when encouraging people to make healthy meals are "taste, taste, taste." The book includes updated, health-enhanced versions of some American favorites, including macaroni and cheese and minestrone soup, as well as recipes from cuisines generally recognized as healthier than American, including Asian and Mediterranean.
The Biology of Success features a wide variety of advice for healthy living, both mental and physical—the two of which, Arnot would argue, are closely connected. His tips on how to maintain the mental energy required to succeed in life include dressing to keep a comfortable body temperature, having a positive outlook on life, and eating and sleeping well. Although critics noted that much of the book's advice is commonsensical, "the book does make for good browsing," as a Publishers Weekly critic wrote, adding that "some readers will appreciate Arnot's easygoing tone and folksy recommendations."
Wear and Tear: Stop the Pain and Put the Spring Back in Your Body provides aging readers with strategies to slow and even halt the damage to their joints that many people consider to be an inevitable part of the aging process. As in his other books Arnot encourages a healthy diet and supplements, in this case glucosamine, as well as exercise, particularly disciplines such as yoga that encourage stretching and increasing range of motion. To prevent joint damage, Arnot also recommends that readers learn about biomechanics and then pay careful attention to moving in ways that avoid putting undue stress on joints.
Seven Steps to Stop a Heart Attack is one of Arnot's most highly praised books. Library Journal contributor Howard Fuller described it as "one of the best overviews this reviewer has ever read on the risks and warning signs" of coronary artery disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Many people are unaware that they have coronary artery problems until they suffer a heart attack, and for many of them this warning will come too late: one-third of people who have heart attacks die from them. Arnot "puts the responsibility of making an informed decision into readers' hands," explained a Publishers Weekly contributor, by laying out signs and symptoms they should look out for and encouraging them to be proactive about requesting the necessary diagnostic tests and treatments.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Arnot, Robert, Barbara Sutherland, and Rita Mitchell, The Breast Health Cookbook: Fast and Simple Recipes to Reduce the Risk of Cancer, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2001.
Drug Store News, December 14, 1998, "Controversy Arises over Cancer Diet," p. CP24.
Inc., January, 2000, "Everything in Moderation," review of The Biology of Success, p. 98.
Lancet, November 28, 1998, Marilynn Larkin, review of The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet: The Powerful Foods, Supplements, and Drugs That Can Save Your Life, p. 1789.
Library Journal, September 1, 1992, Mary J. Jarvis, review of The Best Medicine: How to Choose the Top Doctors, the Top Hospitals, and the Top Treatments, p. 202; October 15, 1998, Virginia Lingle, review of The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet, p. 89; April 15, 1999, Nancy Paul, review of The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet, p. 165; June 15, 2000, James Swanton, review of The Prostate Cancer Protection Plan: The Powerful Foods, Supplements, and Drugs That Could Save Your Life, p. 104; November 15, 2002, Susan B. Hagloch, review of Wear and Tear: Stop the Pain and Put the Spring Back in Your Body, p. 93; December 1, 2004, Howard Fuller, review of Seven Steps to Stop a Heart Attack, p. 148.
Nutrition Forum, July, 1999, Jane Reinhardt-Martin, review of The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet, p. 32.
People, December 21, 1998, Kim Hubbard, "Food Fight: Does the Breast Cancer Prevention Diet, by TV Doc Bob Arnot, Deliver on Its Promise—or Raise False Hope?," p. 58.
Publishers Weekly, August 31, 1992, review of The Best Medicine, p. 76; March 6, 1995, review of Dr. Bob Arnot's Guide to Turning Back the Clock, p. 65; November 15, 1999, review of The Biology of Success, p. 61; September 3, 2001, review of The Breast Health Cookbook, p. 75; November 22, 2004, review of Seven Steps to a Healthy Heart, p. 56.
E. Jean Carroll Homepage, http://www.ejeanlive.com/ (May 6, 2005), "Doctor Sport, up to Speed: The Good, Fast Life of Doctor Robert Arnot."