Brody, Jane E.

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BRODY, Jane E.

Born 19 May 1941, Brooklyn, New York

Daughter of Lillian Kellner and Sidney Brody; married RichardEnquist, 1966; children: Lee Erik and Lorin Michael

Hailed as "The High Priestess of Health" by Time magazine, writer and journalist Jane Brody began her career by obtaining her B.S. from New York State College in 1962. Followed by a masters in journalism from the University of Wisconsin in 1963, Brody then went on to receive honorary degrees from Princeton University (H.H.D., 1987) and Hamline University (L.H.D., 1993).

Straight out of college in 1963, Brody went to work as a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune, where she spent two years learning the ropes. She moved to New York City in 1965 where she began writing for the New York Times, elevated to the position of science writer. She started the "Personal Health" column, for which she has become best known, in 1976. Ironically, Brody originally believed her weekly column on health would be a burden, and committed to writing it for only three months. Fortunately for many health-conscious people, it quickly became the most popular feature on the New York Times news service. Brody has spent her days since then writing about everything from cancer and dental sealants to stress management and healthy cooking.

In 1966 Brody married Richard Engquist, with whom she would go on to write her first book, Secrets of Good Health (1970). With Arthur Holleb, Brody would also write You Can Fight Cancer and Win (1977), both of which have gone out of print. Several years later, Brody had gained enough name recognition and clout at the New York Times to get top billing in her publications, releasing Jane Brody's Nutrition Book: A Lifetime Guide to Good Eating for Better Health and Weight Control (1981), covering nutrition and diet, weight control, complete with complex carbohydrate-based recipes (rice, potatoes, pasta, and beans, for example) and calorie and nutrition charts. It became a bestseller, and her success hasn't wavered since. Jane Brody's The New York Times Guide to Personal Health (1982) collected selections from Brody's column, covering health and medicine from November 1976 to the date of publication.

More books soon followed: Jane Brody's Good Food Book: Living the High Carbohydrate Way (1985), a cookbook containing more than 350 simple and healthy recipes based on complex carbohydrates, as well as information about maintaining a balanced lifestyle; Jane Brody's Good Food Gourmet: Recipes and Menus for Delicious and Healthful Entertaining (1990), a collection of more than 500 recipes designed for entertaining, including appetizers, entrees, vegetable dishes, and desserts, as well as cooking techniques, ingredients, and equipment; Jane Brody's Good Seafood Book (1994), written with collaborator Richard Flaste, a primer on seafood and a collection of 200 recipes, with everything from sources of dietary protein to a comprehensive overview of seafood lore—including debunking the American myth that fish comes in one of two incarnations: fish sticks or tuna on rye; Jane Brody's Cold and Flu Fighter (1995), offering everything there is to know about preventing and coping with colds and flu, including the author's own chicken soup recipe; and Jane Brody's Allergy Fighter (1997), a guide to understanding the causes of allergies, from prevention to the most effective antihistamines, decongestants, and topical sprays. Although The New York Times Book of Health: How to Feel Fitter, Eat Better, and Live Longer (1997) was written by a group of reporters from the New York Times, Brody gets top billing. The huge tome (496 pages), edited by Nicholas Wade, covers everything from health and popular medicine to physical fitness and nutrition, from menopause and vitamins to HMOs and jogging.

In addition to her own books, Brody's works appear in numerous anthologies, collections, cookbooks, and health books. She also designed Cooking á la Heart Cookbook: Delicious Heart Healthy Recipes to Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke (1992), by Linda Hachfeld, Betsy Eykyn, and the Mankato Heart Health Program Foundation.

The recipient of numerous awards during her career, Brody counts among them the Howard Blakeslee Award from the American Heart Association (1971), the Science Writer's Award ADA (1978), and a Lifeline Award from the American Health Foundation (1978). She continues to write from her home in New York.

Other Works:

Jane Brody's Weight Loss Program (cassette, 1987).


Who's Who in America, 1998. ADA Daily News (19 Feb. 1998). Karp, J., "No Fries for You: A Checkup with the High Priestess of Health," in At Random Magazine (Sept. 1998).