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Brody, Jane E.


BRODY, JANE E. (1941– ), U.S. health and science writer. Born in Brooklyn, n.y., Brody earned a B.S. degree in biochemistry from the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University in 1962 and a master's degree in science writing from the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism the following year. She worked as a general assignment reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune until 1965, when she joined the New York Times as a specialist in medicine and biology. In 1967 she was named Personal Health columnist, and her no-nonsense, clearly written accounts of common health problems became one of the most widely read and frequently quoted columns in the country. In addition to her column, she wrote articles on other aspects of science and medicine; these appeared in more than 100 American newspapers. She also wrote scores of magazine articles and eight books, which were revised and updated regularly, and lectured widely on health and nutrition to audiences of lay people and professionals. Her books frequently turned up on the bestseller lists in hardcover and paperback.

As part of her belief in health, she insisted on daily physical activity, alternating with walking, cycling, swimming, ice skating, tennis, hiking, and occasionally roller-blading and cross-country skiing. A diminutive woman, she maintained a trim figure. Her regular menu focused on vegetables, fruits, grains, potatoes, beans, and peas as well as low-fat dairy products, lean meats and poultry, and all varieties of fish and shellfish. For those struggling with the battle of the bulge, she preached moderation and variety, not deprivation and denial.

Her reports on a healthy nutritious diet and good health – she was fervently against smoking – were widely influential among the medical profession. No medical topic was excluded from her columns: the minor risks of circumcision, fighting cancer (her mother died of cancer); the latest research on sleep; allergies; the perils of too much sun; raising twins (she had twin boys); caring for the elderly, or Marfan's syndrome, to name a few subjects from the thousands of articles she wrote. Brody appeared on countless radio and television programs and received numerous awards for journalistic excellence. In 1987 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Princeton University and in 1993 an honorary doctorate from Hamline University in St. Paul. Among her books are Jane Brody's New York Times Guide to Personal Health, Jane Brody's Good Food Book, and Jane Brody's Food Gourmet.

[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]

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