Excerpt: 'How the Rich Get Thin'

Women who are not working outside of the home and are married to successful men with the Park Avenue mind-set are often just as driven. These women often belong to charitable groups and raise millions of dollars for worthy causes they are passionate about. In fact, many organizations would not be able to exist without the tireless work of these dedicated women. However, there is an expectation that they have to look perfect at all times. There is an intense competitiveness to looking fabulous at this level.

Since the 1960s reign of such New York socialite icons as Slim Keith, Doris Duke, and Babe Paley, dubbed the "beautiful people" by Diana Vreeland, the beloved editor of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, the rich have been considered the great influencers of fashion, style, and culture. As Wallis Simpson, the American-born Duchess of Windsor, once said, "You can never be too rich or too thin." The Park Avenue princess lives, dresses, and dies by this motto. And she may unknowingly sacrifice her health to do so. While it may be true that you cannot really be too rich, you most definitely can be too thin. By maintaining a dangerously low weight to fit into sleek designer fashions, a woman may eliminate vital nutrition. The items that I find lacking most commonly in such people are dairy products and sufficient protein. In some cases, such extreme dieters are fighting a never-ending battle with a body type they were born with, instead of eating sensibly to sustain the health of the body they have.

How Your Body Type Affects Weight Gain

Your body type is determined largely by genetics, over which we have no control. William Sheldon, M.D., first developed the concept that everyone is born with a certain body type. Dr. Sheldon outlined three basic body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.

Ectomorph is the type that fashion magazines would have us aspire to: tall with long, thin limbs and little body fat. Most supermodels and basketball players are the ectomorph body type. It is an unrealistic goal for many people not born this type.

Mesomorph body types are characterized by an athletic, strong, and compact body. The world's top figure skaters and tennis players tend to fall into the mesomorph category.

Endomorphs are round and gain weight easily.

The body type that you were born with is the body type that you will have for life. It is one of your physical characteristics, just like your eye color. If your goal is to keep yourself in the best of health, by avoiding excess weight, exercising daily, and maintaining correct posture you will look fabulous whatever body type you possess.

Body Types

Ectomorph -- slim, lithe, long-limbed: Gisele Bundchen, Cindy Crawford, Chris Rock

Mesomorph -- athletic body, muscular: Gabrielle Reece, Katie Couric, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mark Wahlberg, Andre Agassi, Kristi Yamaguchi

Endomorph -- round, voluptuous: Queen Latifah, Danny DeVito, Roseanne, Dr. Ruth, Azzedine Alaia

Do You Need a Medicine Cabinet Makeover?

I have heard some pretty amazing stories from patients about the lengths they have gone to in order to lose weight: fad diets, smoking, laxatives, and even stimulants like amphetamines and cocaine. Losing weight by any of these methods can result in a disruption of the body's chemistry. While people may lose weight by such means, their health declines and they end up looking worse and worse.

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