Research has shown that a woman’s body shape—whether she is round in the middle like an apple or wider at the bottom like a pear—is the single best predictor of health risks. Dr. Marie Savard wants to get this message out to all women, so that “pears” can give themselves a break from pointless dieting and “apples” can save their own lives.

When Dr. Marie Savard Nu’72 GrNu’72 M’76,walks into the lunchroom at the Center City Philadelphia offices of Binswanger, a real estate consulting and brokerage firm, to talk about her book, Apples and Pears: The Body Shape Solution for Weight Loss and Wellness, everyone’s already seated. Though talking about your weight and health is a bit personal for office-lunchroom fodder, the promise of a new and effective weight-management plan is irresistible—25 women of varying ages and shapes are assembled.

Savard, 55, is adept at putting the standing-room-only crowd at ease. Like all good public speakers, the slim, blonde doctor opens with a joke—“Mr. Binswanger told me I get a better turnout than he does”—but she immediately undercuts the effect by pulling a tape measure out of her purse. The women sitting up front suddenly look horrified that they might be rounded up and measured.

Savard launches into her talk by asking a few questions. “How many of you in here know how much you weigh?”

Everyone groans. Everyone raises their hand.

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©2005 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 08/25/05

Fruits and Fate
By Caroline Tiger

Illustration by Roman Klonek

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