When Poor Was Healthy makes a convincing argument that individuals of various socio-economic levels can make modest behavioral changes to improve their health. It provides a plethora of evidence that demonstrates the efficacy and feasibility of lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating, physically activity, tobacco cessation, breastfeeding, and vaginal births, among others. Then it guides the reader through a step-by-step process to make the necessary lifestyle changes to reduce risk factors that lead to common chronic conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and common forms of cancer. The author is a public health practitioner. She also is a native and resident of Mississippi, a state she acknowledges is negatively impacted by poverty, but obesity and tobacco use- not poverty- are the leading causes of its staggering rates of chronic diseases, C-sections, infant mortality, drug medication consumption, surgeries, and diabetic amputations, etc., that occur among the poor and uneducated as well as the affluent and college educated, particularly its Black residents, who make up nearly 40% of the population.