SKINNY IS OVERRATED: The Real Woman's Guide to Health and Happiness at Any Size, by Danielle Milano, M.D., Synergy Books, $15.95, 243 pp.

Milano, a clinical instructor at Manhattan's Mount Sinai School of Medicine, treats obese and diabetic patients in East Harlem, "a neighborhood of the poor" whose residents "can grab a hamburger and fries" - but, "if you want a salad, you're out of luck."

Yet East Harlem isn't that different from the rest of the world, she writes: Despite better access to healthy food in other neighborhoods, many people eat too much bad stuff.

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THE SCOOP "One does not need to be thin to be fit and healthy."

THE BOTTOM LINE Milano shows how to "Get Organized!" (packing food for work, stocking your kitchen), make meals based on the Mediterranean diet - and what to "Avoid Like the Plague!" (some no-nos, like soy milk, might surprise). Take the doctor's advice, and you'll be eating many more veggies and fruits than just an apple a day.