Just Naturally Fat

I HAVE said that every case of obesity is different. I have pointed out that increase in weight may be due to glandular derangement or to some other condition which you could properly say is not your own fault. But don’t, I beg of you, make that your excuse for dismissing the matter by saying, “Oh, I’m just naturally fat,” and letting it go at that.

No excess of fat is “natural.” It may not be due to too much food and too little exercise. It may be due to causes quite beyond your own con-trot But that does not justify you in failing to go to your physician and finding out what he can do about it with your help.

Even granting that yours is the “simple” fatness of the alimentary type, your case is still different from that of your neighbor or even of your near relative. What harms or helps him may not harm or help you.

Obesity “cures” are legion. The fault of most of them is that they do not individualize the treatment. Different physical conditions demand different diets, different forms of exercise. More than that, different temperaments demand different handling. The weight which is healthy for you will differ from that of your neighbor. The difference will depend upon your sex, your age, your height, your habits of life, your bony framework. Each of us, dietetically and otherwise, is a law unto him-self. No one should lightly undertake to prevent or cure obesity with a diet selected on his own initiative and responsibility.

Begin by placing yourself under the care of a competent physician. Guided by experience he will watch your special case with extreme care, from every scientific angle, lest any harm should come to you. If you undertake a reduction program alone you may entirely fail to heed certain danger signals, dim and vague to the layman but readily discernible to the alert physician. In ignorance you might run past a danger signal. Much harm can easily be done as happens, for example, if you undertake to reduce too quickly.

I hope it will not be necessary for me to say again that the primary advice I have to give is, consult your doctor.