Overeating And Underweight

ALTHOUGH the subject of underweight associated with gluttony does not come strictly within the scope of this book, its importance as a health men-ace is worthy of comment because it is so frequently overlooked.

I have seen many people of non-obese type who were gourmands of the first order. They justified their overeating on the ground that (a) they were trying to put on weight and (b) if they did not get fat, satisfying their appetites did them no harm.

The alibi sounds plausible but implies that something is decidedly wrong with either the individual or the diet. Certainly one who takes three or four thousand calories daily for a long time, is of sedentary habits and still remains underweight will meet his nemesis sooner or later in the way of high blood pressure, angina pectoris, diabetes, gout, stomach, liver or intestinal disorders. He is perhaps eating too much coarse food or other foods which pass too rapidly through the intestinal tract before the digestive and absorptive functions have time to operate. Perhaps his digestive juices are deficient in quality and quantity. A condition called peristalsic fatigue may result which adds to that. other menace, intestinal toxemia, which is increased in degree when partially digested food reaches the colon. Thus both physiologic and biochemic harm results.

Consult Your Physician

Great benefit can come to such individuals if they will consult their physician, who with a scientific approach can normalize their digestive secretions, inhibit their hyper-peristalsis (over-activity of the intestinal action) and place them on a low residue, well-balanced, high vitamin and mineral salt diet which will enable them to gain without overtaxing their digestive apparatus.

A large percentage of the ulcer patients whom I treat have followed for years the high residue, fodder-food regimen because some friend or advertisement has sold them on the merits of jumbled bran or sugared confetti. But just as different feet require different shoes, different digestive tracts require different food.

The greatest single bit of dietetic advice that can be given in the fewest words and can do the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of people, is as follows:

Consult Your Physician

Law residue foods to the lean. High residue foods to the fat.

There are of course many exceptions to this general rule, and that is why the physician should be consulted.