We have now given you the reducing diet, the very same one which 26,000 radio listeners followed in April 1936. I have not dared to make any modification of it, for some people will insist that no other diet could cause them to lose weight.
Of course, that is not true. The catabolic principle involved is what does the reducing. Actually, dozens and dozens of seven-day regimens could be formulated which would cause the average overweight individual to lose a pound or more a day. The substitution lists were compiled with a purpose. We have, in reality, listed the foods enabling you to work out a catabolic diet best suited to your taste and needs. Do take the trouble to do that.
Then lend us a hand, for there is work to be done. The problem of obesity is too important to be attacked with half-hearted resolves born of shame.
I read the Journal o f the American Medical Association thoroughly every week. My study of articles especially interesting to me gives me reason to believe that, in the opinion of medical leaders, widespread obesity amounts to a public health problem. Doctors are being prompted to consider and treat obesity as the disease it is. The accumulation of burdening, unhealthful pounds is a disease, just as surely as is tooth decay.
Adiposology is the science which treats of adiposis. Adiposis is the excessive accumulation of fat in the body. The potential benefits to mankind from an organized, deliberate, intelligent war on fat are tremendous. Because medical progress often hinges upon public demand, you and I can be of help. What inroads could be made in the death statistics of these major killers!
Today, a portentous new medical specialty is arising: geratology, the science of treating ailments and deformities of old age. Adiposology is a handmaiden to this recent division of the healing art, for obesity hastens the onset of, and often delivers the coup de grace to, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, kidney disease, and. others of the stealthy death dealers which exact a yearly toll in the United States of more than half a million lives. It is only too true that the fatty heart of a 40-year-old man may be a 60-year-old heart physiologically.
Straws show which way the wind blows. The serious manner in which medical journals regard obesity argues that one day these publications will encourage the training of specialists to deal with this ailment. Why not? Should the major attack on such a grave problem be left to any stray mortal who happens to take an interest in the subject-for pecuniary or other suspect reasons? The day is not far off when adiposologists will be respected members of the specialist fraternity.
I have already pointed out several ways in which a physician can be of tremendous help to the dieter who wishes to take off pounds our way. There are others.
We often hear the phrase, “Reduce if your health permits.” How silly that is! One might just as well say, “Give up smoking if your health permits.”
There is no circumstance in which the health of an overweight person will not permit healthful weight reduction.
It is the manner of this reduction that requires the judgment of a physician. Much harm may be done by illconsidered schemes. Avoidance of these, and observation of personal needs and pecuiiarities, are not the only ways in which your doctor can be of great assistance.
He also plays the role of mentor. Having to report to someone every so often while you are reducing is a great help to the morale. If that someone is a doctor, backed by the authority of his profession, the salutary effect is even greater.
You may silence your own “still, small voice” when temptations arise, but silencing your doctor’s is a horse of another color. You will be bolstered to resist cheating be cause the doctor is a conscience you can see and hear. You know that he will scold you in unmistakable language. Furthermore, when you face your doctor with no pounds gone in spite of the diet, he will soon find out why you failed to reduce. You can delude yourself as to what you ate or what you did not eat, but you don’t tell the doctor a fib-not successfully, anyhow.
Most of us are lackadaisical about goals which we set for ourselves. We need a top sergeant around. There is no good reason, for example, why anyone of sufficient intelligence could not obtain the equivalent of a college education just by studying in his own home with the proper books at hand. But the average man or woman finds it easier to attend school, where one’s own desires for education are fortified by pressure from those in authority.
Just so does the lone reducer often need a firm hand. Otherwise, he is apt to find himself in the roles of the judge, jurors, and both lawyers, as well as the defendant before the bar.
We lipophilics require direction and friendly help, encouragement and guidance, when we are reducing. The doctor can add professional understanding and authority to these. The service is worth a good price. And because we pay for his “bossing,” we will have respect for his orders. No one values free advice.
Stop a minute to think about our diet. If our concept is correct, an individual who is fat has an unbalanced relationship between the processes of catabolism and anabolism.
The reason we dub ourselves lipophilic is that anabolism is in the saddle. In the healthy adult, anabolism and cata bolism should be equal. Anyone who is 5 per cent off balance is going to be either too thin or too fat, in accordance with the way his metabolic pendulum swings.
If a definite amount of catabolic food in the diet can help regulate and condition the metabolic processes which have gone awry, why not benefit from the guidance of a physician who is better able to cope with this problem?
Would it not be much simpler for you to stay fit with diet if a physician were to study you as an individual? He might tell you, “Look here, Jones. You can control your weight perfectly by eating about a pound of catabolic foods a day.” The advice would differ, according to your metabolic make-up, but somewhere is your own formula. When you find it, the road to maintenance of normal weight will become Easy Street.
When I eat about two-thirds catabolic to one-third anabolic foods, my weight stays between 174 and 176 pounds. Just 65 per cent of catabolic foods gives me all the leeway I want for eating fattening foods. I can enjoy bread, potatoes, or a piece of chocolate cream cake a la mode if I so desire.
Thus, we have progressed far from the notion that elimination of one or two foods from our menus constitutes a fight against fat. Such a wholly unsatisfactory and inadequate measure is not even a sound blow to the enemy.
That kind of sacrifice is made as a self-inflicted penalty for overindulgence.
Surely you can appreciate that the fat person who has taken on too much weight is not helping himself particularly when he fines himself a few potatoes and pieces of bread for having been guilty of this act. Yet his attitude is, “Well, by doing so I took off six pounds in six weeks.”
So he did. But in the past ten years, he has lost perhaps 100 pounds in that way-mislaid them is a better word, because they came right back. What he did was to take off six pounds-and gain them back; take off another six-and gain them back.
That’s the fatty’s favorite game: put off and put on. But he is bound to come out with the short end of the stick because a badly-functioning metabolism always works against him. He works against it only sporadically. He will not change his metabolism or cure his functional abnormality. An understanding physician could help him to do so.
I repeat: the behavior of food in the body is a chemical problem which cannot be solved by foregoing a few goodtasting foods.
If, by its patronage, the public encourages physicians to give serious attention to the treatment of obesity, adiposology will soon rise to its rightful rank. Money spent on reducing gadgets and complicated apparatus (which soon rust away in garages and attics) could pay for the services of adiposologists.
Specialists in the hygiene and diseases of children are now doing work of inestimable value, but we did not have pediatricians until an aroused public began to see the need for pediatrics. It saw this need because, not so long ago (1921-1925), 74 out of every 1,000 living babies born in this country died before they reached the age of 1. In 1936, that figure had been reduced to 57 out of every 1,000 live births.
Hygiene, sanitation, and milk control were important factors in this progress. Proper diet alone has been tremendously influential, but the basic reason for such improvement was that the problem of infant mortality was recognized and an organized campaign begun against it. (We need a frontal attack now on the diseases of old age and the metabolic diseases which afflict adults.)
Much credit for this civilized advance is due to pediatricians. Their publications, hospitals, and activities have given us an expanding and increasingly valuable science. Why could not a similar division of medicine be established for the 16 million fatties who pay heavily in life, health, and happiness for their disability?
Yet it is to be doubted if any millionaire, even one who is overfat, intends to endow an Obesiological Institute. I wish one would-Saint Peter would give him a proper re ward. But insurance companies could and should undertake such a charitable program. Stockholders of mutual companies should, in fact, insist upon this course, because every life-policy holder in the United States is helping to foot a big bill for the cost of obesity. The abnormally high death rate of overweight individuals adds much to the cost of your premiums and mine.
If large industrial corporations can draw big dividends from their research departments, what do you suppose the biggest business in the United States (life insurance) could draw from research about a tremendous problem involving human life?
Lately, I have been getting a premium rebate check from my automobile insurance company for safe driving. This plan must result in much more careful driving among thousands of motorists. How about a life insurance premium rebate to the lipophilics who will agree to drive more carefully along life’s road? There is a turning-off point on the road to Debble Fat’s lair-and the path from there to normality is not so narrow and straight as you might think.
I don’t expect my feeble voice to be heard, but if a goodly number of us did some serious urging, insurance companies might take action. Just one properly sponsored, well-staffed, well-equipped institute for the study of obesity would soon transform the orphan science of adiposology from a Topsy that “jes’ growed” into a fullfledged science.
A Parting Word
If you who have read this book appreciate that Debble Fat is not an easy-going foe to be joked about and fought with cardboard weapons, our purpose has been accomplished.
Get to know the catabolic foods-remember you cannot run a gasoline motor on diesel oil. Keep a day-to-day record of your weight because the pounds sneak up on you unless you watch them. Treat the low-caloried but noncatabolic foods as good companions. Remember that beguilements such as alcohol and candy are digested without energy cost to your body.
Previously we have emphasized that, from the therapeutic viewpoint, those in the later decades of life can benefit most from weight reduction. But in a larger sense, perking up the catabolic processes of those overfat preadolescent children who are molding for a lifetime their fat and sugar metabolisms is a greater service.
In cases like these, a heavy responsibility falls upon the parents and the family doctor. Why should such abnormal trends be allowed to flourish?
An overfat child is neither “cute” nor amusing. He is an abnormal child whose future physical normality depends upon the judgment of his elders.
It is definitely much easier to train the fat and sugar metabolisms before rather than after the body adjustments of adolescence take place. Let us do all we can for youngsters to save them from our fate. Enlightenment and education are all that is needed.
In closing, let us bow our thanks to all those whose efforts and labors gave us the precious knowledge which we have been privileged to use.
Let us breathe a sigh of regret that other useful information which might profitably have been written here could not be included.
Let us toast the 26,000 radio listeners whose letters, cooperation, and friendliness gave us a picture of human experience that we needed to write this book.
And to you, my final hope is that this book has interested you in a worthy modern endeavor-that of keeping fit with foods. As Shakespeare wrote:
. . . that such a one, and such a one, were past cure of the things you wot of, unless they keep a very good diet.
-Measure for Measure, Act. II, Scene 1.