Obesity And Longevity
( Originally Published 1929 )
THE fat, as well as the good, die young.
The thought of death is a sobering one. And the prospect of a full and promising life suddenly arrested at the peak of its most useful period is altogether tragic. Fat people, accordingly, should be made to realize that their chances of attaining or bettering the Biblical allotment of three score years and ten are materially less than those of the non-obese.
It is not very common to see a fat man or woman over sixty years of age. You who have reached the age of even fifty ought to know that a clear majority of the fat people of your age who seek medical attention are suffering from high blood pressure. Those among the fat who are wise reduce their weight and live on.
If you diet you won't die—at least not as soon as if you throw discretion to the winds, load your body down with surplus flesh, overtax your vital organs and make yourself an easy target for the deadly sharpshooters: diabetes, arterio-sclerosis, angina pectoris, myocarditis and apoplexy.
The usual excuses for obesity which fall so glibly from the lips of the middle-aged must be ignored. Many people believe that middle-age is itself ample justification for acquiring increased weight. At the very period when they work less, worry less and exercise less, thus actually requiring a smaller quantity of food, they yield more and more to the appeal of the flesh pots. Gradually, if Unconsciously, they become more and more addicted to the pleasures of the heavy-laden table which growing youth alone requires.
Middle-age is a critical, indeed a pivotal, point in life, and must look with alarm upon an unreasonable weight increase, particularly in the form of a "corporation." Lawyers think of a "corporation" tax as an impersonal levy upon some business enterprise. There is an intimate and personal corporation tax upon the obese who ought to know that the "corporation" itself is a harbinger of old age and a sly reminder of death taxes that are to come.
The rejuvenation of bodily vigor and spirit which so many seek is virtually impossible for the obese person. When your feet begin to falter and you drag with listless spirit through the morning hours to the heavy depression of mid-afternoon you can blame your fat. Once rational reduction gets under way you will be conscious of a feeling of exhilaration and physical fitness coupled with a new but unmistakable joy in discharging the tasks of the day. For a sane and scientific obesity cure invariably provides an immediate and effective means of rejuvenation.
Hundreds of men in every walk of life, business men, lawyers and bankers in big cities and small towns, can attest to the truth of the fact that a long and happy rejuvenated life can be built upon a simple physiological tripod, one leg of which is reduced food intake, the second increased exercise and a third the resultant improved elimination of body wastes.
If scientific dietetics were practiced by one generation alone it would produce a profound influence upon longevity second only to selective breeding.