It is generally believed that, as long as an individual is in health, or apparently so, he is not injured by habitually eating more than is really necessary for the healthy nourishment of his body, but this opinion is utterly and dangerously false. It is, indeed, one of the most mischievous errors entertained by the human mind. For there is nothing in nature more true, more certain, than these propositions: that all vital action is necessarily attended with some expenditure of vital power, and draws something from the ultimate fund of life; and therefore all excessive vital action, all intensity of vital action, increases the expenditure of vital power, and necessarily abbreviates the duration of human life; and consequently, however long the vital economy of any human body may be able to preserve the general balance of action, between the composing and decomposing elements, and maintain a general health of the system under excessive alimentation, yet nothing is more certain than that, just in proportion as the alimentation has exceeded the real healthy wants of the vital economy, and thus caused an unnecessary Expenditure of vital power, life has been abbreviated—even though the individual dies from what is called old age, without a single violent symptom of disease. The error of opinion on this subject is common and mischievous; and the truth should be presented in its strongest light.
But we have as yet only presented the subject and contemplated it in its most favourable aspect. The case I have presented is a very extraordinary one. As a matter of fact, very few indeed who have constantly overnourished their bodies do die from old age, but as a rule they die from painful and exhausting diseases long before that period is reached. Millions of human beings perish by disease, in all periods of life, from excessive alimentation or overeating. Generally, they are cut off by disease long before they have lived out their lives, and often prematurely. And the chief cause of all such death is, I must insist, overeating.
This can readily be proved….Overeating is the chief cause of all diseases; and disease shortens and destroys life. Of that there can be no question. But even if no adventitious cause comes in to induce sudden and violent death, either local or general, the continued overworking of the system will almost inevitably exhaust, debilitate, and relax some particular organ, and so destroy the balance of action in the vital economy, and thus gradually lead to chronic disease. Adipose tissue is deposited in various parts of the body—causing ruptures of the heart and the blood vessels, and hence premature death.
It is therefore true, beyond all question, that in all countries where human aliment is abundant and easily procured, gluttony or excessive alimentation is decidedly the greatest source of disease and suffering and premature death known to man.
—Hereward Carrington, The Natural Food of Man, pp. 266-268
- 1. Foreword
- 2. Quintessence
- 3. “Appetite” Is Not Hunger
- 4. Development Of The Habit Of Overeating
- 5. Overeating Undermines Health
- 6. The Remedy Mentality
- 7. How Overeating Vitiates The Body
- 8. If You Want To Eat More, Eat Less
- 9. Light Eaters Vs. Heavy Eaters
- 10. The General Rule
- 11. Building Health And Strength
- 12. Willpower Is Supported By Knowledge
- 13. Food Addiction
- 14. History
- 15. Fasting Fanaticism Vs. Rational Fasting
- 16. Special Problems
- 17. Diet Fanaticism
- 18. Bulimia
- 19. A Rational System Of Weight Control
- 20. Heroic Methods For Compulsive Eaters
- 21. Knowledge And Wisdom
- 22. Epilogue
- 23. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: It’s All In the State of Mind By Walter D. Wintle
- Article #2: How To Make Yourself Over by Self-Programming
- Article #3: Say Goodbye to Compulsive Eating By Mehl McDowell, M.D.
- Article #4: Well! You Wanted to Know By Vivian V. Vetrano
- Article #5: Why I Don’t Fast To Lose Weight By Marti Fry
- Article #6: Help! I Can’t Stop Eating