Page:Guide to health.djvu/67

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Chapter VI

HOW MUCH AND HOW MANY TIMES SHOULD WE EAT?

There is a great divergence of opinion among doctors as to the quantity of food that we should take. One doctor holds that we should eat to the utmost of our capacity, and he has calculated the quantities of different kinds of food that we can take. Another holds the view that the food of labourers should differ in quantity as well as in quality from that of persons engaged in mental work, while a third doctor contends that the prince and the peasant should eat exactly the same quantity of food. This much, however, will be generally admitted, that the weak cannot eat just as much as the strong. In the same way, a woman eats less than a man, and children and old men eat less than young men. One writer goes so far as to say that, if only we would masticate our food thoroughly well, so that every particle of it is mixed with the saliva, then we should not have to eat more than five or ten tolas of food. This he says on the basis of numberless experiments, and his book has been sold in thousands. All this shows that it is futile to think of prescribing the quantity of food for men.

Most doctors admit that 99% of human beings eat more than is needed. Indeed, this is a fact of