Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/244

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from errors in diet, require something of this kind occasionally. Electrical appliances and electric baths are quite useless as fat-reducing agents. Quack remedies of all descriptions should be avoided like poison; if they reduce weight they do it at the expense of health. Of this I have seen repeated examples, and this induces me more particularly to make these observations.

The meager diet and quantity of water drunk at some of the spas abroad, of course, clears the system of waste; but this is only a temporary benefit, as the individual is not taught what little alteration he should permanently make in his diet. He comes home to his luxurious surroundings, and rapidly recharges the system with fat, gout poison, and other injurious products that form the elements of certain food which he takes in too great excess.

Exercise, proper selection in diet, and a little abstinence are better means of warding off an attack of gout than all the spas in existence, and the symptoms of an impending attack are well known to sufferers. As soon as the system is overcharged with the poison, an acute attack comes on. How much better to prevent the system being charged at all with an unnecessary poison, and this is only to be done by a proper selection in diet! Hard-worked laborers and the poor never suffer from gout, and the Scotch are entirely free. It is a disease of overfeeding—more especially in certain articles of food and drink—and underworking, and entails on its victim much misery, if not worse, and his progeny inherit the curse for generations after.

The evils that arise from errors in diet are properly remedied by diet. An excess of fat invariably depends upon the individual indulging to too great an extent in sweets and farinaceous food, and in not taking sufficient exercise to work it off. The surplus in such a case becomes stored in the system as fat, and can easily, as previously pointed out, be got rid of by a properly constructed dietary. This may be very liberal indeed, but all fat-forming ingredients must be carefully cut off. I have known twenty-five pounds of fat lost in a month by dietetic means alone, with vast improvement in the general health and condition. Indeed, a loss of surplus fat always means a great improvement in condition as well as in activity and vigor.[1]

Different constitutions have peculiarities in regard to the way in which they assimilate food, and the old adage that what is one man's meat is another's poison is a very true one. There is no ailment more common in middle life and in old age than indigestion. This, of course, depends upon improper food taken too frequently