Harmful Eating Habits
THE communities where many people live to be 100 have several things in common. One is their diet, which is “frugal, low in calories, and closely linked to the soil, from which most of the food they eat is taken direct,” writes Dr. Davies.
Since their diet is rich in vitamins and low on sugar, obesity is rare among them. They eat very little meat, acquiring most of their protein from milk products, beans and lentils. “The remarkable fact about the health of the centenarians is that they hardly suffer at all from killer diseases,” observes Dr. Davies.
Because of not eating sufficient nutritious food many families become susceptible to disease. This results in millions of premature deaths each year. Also, unwise practices, commercial greed, lack of education of the public and indifference have produced a shocking situation. For example, to avoid spoilage and to prolong the shelf life, many foods have been so refined that their nutritional value is highly questionable.
Too, the fast way of modern living encourages many simply to “grab a bite” and not to prepare the kinds of food, including fresh vegetables and fruits, that their bodies need in order to function well. Often hunger pangs are satisfied with sweets and snacks that have very little nutritional value. Soft drinks and beer, containing hardly any vitamins or proteins, are consumed far more than milk or soup.
An unbalanced diet or the practice of overeating causes many to become obese. In addition to contributing to other sicknesses, excessive fat hastens heart disease and is believed to contribute to bowel cancer and other cancers.
True, even an excellent diet is not a guarantee of good health. Health-food enthusiasts also get sick. However, a person can help himself by learning more about proper nutrition. Yet a large part of the human family suffers from poor nutrition due to an inadequate food supply, and human agencies do not have the solution.