Diet—A Matter of Concern
“GO, EAT your food with rejoicing,” says the Bible at Ecclesiastes 9:7. Eating, indeed, is not only a necessity but also one of the greatest pleasures in life.
Consider 34-year-old Thomas. He enjoys his meat. And he has it every day—often several times a day. His typical breakfast includes milk, several eggs, bread or toast smothered with butter, and sausage or bacon. At fast-food places, he orders cheeseburgers, French fries, and milk shakes. When dining out, he chooses beefsteak as an entrée. His favorite restaurant serves a 24-ounce [680 g] steak and a baked potato heaped with sour cream, just the way he likes it. Chocolate cake topped with chocolate ice cream is his favorite dessert.
Thomas is five feet ten inches [178 cm] tall and weighs 196 pounds [89 kg]; he is 20 pounds [9 kg] overweight, according to the 1995 U.S. government dietary guidelines. “I am not uncomfortable with my weight,” says Thomas. “My health is excellent. I haven’t missed a day of work in the last 12 years. Most of the time, I feel good and energetic—except, of course, after eating a 24-ounce [680 g] steak.”
Could Thomas’s diet, though, be affecting him for the worse, slowly making him a candidate for a heart attack? In his book How We Die, Dr. Sherwin Nuland speaks of ‘patterns of living that are suicidal’ and includes in them a diet of ‘red meat, great slabs of bacon, and butter.’
How do certain foods lead to heart disease in many? What is in them that causes danger? Before discussing these questions, let us take a closer look at the health risks of being overweight.
[Picture on page 3]
Why is such a diet a matter of concern?