Feeding Over

Sources: Papers On Health

It is well to remember that over-feeding is a relative

term. To take more than a weak stomach can digest, is to over-feed,

although very little be taken. We give some invalids food every two

hours but that food is only two-thirds of a teacupful of milk, mixed

with a third of boiling water. In every case we must watch to give the

right amount, no less and no more. Every case will require to be

considered by itself in the light of common sense. The amount of food

eaten should be just sufficient to supply the body with material to

replace that consumed in work, build up its wasted tissues and leave a

slight surplus over for reserve store. Anything more is harmful. In

youth, if too much be eaten, nature relieves herself by giving the

transgressor of her laws a bilious attack, during which there is no

appetite, and so the excess is worked off. In later years this safety

valve does not work, and the surplus is generally stored as useless

fat, impeding the action of the heart or other internal organs, or as

gouty deposits in various parts. The Anglo-Saxon race at all events

does not limit its diet as we think it should, and Sir Henry Thompson,

M.D., has stated that in his opinion more ill-health arises from

over-eating than from the use of intoxicating liquor, great a source of

illness as this last undoubtedly is.

Temperance in diet is absolutely necessary therefore, if one would be

healthy, and the avoidance of stimulating foods, with a restriction of

flesh foods especially, is a precept which the great majority of

well-to-do people need to attend to.

Bilious attacks, headaches, indigestion, etc., are simply nature's

protest against the excess of food being forced upon her, and the

natural cure is to severely restrict, or still better, entirely stop

the food supply for a day or two. The idea that "the system must be

kept up" is a very foolish one; people have lived for forty days and

upwards on water alone, and a few days' fasting is a far safer remedy

for the troubles we have mentioned than purgative drugs.

Those who have a stomach which quickly rebels against too much or

unsuitable food, may, as Sir Henry Thompson says, congratulate

themselves on having a good janitor preventing the entrance of what

would injure. The man who can and does eat anything, rarely lives to

old age.

The perfect appetite which comes from the moderate use of simple foods

is a relish which must be experienced to be appreciated.

One way in which the amount of food needed to satisfy the appetite and

build up the body may be very largely reduced, is by increasing the

amount of mastication. If each bite of food is chewed and chewed until

it is all reduced to a liquid state, the amount required will be less

than half of what is usually taken, and so much less strain will be

thrown on the excretory organs.