National Geographic : 1945 Sep
"Which way will Ilive longer?" O VERWEIGHT and long life are not apt to go together. In fact, the death rate of people who are as much as 20% overweight is appreciably higher than average! It is astonishing how gradually overweight can creep up on you. Don't let it! Excessive fat places a burden on more than your two feet; in fact, it is frequently a contributory factor to high blood pressure. It makes your heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, and arteries work harder all the time. It tends to increase your chances of developing diseases of these organs-and diabetes, too! Obesity is usually caused by eating more food than the body can use up. Most of the excess is simply stored up as fatty tissue unless it is burned off in work or play. In other words, too much food and not enough exercise generally makes you fat. Occasionally, of course, excessive weight is due to a glandular disturbance, which requires expert medical attention for correction or control. But when you plan to "reduce," start by having your doctor examine you anyway. He'll advise you whether or not you should take off weight. Your doctor will tell you how to develop a safe, sane, and practical reducing program that will help you avoid the harmful effects which some times accompany too stringent a diet or too vio lent exercise. And never use so-called "reducing drugs" except on his recommendation. If you are past 30 and somewhat over weight, there is no better time than now to get yourself in fighting trim. After this age it becomes increasingly advisable to keep your weight down--even to stay slightly underweight. Once you're over 30 it becomes more difficult to take off over weight. Youngsters-particularly girls in their teens should be especially careful not to undermine their health on risky "health" diets. If you are interested in watching your weight, send for Metropolitan's free booklet, 95N, "Over weight and Underweight." COPYRIGHT 1945-METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE CO. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (A MUTUAL COMPANY) Frederick H. Ecker, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Leroy A. Lincoln, PRESIDENT 1 MADISON AVENUE, NEW YORK 10, N. Y.