National Geographic : 1943 Sep
ffow much weight should a civilian carry? IN THE PICTURE ABOVE, you can readily see that the soldier is carrying a substantial bur den-equipment which weighs some 40 pounds. What you may not realize is that the civilian carries an equally heavy burden-a burden of overweight which he carries around day and night, in contrast with the soldier who can put aside his pack and rifle when he rests. It's an unfortunate fact that excessive fat places a great deal of extra work on the heart, kidneys, and lungs-work from which there is no relief. That is why overweight can be a threat to health. Figures show that people over 45 who are 20% overweight have a death rate 50% above the average. What causes excessive weight? Sometimes it is due to glandular disturbances. The most common causes are too much food, and not enough exercise. When the body gets more food than it needs for its work, the excess is stored as fat. If less is eaten than is required, the body loses weight by burning some of its reserve fatty tissue. Exercise hastens the process, but by itself is seldom effec tive. This gives us the principle often used in planning programs to reduce weight. If you are overweight and want to reduce to your "fighting" weight, you will be wise to start by having your doctor examine you thoroughly. With his advice, a diet can be planned which in normal cases will cause a moderate, steady loss in weight and at the same time adequately pro tect your health. Exercise, fitted to your age, condition, and occupation, will round out the program. Avoid the use of reducing drugs except on the doctor's advice. Girls in their teens should especially avoid "fad" diets or the risk of re ducing on their own responsibility. To help those interested in watching their weight, Metropolitan offers a free booklet, 93-N, entitled, "Overweight and Underweight." Among other things it contains information about low calorie diets and helpful exercises. COPYRIGHT 1943-METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE CO. S/A NERSARY i, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (A MUTUAL COMPANY) Frederick H. Ecker, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Leroy A. Lincoln, PRESIDENT 1 MADISON AVENUE, NEW YORK, N. Y.