National Geographic : 1950 May
THE RIGHT GUESS... THE WRONG WEIGHT Like some 42 million other Americans, the man on the scales weighs more than he should. His excess pounds may affect not only his appearance, but his health. Some doctors say that proper weight at age 25 to 30 is the figure that should be maintained throughout life. Most people, however, gain weight as they grow older. The average increase during or after middle age is about 15 pounds. To avoid this, it is wise to follow the doctor's advice about diet, exercise, and living habits, especially after age 30. If overweight should occur, it is usually possible to reduce to proper weight simply and safely under medical guidance. Some ways to reach and keep your best weight See your doctor before attempting to re duce. Virtually all cases of overweight are due to overeating. Some cases, however, may be complicated by other conditions. After a thorough examination, the doctor can determine whether or not you have com plications that require special medical atten tion. He can also decide how much weight you should lose, and advise approved methods by which you can lose it safely. Follow your doctor's advice about diet. Authorities say that weight loss usually should not exceed 6 to 8 pounds a month. A diet that causes more rapid loss may fail to provide food elements the body needs. So let the doctor recommend the kinds and amounts of foods that will protect health and strength while you are reducing. It is also wise not to take any reducing drug except under a doctor's supervision. Rely on your doctor to recommend proper exercise. Excess weight strains the heart and other organs-and too much or the wrong type of exercise may add more strain. Only the doctor can determine the types of exercise that will be effective and safe in your reducing program. Even after reducing, people with a ten dency toward overweight often put on extra pounds again. This can usually be avoided by following a medically supervised daily routine.