We are living in perilous times. The few weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day are filled with danger. More fires occur in homes during this period than at any other time of the year. More people travel on the highways, increasing the accident totals proportionately. And more people gain unneeded weight during this season than any other. The average American finds not only his cup running over but also his cookie jar, candy dish, and dinner plate.
The image of the jolly fat man is slowly changing as more people become aware of the dangers and disadvantages of obesity. Dieting has blossomed into a big business, and the list of diet foods and diet books grows longer every day. Health clubs and beauty spas have bulging memberships. One cigarette company now promotes a brand for women that is “slimmer than the fat cigarettes men smoke.” We’ve come a long way, friends.
But the problem of gluttony is still very real for some 40 million Americans, many of whom occupy a pew or a pulpit every Sunday. I heard one minister say, patting his protruding middle, that he was proud of his “chicken graveyard.” He was joking when he should have been repenting.
A recent study by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company showed that the male who is 20 per cent overweight has a 43 per cent greater chance of developing heart disease and a 53 per cent greater chance of having cerebral hemorrhages, and is 133 per cent more susceptible to contracting diabetes. In other words, a person who habitually overeats is digging his grave with a spoon. This should be of vital interest to every woman upon whose menu planning the family diet depends. Mrs. Dale Carnegie, in How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead, said:
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