Letter on Corpulence

William Banting

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I do not recommend every corpulent man to rush headlong into such a change of diet, {certainly not), but to act advisedly and after full consultation with a physician.

My former dietary table was bread and milk for breakfast, or a pint of tea with plenty of milk and sugar, and buttered toast ; meat, beer, much bread (of which I was always very fond) and pastry for dinner, the meal of tea similar to that of breakfast, and generally a fruit tart or bread and milk for supper. I had little comfort and far less sound sleep.

It certainly appears to me that my present dietary table is far superior to the former — more luxurious and liberal, independent of its blessed effect — but when it is proved to be more healthful, comparisons are simply ridiculous, and I can hardly imagine any man, even in sound health, would choose the former, even if it were not an enemy ; but, when it is shown to be, as in my case, beneficial both to health and comfort, I can hardly conceive there is any man who would not willingly avoid it. I can conscientiously assert I never lived so well as under the new plan of dietary, which I should have formerly thought a dangerous extravagant trespass upon health ; I am very much better, bodily and mentally, and pleased to believe that I hold the reins of health and comfort in my own hands, and, though at sixty-five years of age, I cannot expect to remain free from some commg natural infirmity that all flesh is heir to, I cannot at the present time complain of one. It is simply miraculous, and I am thankful to Almighty Providence for directing me, through an extraordinary chance, to the care of a man who could work such a change in so short a time.

Oh! that the faculty would look deeper into and make themselves better acquainted with the crying evil of obesity — that dreadful tormenting parasite on health and comfort. Their fellow men might not descend into early premature graves, as I believe many do, from what is termed apoplexy, and certainly would not, during their sojourn on earth, endure so much bodily and consequently mental infirmity.

Corpulence, though giving no actual pain, as it appears to me, must naturally press with undue violence upon the bodily viscera, driving one part upon another, and stopping the free action of all. I am sure it did in my particular case, and the result of my experience is briefly as follows :

* I have not felt so well as now for the last twenty years.

* Have sufiered no inconvenience whatever the probational remedy.

* Am reduced many inches in bulk, and 3 5 lbs. in weight in thirty-eight weeks.

* Come down stairs forward naturally, with perfect ease.

* Go up stairs and take ordinary exercise freely, without tlie slightest inconvenience.

* Can perform every necessary office for myself

* The umbilical rupture is greatly ameliorated, and gives me no anxiety.

* My sight is restored — my hearing improved.

* My other bodily ailments are amehorated ; indeed, almost past into matter of history.

I have placed a thank-offering of £50 in the hands of my kind medical adviser for distribution amongst his favomite hospitals, after gladly paying his usual fees, and still remain under overwhelming obhgations for his care and attention, which I can never hope to repay. Most thankful to Almighty Providence for mercies received, and determined to press the case into public notice as a token of gratitude.

I have the pleasine to afford, in conclusion, a satisfactory confirmation of my report, in stating that a corpulent friend of mine, who, like myself, is possessed of a generally sound constitution, was labouring under frequent palpitations of the heart and sensations of fainting, was, at my instigation, induced to place himself in the hands of my medical adviser, with the same gradual beneficial results. He is at present under the same ordeal, and in eight weeks has profited even more largely than I did in that short period ; he has lost the palpitations, and is becoming, so to speak, a new made man — thankful to me for advising, and grateful to the eminent counsellor to whom I referred him — and he looks forward with good hope to a perfect cure.

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