Medicine: The President Eats Less

  • Share
  • Read Later

President Roosevelt likes scrambled eggs, codfish balls, fried liver, seafoods. He does not care for sweets, seldom eats desserts. But he is not finicky about his food. He eats some of whatever may be on the table. For breakfast he regularly has two eggs, three rashers of bacon, two slices of toast, orange juice. On his sedentary boating vacation, he ate quantities of baked beans, gained 7 Ib. (174 Ib. to 181 Ib.). When he returned to Washington, looking fit as a bull fiddle, he declared last week he was going to lose that excess weight at once—''by eating less."

"Less" at his first White House breakfast meant one strip of bacon instead of three. The rest of his usual breakfast dishes he ate with relish and apparent forgetfulness of his reducing regime.

This his Negro valet, Irvin McDuffy, who brings the breakfast tray to the President's bedside each morning, could not long stand. The third morning Valet McDuffy took it upon himself to serve only one egg, one rasher, one slice of toast. The President ate, made no comment.

Ponderous Heywood Broun promptly wrote a colyum about his own reducing. He takes exercise on a three-hole golf course where empty coffee cans serve as holes and his Airedale's backside as an ambulatory bunker.

Other reducers: Bandman Paul Whiteman shrivelled from 293 Ib. to 189 lb. in one year. He started with a diet of grapefruit juice and green vegetables, and no liquor. For breakfast he had black coffee and grapefruit juice; for lunch some greens, but no dressing; for dinner lean meat and a green vegetable. One day a week his menu was composed entirely of starches and sweets.

Artist Diego Rivera, lost 125 Ib. (from 310 Ib.) in eight months by substituting thyroid extract for exercise. He also avoided fat-building foods.

The thyroid route to slimness was all right for Diego Rivera who had a doctor watching him like a mother hen. But it is a risky business, just as unsupervised dieting is risky. Obesity is not a simple condition always due to gluttony or laziness. Endocrine glands may be out of order. A poor thyroid may not keep metabolism spurred. Poor sexual apparatus causes a peculiar pudginess and a warped pituitary gland an odd flabbiness. Dieting and/or exercise unaided by doctoring cannot put those glands back in kilter.