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Full text of "Letter on corpulence, addressed to the public"

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L I B R_A R.Y 

OF THE 

U N 1 V LRS ITY 

Of ILLl NOIS 



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LETTER 



ON CORPULENCE, 



^bk^sscAT ia ilje f uWtc: 



Bt WILLIAM BANTING. 



THIRD EDITION. 



LONDON": 

PUBLISHED BY HAERISON, 59, PALL MALT^ 
Bookseller to the Queen and H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. 

1864. 



\ UIUC 



PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION. 



The second edition of this pamphlet (consisting 
of 1,500 copies) being exhausted, and the result 
being very gratifying to my mind, in the large 
amount of satisfaction and benefit which I am 
able to report from evidence of others (beyond 
my most sanguine expectations), considering 
the hitherto limited circulation, I have felt 
impelled to pubhsh, advertise, and sell this third 
edition, at cost price, which I am informed 
must be sixpence a copy. If this small charge, 
however, should yield any profit, I shall devote 
it to the Printers' Pension Society, or some 
other benevolent institution ; but I have no 
such expectation, or would very gladly reduce 
the charge at starting. 

The first and second editions were no very 
serious expense to me, scarcely three pence a 
copy, but the circulation of them, and the 



IV 

correspondence is v^olved, liave cost me far more ; 
yet, I saw no way of securing my motives from 
misconception except by gratuitously presenting 
the pamphlet to the public. 

The truthful tale has, however, made its way 
into a large circle of sufferers with marvellous 
effect; and I can now beheve the pubhc will 
rather prefer to purchase the third edition at a 
reasonable charge than be under obhgation to 
me for a gratuitous supply. I therefore humbly 
trust, and fully believe, that by this means the 
useful knowledge will be distributed twenty- 
fold to the benefit of suffering humanity, which, 
indeed, is my sole object, 

Kensington, 

Decemher, 1S63. 



This letter is respectfully dedicated to the Public 
simply and entirely from an earnest dcsii'e to confer 
a benefit on my fellow creatm-es. 

W. B. 



COEPULENCE. 



Op all the parasites that affect humanity I do 
not know of, nor can I imagine, any more 
distressing than that of Obesity, and, having 
just emerged from a very long probation in 
this affliction, I am desirous of circulating my 
himible knowledge and experience for the 
benefit of my fellow man, with an earnest 
hope it may lead to the same comfort and 
happiness I now feel under the extraordi- 
nary change, — which might almost be termed 
miraculous had it not been accomplished by the 
most simple common-sense means. 

Obesity seems to me very little understood 
or properly appreciated by the faculty and the 
public generally, or the former would long ere 



8 

this have hit upon the cause for so lamentable 
a disease, and applied effective remedies, whilst 
the latter would have spared their injudicious 
indulgence in remarks and sneers, frequently 
painful in society, and which, even on the 
strongest mind, have an unhappy tendency ; 
bat I sincerely trust this humble effort at 
exposition may lead to a more perfect ven- 
tilation of the subject and a better feeling for 
the afflicted. 

It would afford me infinite pleasure and 
satisfaction to name the author of my redemp- 
tion from the calamity, as he is the only one 
that I have been able to find (and my search 
has not been sparing) who seems thoroughly up 
in the question ; but such publicity might be 
construed improperly, and I have, therefore, 
only to offer my personal experience as the 
stepping-stone to public investigation, and to 
proceed with my narrative of facts, earnestly 
hoping the reader will patiently peruse and 
thoughtfully consider it, with forbearance for 
any fault of style or diction, and for any 
seeming presumption in publishing it. 

I have felt some difficulty in deciding on 



the proper and best course of action. At one 
time I thought the Editor of the Lancet would 
kindly publish a letter from me on the subject, 
but further reflection led me to doubt whether 
an insignificant indi\T.dual would be noticed 
mthout some s^Decial introduction. In the April 
number of the Conihill Magazine I read with 
much interest an article on the subject — de- 
fining tolerably well the effects, but ofiering no 
tangible remedy, or even positive solution of the 
problem — " What is the Cause of Obesity V I 
was pleased with the article as a whole, but 
objected to some portions, and had prepared a 
letter to the Editor of that Magazine ofiering 
my experience on the subject, but again it 
struck me that an unknown individual like my- 
self would have but little prospect of notice ; so 
I finally resolved to publish and circulate this 
Pamphlet, with no other reason, motive, or 
expectation than an earnest desire to help 
those who happen to be afflicted as I was, 
for that corpulence is remediable I am well 
convinced, and shall be delighted if I can in- 
duce others to tliink so. The object I have in 
\iew impels me to enter into minute particulars 



10 

as well as general observations, and to revert 
to bygone years, in order to show that I have 
spared no pains nor expense to accomplish the 
great end of stopping and curing obesity. 

I am now nearly 66 years of age, about 
5 feet 5 inches in stature, and, in AugTist last 
(1862), weighed 202 lbs., which I think it right 
to name, because the article in the Cornhill 
Magazine presumes that a certain stature and 
age should bear ordinarily a certain weight, and 
I am quite of that opinion. I now weigh 
167 lbs., showing a diminution of something 
like 1 lb. per week since August, and having 
now very nearly attained the happy medium, I 
have perfect confidence that a few more weeks 
will fully accomplish the object for which I have 
laboured for the last thirty years, in vain, until 
it pleased Almighty Providence to direct me 
into the right and proper channel — the " tram- 
way," so to speak — of happy, comfortable exist- 
ence. 

Few men have led a more active life — 
bodily or mentally — from a constitutional 
anxiety for regularity, precision, and order, 
during fifty years' business career, from which I 



11 

have now retired, so that my corpulence and 
Gubsequent obesity was not through neglect of 
necessary bodily activity, nor from excessive 
eating, drinkuig, or self-indulgence of any kind, 
except that I partook of the simple aliments 
of bread, milk, butter, beer, sugar, and potatoes 
more freely than my aged nature required, and 
hence, as I believe, the generation of the para- 
site, detrimental to comfort if not really to 
health. 

I will not presume to descant on the bodily 
structural tissues, so fally canvassed in the 
Cornhill Magazine, nor how they are sup-- 
ported and renovated, having no mind or power 
to enter into those questions, w^hich properly 
belong to the wise heads of the faculty. None 
of my family on the side of either parent had 
any tendency to corpulence, and from my 
earliest years I had an inexpressible dread of 
such a calamity, so, when I Vv^as between tliirty 
and forty years of age, finding a tendency to it 
creeping upon me, I consulted an eminent sur- 
geon, now long deceased, — a kind personal 
friend, — who recommended increased bodily 
exertion before my ordinaiy daily labours began, 



12 

and thought rowing an excellent plan. I had 
the command of a good, heavy, safe boat, lived 
near the river, and adopted it for a couple of 
horn's in the early morning. It is true I gained 
muscular vigour, but with it a prodigious appe- 
tite, which I was compelled to indulge, and con- 
sequently increased in weight, until my kmd 
old friend advised me to forsake the exercise. 

He soon afterwards died, and, as the ten- 
dency to corpulence remained, I consulted other 
high orthodox authorities (never any inferior 
adviser), but all in vain. I have tried sea air and 
bathing m various localities, with much walking- 
exercise ; taken gallons of physic and hquor 
potassse, advisedly and abundantly ; riding on 
horseback ; the waters and climate of Leaming- 
ton many times, as well as those of Cheltenham 
and Harrogate frequently ; have lived upon 
sixpence a-day, so to speak, and earned it, if 
bodily labour may be so construed ; and have 
spared no trouble nor expense in consultations 
with the best authorities in the land, giving 
each and all a fan- time for e^xperiment, without 
any permanent remedy, as the evil still gradu- 
ally increased. 



13 

I am under obligations to most of those 
advisers for the pains and interest they took 
in my case ; but only to one for an eftectual 
remedy. 

When a corpalent man eats, drinks, and 
sleeps well, has no pain to complain of, and no 
particular organic disease, the judgment of able 
men seems paralyzed, — for I have been generally 
informed th^-t corpulence is one of the natural 
results of increasing years ; indeed, one of the 
ablest authorities as a physician in the land told 
me he had gained 1 lb. in weight every year 
since he attained manhood, and was not sur- 
prised at my condition, but advised more bodily 
exercise — vapour-baths and shampooing, in ad- 
dition to the medicine given. Yet the evil still 
increased, and, like the parasite of barnacles on 
a sliip, if it did not destroy the structure, it 
obstructed its fair, comfortable progress in the 
path of life. 

I have been in dock, perhaps twenty times 
in as many years, for the reduction of this dis- 
ease, and with little good effect — none lasting. 
Any one so afflicted is often subject to public 
remark, and though in conscience he may care 



14 

little about it, I am confident no man labouring 
under obesity can be quite insensible to the 
sneers and remarks of the cruel and injudicious 
in public assembhes, public vehicles, or the 
ordinary street traffic ; nor to the annoyance of 
findmg no adequate space in a pubhc assembly 
if he should seek amusement or need refresh- 
ment, and therefore he naturally keeps away as 
much as possible from places where he is likely 
to be made the object of the taunts and remarks 
of others. I am as regardless of public remark 
as most men, but 1 have felt these difficulties 
and therefore avoided such circumscribed accom- 
modation and notice, and by that means have 
been deprived of many advantages to health 
and comfort. 

Although no very great size or weight, still 
I could not stoop to tie my shoe, so to speak, 
nor attend to the httle offices humanity requires 
without considerable pain and difficulty, which 
only the corpulent can understand ; I have been 
compelled to go down stairs slowly backwards, 
to save the jarr of increased weight upon the 
ancle and knee joints, and been obhged to 
puff and blow with every slight exertion, par- 



IS 

ticiilarly that of going up stairs. I have spared 
no pains to remedy this by low living {modera- 
tion and light food was generally prescribed, 
but I had no direct bill of fare to know what 
was really intended), and that, consequently, 
brought the system into a low impoverished 
state, without decreasing corpulence, caused 
many obnoxious boils to appear, and two rather 
formidable carbuncles, for which I was ably 
operated upon and fed into increased obesity. 

At this juncture (about three years back) 
Turkish baths became the fashion, and I was 
advised to adopt them as a remedy. With the 
first few I found immense benefit in power and 
elasticity for walking exercise ; so, believing I 
had found the " pliilosopher's stone," pursued 
them three times a-week till I had taken fifty, 
then less frequently (as I began to fancy, with 
some reason, that so many weakened my con- 
stitution) till I had taken ninety, but never suc- 
ceeded in losing more than 6 lbs. weight during 
the whole course, and I gave up the plan aa 
worthless ; though I have full belief in their 
cleansing properties, and their value in colds, 
rheumatism, and many other ailments. 



16 

I then fancied increasing obesity materially 
affected a slight umbilical rapture, if it did not 
cause it, and that another bodily ailment to which 
I had been subject was also augmented. This 
led me to other medical advisers, to whom I am 
also indebted for much kind consideration, 
though, unfortunately, they failed in reheving 
me. At last finding my sight failing and my 
hearing greatly impaired, I consulted in August 
last an eminent aural surgeon, who made 
light of the case, looked into my ears, sponged 
them internally, and blistered the outside, with- 
out the slightest benefit, neither inquiring into 
any of my bodily ailments, which he probably 
thought unnecessary, nor affording me even 
time to name them. 

I was not at all satisfied, but on the contrary- 
was in a worse plight than when I went to liim ; 
however he soon after left town for his annual 
holiday, which proved the greatest possible 
blessing to me, because it compelled me to seek 
other assistance, and, happily, I found the right 
man, who unhesitatingly said he believed my ail- 
ments were caused principally by corj^ulence, and 
prescribed a certain diet, — no medicme, beyond a 



17 

morning cordial as a corrective, — with immense 
effect and advantage both to my hearing and 
the decrease of my corpulency. 

For the sake of argument and illustration I 
will presume that certain articles of ordinary 
diet, however beneficial in youth, are prejudicial 
in advanced Hfe, like beans to a horse, whose 
common ordhiary food is hay and corn. It may 
be useful food occasionally, under pecuhar cir- 
cumstar.ces, but detrimental as a constancy. 
I will, therefore, adopt the analogy, and call 
such food human beans. The items from which 
I was advised to abstain as much as possible 
were : — Bread, butter, milk, sugar, beer, and 
potatoes, which had been the main (and, I 
thought, innocent) elements of my existence, or 
at all events they had for many years been 
adopted freely. 

These, said my excellent adviser, contain 
starch and saccharine matter, tending to create 
fat, and should be avoided altogether. At the 
first blush it seemed to me that I had Httle left 
to live upon, but my kind friend soon showed 
me there was ample, and I was only too happy 
to give the plan a fair trial, and, within a very 

B 



18 

few days, found immense benefit from it. 
It may better elucidate the dietary plan if I 
describe generally what I have sanction to take, 
aJid that man must be an extraordinary person 
who would desire a better table : — 

For breakfast, I take four or five ounces of 
beef, mutton, kidneys, broiled fish, bacon, 
or cold meat of any kuid except pork ; 
a large cup of tea (without milk or 
sugar), a fit tie biscuit, or one ounce of 
dry toast. 
For dinner. Five or six ounces of any fish 
except salmon, any meat except pork, 
a.ny vegetable except potato, one ounce 
of dry toast, fruit out of a pudding, any 
kind of poultry or game, and two or 
three glasses of good claret, sherry, or 
iMadeu^a — Champagne, Port and Beer 
forbidden. 
For tea. Two or three ounces of fruit, a rusk 
or two, and a cup of tea without milli or 
sugar. 
For supper. Three or four oimces of meat or 
fish, shnilar to dinner, with a glass or 
two of claret. 



19 

For irglitcap, if required, A tumbler of grog 
- — (gin, whisky, or brandy, without sugar) 
— or a glass or two of claret or sherry. 

This plan leads to an excellent night's rest, 
with from six to eight hours' sound sleejD. The 
dry toast or rusk may have a table spoonful of 
spuit to soften it, which will prove accept- 
able. Perhaps I did not wholly escape starchy 
or saccharine matter, but scrupulously avoided 
those beans, such as milk, sugar, beer, butter, 
&c., which were known to contain them. 

On rising in the morning I take a table 
spoonful of a special corrective cordial, which 
may be called the Balm of life, in a wine-glass 
of water, a most grateful drauglit, as it seems to 
carry away all the di'egs left in the stomach after 
digestion, but is not aperient; then I take about 
5 or 6 ounces solid and 8 of liquid for breakfast ; 
8 ounces of sohd and 8 of liquid for dimier ; 3 
ounces of solid and 8 of liquid for tea ; 4 ounces 
of solid and 6 of liqviid for supper, and the grog 
afterwards, if I please. I am not, however, 
strictly limited to any quantity at either meal, so 
that the nature of the food is rigidly adhered to. 

Experience has taught me to beheve that 

B 2 



20 

these human beans are the most insidions enemies 
man, with a tendency to corpulence in advanced 
life, can possess, though eminently friendly to 
youth. He may very prudently mount guard 
against such an enemy if he is not a fool to 
himself, and I fervently hope this truthful un- 
varnished tale may lead him to make a trial of 
my plan, which I sincerely recommend to public 
notice, — not with any ambitious motive, but in 
sincere good faith to help my fellow-creatures to 
obtain the marvellous blessings I have found 
within the short period of a few months. 

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 sunilar to 
that of breakfast, and generally a fruit tart or 
bread and milk for supper. I had little com- 
fort and far less sound sleep. 

It certainly appears to me that my present 



21 

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 health- 
ful, 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, inimical both to health and comfort, I 
can hardly conceive there is any man who 
would not willingly avoid it. I can conscien- 
tiously 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 beheve 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 comjDlain of 
one. It is simply miraculous, and I am 
thankful to Almighty Providence for directing 
me, tlurough an extraordinary chance, to the 
care of a man who could work such a change 
in so short a time. 



22 

Oh ! that the faculty would look deeper into 
and make themselves better acquamted with 
the crying evil of obesity — that dreadful tor- 
menting parasite on health and comfort. Their 
fellow men might not descend into early prema- 
ture 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 paiu, as 
it appears to me, must naturally press with 
undue violence upon the bodily viscera, driving 
one part upon another, and stoppmg the free 
action of all. I am sure it did in my par- 
ticular 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 m 

the probational remedy. 
Am reduced many inches in bulk, and 3 5 lbs. 

in weight in thirty-eight weeks. 
Come down stairs forward naturally, mth 

perfect ease. 



23 

Go up stairs and take ordinary exercise 
freely, without tlie slightest inconve- 
nience. 

Can perform every necessary office for my- 
seE 

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 his- 
tory. 

I have placed a thank-offering of £50 in 
the hands of my kiad medical adviser for dis- 
tribution amongst his favomite hospitals, after 
gladly paying his usual fees, and still remain 
under overwhelming obhgations for liis care 
and attention, wliich I can never hope to repay. 
Most thankful to Almighty Providence for 
mercies received, and deteimmed 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, 
hke myself, is possessed of a generally sound 
constitution, was labouring under frequent 



24 

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 imder 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 coun- 
sellor to whom I referred him — and he looks 
forward with good hope to a perfect cure. 

I am fully persuaded that hundreds, if not 
thousands, of our fellow men might profit 
equally by a similar course ; but, constitutions 
not being all alike, a different course of treat- 
ment may be advisable for the removal of so 
tormenting an afiliction.' 

;My kind and valued medical adviser is not a 
doctor for obesity, but stands on the puinacle of 
fame in the treatment of another malady, which, 
as he well knows, is frequently induced by the 
disease of which I am speaking, and I most 
sincerely trust most of my corpulent fiiends 
(and there are thousands of corpulent- people 



25 

wliom I dare not so rank) may Le led into 
my tramroad. To any such I am prepared 
to offer the further key of knowledge by naming 
the man. It might seem invidious to do so 
now, but I shall only be too happy, if apphed to 
by letter in good faith, or if any doubt should 
exist as to the correctness of tliis statement. 

WILLIAM BANTING, Sen., 

Late of No. 27, St. James s Street, Piccadilly, 
Now of No. A, The Terrace, Kensington. 



Maij, 18G3. 



ADDENDA. 



Having exhausted the first Edition (1,000 
copies) of the foregoing Pamphlet; and a period 
of one year having elapsed since connnencing the 
admirable course of diet wliich has led to such 
inestimably beneficial results, and, *'as I expected, 
and desired,^' having quite succeeded in attaining 
the happy medium of weight and bulk I had so 
loDg inefiectually sought, which appears neces- 
sary to health at my age and stature — 1 feel 
impelled by a sense of pubhc duty, to ofier the 
result of my experience in a second Edition. 
It has been suggested that I should have sold 
the Pamphlet, devoting any profit to Charity as 
more agreeable and useful ; and I had intended 
to adopt such a course, but on reflection feared 
my motives might be mistaken ; I, therefore, 
respectfully present this (Hke the first Edition) 
to the Public gratuitously, earnestly hopmg the 
subject may be taken up by medical men and 
thoroughly ventilated. 



28 

It may (and I hope Avill) be, as satisfactoi^ 
to the pubhc to hear, as it is for me to state, that 
the first Edition has been attended with very 
comforting results to other sufferers from CorjDu- 
lence, as the remedial system therein described 
was to me under that terrible disease, which 
was my main object in pubHshing my convic- 
tions on the subject. It has moreover attained 
a success, produced flattering compliments, and 
an amount of attention I could hardly have 
imagined possible. Tlie pleasure and satisfac- 
tion this has afforded me, is ample compensa- 
tion for the trouble and expense I have incurred, 
and I most sincerely trust, ** as I verily believe," 
this second Edition will be accompanied by 
similar satisfiictory results from a more extensive 
cii'culation. If so, it will inspirit me to ckculate 
further Editions, whilst a corpulent person 
exists, requniog, as I tliink, this system of diet, 
or so long as my motives cannot be mistaken, 
and are thankfully appreciated. 

My weight is reduced 46 lbs., and as the vei^ 
gradual reductions which I am able to show may 
be interesting to many, I have great pleasiire in 
stating them, belie vmg they serve to demonstrate 
farther the merit of the system pursued. 



29 



My weight on 26tli August, 1862, was 202 lbs. 



lbs. 



lbs. 



On Vih. September, it was 200, having lost 2 



27th 


»* 


197 


3 


more 


19 th October 


w 


193 


4 


>» 


9 th November 


;j 


190 




)» 


3rd December 


» 


187 




» 


24th 


>5 


184 


3 


»> 


14th Jan.. 1863 


)> 


182 




'» 


4 th February 


J> 


180 




'J 


25th „ 


•» 


178 


2 


)t 


18th March 


Jl 


176 




>> 


8th April 


55 


173 


3 


., 


29th „ 


J» 


170 


3 


>j 


20th ]\Iay 


5? 


167 


3 


'» 


10th June 


» 


164 


3 


5» 


1st July 


»> 


161 


3 


5> 


22nd „ 


J> 


159 


o 

5J ^ 


J> 


12th August 


it 


157 




5> 


26th 


S> 


156 


1 


>» 


12th September 


of ^ 


156 

weight . . 





>» 


Total loss 


.. 46 


lbs. 



My girth is reduced round the waist, in tailor 
phraseology, 12 j inches, which extent was hardly 
conceivable even by my own friends, or my 
respected medical adviser, until I put on my 
former clothing, over what I now wear, wliich 



was a tliorouglily convincmg proof of the remark- 
able cliange. These important desiderata have 
been attained by the most easy and comforta,ble 
means, with but little medicine, and almost 
entii'ely by a system of diet, that formerly I 
should have thought dangerously generous. I 
am told by all who know me that my personal 
appearance is greatly improved, and that I seem 
to bear the stamp of good health ; this may be 
a matter of opinion or friendly remark, but I can 
honestly assert that I feel restored in health, 
"bodily and mentally," appear to have more 
muscular power and vigour, eat and drink with 
a good appetite, and sleep well. All sjTuptoms 
of acidity, indigestion, and heartburn (with 
which I was frequently tormented) have vanished. 
I have left off using boot hooks, and other 
such aids which were indisjoensable, but being 
now able to stoop with ease and freedom, 
are unnecessary. I have lost the feeling of 
occasional faintness, and what I think a remark- 
able blessing and comfort is that I have been 
able safely to leave off knee bandages, w^hich I 
had worn necessarihj for 20 past years, and given 
up a truss almost entirely; indeed I believe I 
might wholly discard it mth safety, but am 



31 

advised to wear it at least occasionally for the 
present. 

Since publisliing my Pamphlet, I have felt 
constrained to send a copy of it to my former 
medical advisers, and to ascertain their opinions 
on the subject. They did not dispute or ques- 
tion the propriety of the system, but cither 
dared not venture its practice upon a man of 
my age, or thought it too great a sacrifice of 
personal comfort to be generally advised or 
adopted, and I fancy none of them appeared 
to feel the fact of the misery of corpulence. 
One eminent physician, as I before stated, assured 
me that increasing weight was a necessary result 
of advancing years ; another equally eminent to 
whom I had been directed by a very friendly 
third, who had most kindly but ineffectually 
failed in a remedy, added to my weight in a few 
weeks instead of abating the evil. These facts 
lead me to believe the question is not sufficiently 
observed or even regarded. 

The great charm and comfort of the system 
is, that its effects are palpable within a week of 
trial, wliich creates a natural stunulus to persevere 
for a few weeks more, when the fact becomes 
established beyond question. 



32 

I only intreat all persons gufferlng frona cor- 
pulence to make a fair trial for just one clear 
month, as I am well convinced, they will after- 
wards pursue a course which yields sucli extra- 
ordinary benefit, till entirely and effectually 
relieved, and be it remembered, by the sacrifice 
merely of simple, for the advantage of more 
generous and comforting food. The simple dietary 
evidently adds fuel to fire, whereas the superior 
and. liberal seems to extinguish it. 

I am delighted to be able to assert that I 
have proved the great merit and advantage of 
the system by its result in several other cases, 
similar to my own, and have full confidence that 
within the next twelve months I shall know of 
many more cases restored from the disease 
of corpulence, for I have received the kindest 
possible letters from many afflicted strangers and 
friends, as well as similar personal observations 
from others whom I have conversed with, and 
assurances from most of them tliat they will 
kindly mform me the result for my own private 
satisfaction. Many are practising the diet after 
consultation with their o^vn medical advisers ; 
some few have gone to mine, and others are 
practising upon their own convictions of the 



I 



I 



33 

advantages detailed in the PampKlet, though I 
recommend all to act ad\HLsedly, in case their 
constitutions should differ. I am, however, so 
perfectly satisfied of the great unerring benefits 
of this system of diet, that I shall spare no 
trouble to circulate my humble experience. The 
amount and character of my correspondence on 
the subject has been strange and sing-ular, but 
most satisfactory to my mind and feehngs. 

I am now in that happy comfortable state 
that I should not hesitate to indulge in any 
fancy in regard to diet, but if I did so should 
watch the consequences, and not continue any 
course which might add to weight or bulk and 
consequent discomfort. 

Is not the system suggestive to artists and 
men of sedentary employment who cannot spare 
time for exercise, consequently become corpu- 
lent, and clog the little muscular action with a 
superabundance of fat, thus easily avoided ? 

Pure genuine biead may be the staff of 
life as it is termed. It is so, particularly in 
youth, but I feel certain it is more vvdiolesome ir. 
advanced Hfe if thoroughly toasted, as I take it. 
My impression is, that any starchy or saccharine 
matter tends to the disease of corpulence hi 



34 

advanced life, and whether it be swallowed in 
that form or generated in the stomach, that aU 
things tending to these elements should be 
avoided, of course always under sound medical 
authority. 



WILLIAM BANTING. 



CONCLUDING ADDENDA. 



It is very satisfactory to me to be able to 
state, that I remained at the same standard of 
bulk and weight for several weeks after the 
26th August, when I attained the happy 
natural medium, since which time I have varied 
in weight from two to three pounds, more or 
less. I have seldom taken the morning draught 
since that time, and have frequently indulged 
my fancy, experimentally, in using milk, sugar, 
butter, and potatoes — indeed, I may say all the 
forbidden articles except heer, in moderation, 
with impunity, but always as an exception, not 
as a rule. This deviation, however, convinces me 
that I hold the power of maintaining the happy 
medium in my own hands. 

A kind friend has lately furnished me with 
a tabular statement in regard to weight as pro- 
portioned to stature, which, under present cir- 

o 2 



36 

cumstances and tlie new movement, may be 
interesting and useful to corpulent readers : — 

STATURE. WEIGHT. 

5 feet 1 should be 8 stone 8 or 120 lbs. 



5 


>5 


2 


9 







3> 


126 


5 


>» 


3 


9 




H 

i 


5> 


133 


5 


» 


4 


9 




10 


5} 


136 


5 


J5 


5 


10 




2 


3) 


142 


5 


>» 


6 


10 




5 


» 


145 


5 


J> 


^ 


10 


» 


8 


3J 


148 


5 


J» 


8 


11 




1 


>J 


155 


5 


J> 


9 


11 


jj 


8 


5J 


162 


5 


5> 


10 


12 


„ 


1 


J) 


169 


5 


» 


11 


12 


»» 


6 


>J 


174 


6 


>J 





12 


j> 


10 


;j 


178 



Tliis tabular statement, taken from a mean 
average of 2,648 healthy men, was formed and 
arranged for an Insurance Company by the late 
Dr. John Hutchinson. It answered as a pretty 
good standard, and insurances were regulated 
upon it. His calculations were made upon the 
volume of air passing in and out of the lung9» 
and tliis was his guide as to how far the various 
organs of the body were in health, and the 
' lungs in particular. It may be viewed as some 



Eort of probable rule, yet only as an average,— 
some in health weighing more by many pounds 
than others. It must not be looked upon as 
infaUible, but only as a sort of general reason- 
able guide to Nature's great and mighty work. 

On a general view of the question I tliink it 
may be conceded that a frame of lovv^ stature 
v/as hardly intended to bear very heavy weight. 
Judgmg from this tabular statement I ought to 
be considerably lighter than I am at present : 
I shall not, however, covet or aim at such a 
result, nor, on the other hand, feel alarmed if I 
decrease a httle more in weis^ht and bulk. 

I am certainly more sensitive to cold since 
I have lost the superabundant fat, but this 
is remediable by another garment, far more 
agreeable and satisfactory. Many of my friends 
have said, " Oh 1 you have done well so far, but 
take care you don't go too far." I fancy such a 
circumstance, with such a dietary, very unHkely, 
if not impossible ; but feeling that I have now 
nearly attained the right standard of bulk and 
weight proportional to my stature and age 
(between 10 and 11 stone), I should not 
hesitate to partake of a fattening dietary occa- 
sionally, to preserve that happy standard, if 



38 

necessary ; indeed, I am allowed to do so by 
my medical adviser but I shall always- observe 
a careful watcli upon myself to discover the 
effect, and act accordingly, so that, if I choose to 
spend a day or two with Dives, so to speak, 
I must not forget to devote the next to 
Lazarus. 

The remedy may be as old as the hills, as I 
have since been told, but its application is of 
very recent date ; and it astonishes me that 
such a light should have remained so long 
unnoticed and hidden, as not to afford a 
glimmer to my anxious mind in a search for it 
during the last twenty years, even in direc- 
tions where it might have been expected to 
be known. I w^ould rather presume it is a 
new light, than that it was purposely hidden 
merely because the disease of obesity was not 
immediately dangerous to existence, nor thought 
to be worthy of serious consideration. Little do 
the faculty imagine the misery and bitterness 
to life through the parasite of corpulence or 
obesity. 

I can now confidently say that quantity of 
diet may be safely left to the natural appetite ; 
and that it is the quality only, wliich is essential 



39 

to abate and cure corpulence. I stated the 
quantities of my own dietary, because it was 
part of a truthful report, but some correspon- 
dents have doubted whether it should be more or 
less in their own cases, a doubt which would be 
better solved by their own appetite, or medical 
adviser. I have heard a graphic remark b}" 
a corpulent man, which may not be inappro- 
priately stated here, that big houses were vot 
formed with scanty materials. This, however, is 
a poor excuse for self indulgence in improper 
food, or for not consulting medical authority. 

The approach of corpulence is so gradual 
that, until it is far advanced, persons rarely 
become objects of attention. Many may have 
even congratulated themselves on their comely 
appearance, and have not sought advice or a 
remedy for what they did not consider an evil, 
for an evil I can say most truly it is, when in 
much excess, to which pomt it must, in my 
opinion arrive, unless obviated by proper means. 

Many have wished to know (as future readers 
may) the nature of the morning draught, or 
where it could be obtained, but believing it 
would have been highly imprudent on my part 
to have presumed that what was proper for my 



40 

constitution was applicable to all indiscrimi- 
nately, I could only refer them to a medical 
adviser for any aid beyond tbe dietary ; assuring 
them, however, it was not a dram but of an 
alkaline character. 

Some, I believe, would T\TlIingly submit to 
even a violent remedy, so that an immediate 
benefit could be produced ; this is not the object 
of the treatment, as it cannot but be dangerous, 
in my humble opinion, to reduce a disease of 
this nature suddenly ; they are probably then 
too prone to despair of success, and consider it 
as unalterably connected with their constitution. 
Many under this feeling doubtless return to 
their former habits, encouraged so to act by the 
ill-judged advice of friends who, I am persuaded 
(from the correspondence I have had on this 
most interestmg subject) become unthinking 
accomplices in the destruction of those whom 
they regard and esteem. 

The question of four meals a-day, and the 
night cap, has been abundantly and amusingly 
criticized. I ought perhaps to have stated as 
an excuse for such liberality of diet, that I 
breakfast between eight and nine o'clock, dine 
between one and two, take my slight tea meai 



41 

between five and sbr, sup at nine, and only 
take the night cap when inclination directs. 
My object in naming it at all was, that, as a 
part of a whole system, it should be known, 
and to show it is not forbidden to those who 
are advised that they need such a luxury ; 
nor was it injurious in my case. Some have 
inquired whether "^smoking was prohibited. It 
was not. 

It has also been remarked that such a dietary 
as mine was too good and expensive for a poor 
man, and that I had wholly lost sight of that 
class ; but a very poor corpulent man is not so 
frequently m.et with, inasmuch as the poor cannot 
afford the simple inexpensive means for creating 
fat ; but when the tendency does exist in that 
class, I have no doubt it can be remedied by 
abstinence from the forbidden articles, and a 
moderate indulgence in such cheap stimulants 
as may be recommended by a medical adviser, 
whom they have ample chances of consulting 
gratuitously. 

I have a very strong feeling .that gout (another 
terrible parasite upon humanity) might be 
greatly relieved, if not cured entirely, by this 
proper natural dietary, and sincerely hope some 



42 

person so afflicted may be induced to practice 
the harmless plan for three months (as I cer- 
tainly would if the case were my o^^ti) to prove 
it ; but not without advice. 

My impression from the experiments I have 
tried on myself of late is, that saccharine matter 
is the great moving cause of fatty corpulence. 
I know that it produces in my individual case 
increased weight and a large amount of flatulence, 
and believe, that not only sugar, but all elements 
tending to create saccharine matter in the 
process of digestion, should be avoided. I 
apprehend it wlU be found in bread, butter, 
milk, beer, Port wine, and Champagne ; I have 
not found starchy matter so troublesome as the 
saccharine, which, I think, largely increases 
acidity as well as fat, but, with ordinary care 
and observation, people will soon find what food 
rests easiest in the stomach, and avoid that 
which does not, during the probationary trial 
of the proposed dietary. Vegetables and ripe 
or stewed fruit I have found ample aperients. 
Failing this, medical advice should be sought. 

The word *' parasite" has been much com- 
mented upoD, as inappropriate to any but a living 
creeping thiQg (of course I use the word iu n. 



43 

figurative sense, as a burden to the flesh), but if 
fat is not an insidious creeping enemy, I do not 
know what is. I should have equally applied 
the word to gout, rheumatism, dropsy, and many 
other diseases. 

Whereas hitherto the appeals to me to know 
the name of my medical adviser have been very 
numerous, I may say hundreds, which I have 
gladly answered, though forming no small item 
of the expense incurred, and whereas the very 
extensive circulation expected of the third 
edition is likely to lead to some thousands of 
similar applications, I feel bound, in self-defence, 
to state that the medical gentleman to whom I 
am so deeply indebted is Mr. Harvey, Soho 
Square, London, whom I consulted for deafness. 
In tne first and second editions, I thought that 
to give liis name would appear like a puff, which 
I know he abhors ; indeed, I should prefer 
not to do so now, but cannot, in justice to 
myself, incur further probable expense (which I 
fancy inevitable) besides the personal trouble, 
for which I cannot afford time, and, therefore, feel 
no hesitation to refer to him as my guarantee for 
the truth of the pamphlet. 

One material point I should be glad to 



44 

impre?.;s on my corpulent readers — it is, to get 
accurately weighed at starting upon the fresh 
system, and contiQue to do so weekly or 
monthly, for the change will be so truly palpable 
by this course of examination, that it wall arm 
tliem with perfect confidence in the merit 
and ultimate success of the plan. I deeply 
regret not having secured a photographic 
portrait of my original figure in 1862, to place 
in juxta position with one of my present form. 
It might have amused some, but certainly 
would have been very convincing to others, and 
astonishing to all that such an effect should 
have been so readily and speedily produced by 
the simple natiu'al cause of exchanging a meagre 
for a generous dietary under proper advice. 

I shall ever esteem it a great favour if persons 
relieved and cured, as I have been, will kindly 
let me know of it ; the information will be truly 
gratifying to my mind. That the system is a 
great success, I have not a shadow of doubt from 
the numerous reports sent with thanks by 
strangers as well as friends from all parts of the 
kingdom ; and I am truly thankful to have been 
the himible instrument of disseminating the 
blessing and experience I have attained through 



I 



45 

able counsel and natural causes by proper 
perseverance. 

I have now finklied my task, and trust my 
humble efforts may prove to be good seed well 
sown, that will fructify and jDroduce a large 
harvest of benefit to my fellow creatures. I 
also hope the faculty generally may be led more 
extensively to ventilate this question of corpu- 
lence or obesity, so that, instead of one, two, or 
three able practitioners, there may be as many 
hundreds distributed in the various parts of the 
United Kingdom. In such case, I am persuaded, 
that those diseases, hke Reverence and Golden 
Pippins, will be very rare. 



f^ 



APPENDIX. 



Since publishing the third edition of my 
Pamplilet, I have earnestly pressed my medical 
adviser to explain the reasons for so remarkable 
a result as I and others have experienced from 
the dietary system he prescribed, and I hope he 
may find time to do so shortly, as I believe it 
would be higlily interesting to the Faculty and 
the pubhc generally. He has promised this at 
his leisure. 

Numerous applications having been made to 
me on points to which 1 had not alluded, in 
which my correspondents felt some doubt and 
interest, I take this opportunity of making some 
few corrections in my published dietaiy : — 

I ought, " it seems," to have excepted veal, 
owing to its indigestible quality, as well as pork 
for its fattening character ; also herrmgs and 
eels (owing to their oUy nature), being as in- 
jurious as salmon. In respect to vegetables, not 
only should potatoes be prohibited, but parsnips, 



48 

beetroot, turnips, and carrots. The truth is, I 
seldom or ever partook of these objectionable 
articles myself, and did not reflect that others 
might do so, or that they were forbidden. Green 
vegetables are considered very beneficial, and I 
believe should be adopted at all times. I am 
indebted to the " Cornhill Magazine" and other 
journals for drawing my attention to these 
dietetic points. I can now also state that eggs, 
if not hard boiled, are unexceptionable, that 
cheese, if sparingly used, and plain boiled rice 
seem harmless. 

Some doubts have been expressed in regard 
to the vanishing point of such a descending 
scale, but it is a remarkable fact that the great 
and most palpable diminution in weight and 
bulk occurs within the first forty-eight hours, 
the descent is then more gradual. My own 
experience, and that of others, assures me 
(if medical authority be first consulted as to 
the complaint) that with such slight extraneous 
aid as medicine can afford, nature will do her 
duty, and only her duty : firstly, by relieving 
herself of immediate pressure she will be enabled 
to move more freely in her own beautiful way. 



49 

and secondly, by pursuing the same course to 
work speedy amelioration and final cure. The 
vanishing point is only when the disease is 
stopped and the parasite anniliilated. 

It may interest my readers to know that I 
have now apparently attained the standard 
natural at my age (10 stone 10, or 150 lbs.), as 
my weight now varies only to the extent of lib., 
more or less, in the course of a month. Accord- 
ing to Dr. Hutchinson's tables I ought to lose 
still more, but cannot do so without resorting to 
medicine ; and, feeling in sound vigorous health, 
I am perfectly content to wait upon nature for 
any further change. 

In my humble judgment the dietary is the 
principal point in the treatment of Corpulence, 
and it appears to me, moreover, that if properly 
regulated it becomes in a certain sense a 
medicine. The system seems to me to attack 
only the superfluous deporjit of fat, and, as my 
medical friend mforms me, purges the blood, 
rendering it more pure and healthy, strengthens 
the muscles and bodily viscera, and I feel 
quite convinced sweetens life, if it does not 
prolong it. 



50 

It is truly gratifying to me to be able now 
to add that many other of the most exalted 
members of the Faculty have honoured my 
movement in the question with their approbation. 

I consider it a public duty further to state, 
that Mr. Harvey, whom I have named in the 
43rd page as my kind medical adviser in the 
cure of Corpulence, is not Dr. John Harvey, who 
has pubHshed a Pamphlet on Corpulence assimi- 
lating with some of the features and the general 
aspect of mme, and wliich has been considered 
(as I learn from correspondents who have ob- 
tamed it) the work of my medical friend. It 
is not. 

I am glad, therefore, to repeat that my medical 
adviser was, and is still, Mr Wiijltj m Harvey, 
F.R.C.S., No. 2, Soho Square, London, W. 

WILLIAM BANTING. 

4pn7, 1864. 



PBINTKD BY HARRISON AND SONS, ST. MARTIN'S LANE, LONDON. 



a;* 



S«:v.^ 




\::«v^.