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Thread: Victorian English health page

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    sbhikes's Avatar
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    Victorian English health

    Primal Fuel
    How the Mid-Victorians Worked, Ate and Died
    Not that I agree with all the recommendations at the end, but it's pretty interesting. People in the Victorian age, if they survived infancy and childbirth, lived as long as we do even before modern medical advances. Eating 2x as much as we do now, they also were better able to get adequate nutrients. (We don't eat as much because our lives are more sedentary.)

    A choice quote:
    Given that modern pharmaceutical, surgical, anaesthetic, scanning and other diagnostic technologies were self-evidently unavailable to the mid-Victorians, their high life expectancy is very striking, and can only have been due to their health-promoting lifestyle. But the implications of this new understanding of the mid-Victorian period are rather more profound. It shows that medical advances allied to the pharmaceutical industry’s output have done little more than change the manner of our dying. The Victorians died rapidly of infection and/or trauma, whereas we die slowly of degenerative disease. It reveals that with the exception of family planning, the vast edifice of twentieth century healthcare has not enabled us to live longer but has in the main merely supplied methods of suppressing the symptoms of degenerative diseases which have emerged due to our failure to maintain mid-Victorian nutritional standards
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    magicmerl's Avatar
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    Yep. Clean drinking water did more than anything else at raising lifespan in the 20th century.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

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    Knowledge of food preparation is the problem, I think. The Victorians knew a whole lot more than we do, and there were people at home to do it. Also their economic basis was better.

    That's an interesting article. But "To insist, as orthodox nutritionists and dieticians do, that only whole fruit and veg contain the magical, health-promoting ingredients represents little more than the last gasp of the discredited and anti-scientific theory of vitalism (‘Vitalism—the insistence that there is some big, mysterious extra ingredient in all living things" I'd disagree with. The last magical ingredient found was K2, and I bet there will be more.

    The author would not like the Paleo/Primal diet. He recommends looking to the food and beverage industries for help. Really! They're better than the Pharmacies and FDA? Who knows.

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    Zach's Avatar
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    That was interesting, thanks!

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    Very interesting stuff, even if I don't agree with all of it.
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    Truly.

    The victorian era was the time when sanitation and health/safety standards (public health) started to be developed. that made a *huge* difference in both infant survival as well as surviving childbirth but also in overall health/well being for everyone.

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    I often wonder if we are all a bit nutrient deprived because we need fewer calories now compared to when we were actively working all day every day. (Not to mention the reduced amount of nutrients in food that we have now).

    I wonder how many calories per day paleolithic man took in? I'm sure it was quite variable, but it seems that it would have been much higher than what we need now.
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    Apparently, I'm doing this. I eat a crap ton of food and stand at work all day, pushing carts and squatting to draw blood, etc. Add my regular exercise to that, and the fact that I, like most of us, eat mainly nutrient-dense foods - I'm saturated with nutrition! This idea seems very intuitive, though, as I've always eaten extra food to "make sure I get enough vitamins", even on SAD.


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    This gives calorific expenditure ranges during the working week of between 3,000 to 4,500 calories /day (men) and 2,750 to 3,500 (women).
    And these numbers sound about right.


    Turquoisepassion:
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    The majority of the Victorians weren't posh townies and upper class/upper middle class who could sit and chill all day though. A lot were laborers still, and I imagine the ladies worked hard cleaning houses and such.
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