Perhaps it is at the meal euphemistically called afternoon tea that most people are tempted to excess. The afternoon tea habit is one of the most insidious, enslaving and pernicious ever cultivated by man. Confined to a cup of tea, it would be innocuous, but supported by pastries, cream cakes and sweet biscuits it becomes a positive menace to good health. I am convinced that it is to the deplorable invention of afternoon tea that innumerable cases of obesity owe their origin.

Middle age is the danger period for those inclined to stoutness. This is especially so in the case of the business and professional classes. After a life of striving they achieve a certain prosperity at this time and there is a great temptation to do themselves well at the table. Not only that, but they tend also to relax their former active recreations of mind and body in settling down to what they consider well earned comfort and ease.

These combined factors quickly increase the girth of the prosperous middle-aged man. In the case of the middle-aged woman, a tendency to stoutness is generally put down to the scheme of Nature and, too frequently, a cant-be-helped attitude is adopted. As a matter of fact it women were to adhere scrupulously to the special hygiene of the change of life, the possibilities of an ungainly figure need not trouble them in the least.

Naturally the accumulation of surplus fat is much easier to prevent than to cure but, unfortunately, it is easy to pass from the state of agreeable plumpness to that of ungainly stoutness before the full significance of the perils is realized. As soon as the ideal weight is passed, therefore, take action immediately. As a rough estimate of correct weight, I give the following suggestion. With a height of five feet six inches, the weight should be ten stones, and five pounds should be added for each inch above it — a slight modification being made according to whether the bony framework is light or heavy.

Limitation of food intake is the principal and most scientific method of weight reduction, but if there is any suspicion of existing organic disease, such a method should never be undertaken without first consulting the doctor. I emphasize the need to start early with dietetic limitation, for if this is carried out the temptation to indulge in drastic starvation cures will be avoided and incidentally the results achieved will be much more lasting. Sensational dietetic systems for fat reduction are fraught with considerable danger”.

W. Arbuthnot Lane
Sir William Arbuthnot Lane, Bt, CB, FRCS, Legion of Honour (4 July 1856 – 16 January 1943), was a British surgeon and physician. He mastered orthopaedic, abdominal, and ear, nose and throat surgery, while designing new surgical instruments toward maximal asepsis. He thus introduced the "no-touch technique", and some of his designed instruments remain in use.
Lane pioneered internal fixation of displaced fractures, procedures on cleft palate, and colon resection and colectomy to treat "Lane's disease"—now otherwise termed colonic inertia, which he identified in 1908—which surgeries were controversial but advanced abdominal surgery.
In the early 1920s, as an early advocate of dietary prevention of cancer, Lane met medical opposition, resigned from British Medical Association, and founded the New Health Society, the first organisation practising social medicine. Through newspapers and lectures, sometimes drawing large crowds, Lane promoted whole foods, fruits and vegetables, sunshine and exercise: his plan to foster health and longevity via three bowel movements daily.