This is a sequel to the news presentation which was reported in the previous week's bulletin, titled: "Expert Warns of Risk of Death."
For the information of readers who may have missed the previous column, the presentation was given by Lafra Dablawala, PhD (Bakwas Institute, Dodogoro, LOK) who authored the article published in the prestigious "Ghanta Journal of Medicine."
After discussing the contents of the article titled "Death: Who is at Risk?" Dr. Dablawala had then opened up the session to questions from journalists representing the leading newspapers of the world.
The following are some of the questions addressed by the Doctor.
Q: Every packaged food is required to have a nutritional chart. The amounts listed on these charts are always based on RDA. How do they come up with these figures?
A: Just to elaborate, RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowance, sometimes referred to as Recommended Daily Allowance. The recommended amounts are based on the level sufficient to meet the requirements of the average person.
Q: How do you determine the average person? I mean, how would anyone know if the amounts mentioned are more or less than what they need?
A: That is a very good question you have raised. You see, there does not really exist any such being as "the average person." Out of the six billion people, now actually seven billion, one would be hard-pressed to find an average person. But Science has to have a yardstick on which to base its findings so....
Q: So? Where do they get the average person?
A: As I was going to say, if you hadn't cut in, Science did find an average being. We use the monkey as the average.
Q: Are you serious?
A: Perfectly so. Look at people generally. They all fall below, or exceed, expectations. Now look at the monkey. It stands at a point exactly halfway. If you were to leave a human child in the wild to fend for itself, supposedly if it could survive, it would grow up to the level of the monkey. In fact, the monkey might exceed the human in quite a few respects.
Q: So you're saying that the dietary amounts marked on food packages are sufficient for a monkey?
A: Yes. And every person is required to judge as to whether to take those amounts, or less, or more.
Q: Doctor, I have another question. We're told that sitting down all day could lead to blood clots. Also we're told that standing all day could lead to varicose veins, and less blood reaching the brain. What is the right thing to do?
A: Follow the golden mean. A little bit of this; a little bit of that. You may try doing the Headstand, as in Yoga.
Q: I would like to ask about aging. How can we turn back the clock?
A: It all depends on whether you're using an analog or a digital clock.
Q: How do we extend our life expectancy?
A: You must learn to expect more from life.
Q: Doctor, what about depression? I read somewhere that life can leave you feeling depressed; and it is obvious that thoughts of death can leave you feeling depressed. What should we think about?
A: Think of love. Better still, think of sex. That should take care of your depression.
Q: Do you have any recommendations for reversing memory loss in seniors?
A: They must try and recall lost memories.
Q: They say we must save the environment and use reusable shopping bags. But I've heard that there are health risks in reusable bags. What do you recommend?
A: Wear gloves, and don't use the bags to cover your head when it's raining.
Q: Soy-based foods are recommended for good health. Yet, there was an article recently that soy-based foods could slowly kill you.
A: Moderation. Remember, follow the average allowance.
Q: The amount sufficient for a monkey, you mean?
A: Look how healthy the monkeys are.
Q: Can the life expectancy of monkeys be extended?
A: Well, monkeys don't expect anything. How can they have a life expectancy?
Q: But if monkeys are fed according to the RDA amounts, can they live longer?
A: Quite likely. You see, monkeys behave themselves; they don't get up to any mischief. Humans are always getting into trouble. Even if you create the perfect living conditions, humans will still manage to die. Ask Freud; he knew what he was saying.
Q: So why do some people live to be a hundred years old?
A: They must know how to turn back their clocks.
Q: In general, what would your advice be for good health?
A: Moderation; moderation. Follow the golden mean. And follow the average recommendations in all matters.
Q: You mean, learn to live like monkeys?
A: That is all the time we have for today. In closing, let me reiterate that being average is the best means for happiness and a healthy life. If you fall below the average, obviously you'll feel inferior, and if you strive to become better than average you'll suffer from stress.
There were shouts of "back to the apes" as the building was vacated.
Look for further bulletins from this distinguished authority in Medicine, Dr. Lafra Dablawala, or suscribe to the "Ghanta Journal of Medicine." To contact the Doctor, email him at Bakwas Institute, Dodogoro, LOK.