[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 17, 1972

Easy on Pleasure

JAMA. 1972;219(3):379. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190290065020

Much has been written in the medical literature about pain, but little about pleasure. This is understandable. After all, it is pain, not pleasure that brings the patient to the doctor. Still, the physician is very much involved with pleasure. In fact, while engaged in a hot war against pain he has been fighting all along a cold war against many pleasures—drink, tobacco, food, drugs, lust, and leisure.

In his fight against alcohol, idleness, and excessive sexual indulgence, the doctor is not alone. Many religious and social agencies are only too eager to assist him. He is, however, left to fight single-handed the joys of smoking and gourmandizing, particularly the latter. To the familiar proscriptions of specific food items in specific diseases and to the general dietary constraints for the obese, the doctor has recently added a "prudent" diet for the prevention of ischemic heart disease. This diet, we might