Sunday, May 4, 2008

Dr. Daniel Eisenberg in the Nov 2007 Jewish Observer

There is a good article by Dr. Daniel Eisenberg (preceded by one by Leon Zacharowicz) on pages 18-27 in the Nov 2007 Jewish Observer.

There is quite a bit about a tendency to eat bad food (at other places as well as at Simchas ) in a long article. It is the second in a section entitled Guarding Our Lives. Go to pages 21 and 22 if you can find a copy.

[Update May 5: I did find it online in PDF format at . It had not turned up in Google search although some PDF documents are turned up by Google. I found it by looking up more about Dr. Daniel Eisenberg.]

It is not online, as only excerpts from Sivan 5762/May 2002 through the Tishrei 5767/October 2006 seem to be online.

But the article gives some quotes from the Chicago Jewish News of January 19, 2007, and that article *is* online.

OVERWEIGHT IN JEWISH CHICAGO: A new study shows an alarming rate of obesity

By Pauline Dubkin Yearwood (01/19/2007)

It quotes this:

There are many in the community who don't dispute the study's shocking conclusions about weight. Aside from the problems of unhealthy food and a sedentary lifestyle that beset all segments of American society, they cite problems specific to the Orthodox community: a tradition of huge Shabbos and holiday meals, a busy lifestyle that often precludes taking time to prepare healthy low-fat, low-calorie meals; and, for children in Jewish day schools, a long school day that doesn't allow much time for sports or other physical activities.

This part is not quoted but is worthy of note:


Another community leader says he is well aware of the problem but believes it is a long way from being fixed. Rabbi Douglas Zelden, assistant rabbi of Congregation Ezras Israel, principal of the JCB Therapeutic Yeshiva Day School and host of a cable TV show on Jewish subjects, says he too, is uncomfortable with his weight, as is his wife.

"I think what we do is, we have a lot of yontifs (holidays), and Shabbos every week. During the week, with our kids coming home at 5 o'clock from school, the parents are working and running around, they throw dinner on the table and don't even consider the health factor or a balanced diet," he says, speaking for many in the Orthodox community. "My kids are not overweight but they eat pasta all the time. They love pasta."

Shabbat meals, he says, are generally large. "You go to someone's house for Shabbos, they make four main courses, everybody feels obligated to eat a little of everything." At holidays, "you might have six or seven gigantic meals in a row. This is my personal weight problem, Shabbos and yontif," he says.

So it really is important to have better and healthier meals at catered and other events. We haven't entirely worked this out - we're still new - but are willing to discuss this with anyone who wants to use us. We don't make fruit but can buy and it probably should be ordered.

More about the online Jewish Observer:

There is a good article about the history of Matzoh in the April 2004 issue, which is online (in PDF format)

Go to page 13 of 22 in the PDF which was actually page 20 in the magazine.

Dr. Daniel Eisenberg is a radiologist at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and an assistant professor of Diagnostic Imaging at the Thomas Jefferson School of Medicine. He studyied two years at the Heiden Torah Institute in Jerusalem. He has taught a weekly Jewish medical ethics class and moderated a monthly Jewish medical ethics study group (a shiur) at the hospital. He writes extensively and has a website at which collects some of his articles. The November 2007 Jewish Observer article is there at

Only the article itself is there - whatever else was on the Jewish Observer page is missing from the PDF and as a result some of the page numbers are missing.

Dr. Leon Zacharowicz is a pediatric neurologist based in Far Rockaway, New York who is also the co-founder of the International Yarchei Kallah on Medical Halacha which meets every year in Jerusalem.

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