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Buddhism Final Essay

931 words - 4 pages

Nutrition and being healthy has recently become something like a fad in America. Many people obsess over calories, scour every label to see how much fat a food item has, buy diet cookbooks, and subscribe to fitness and health magazines. However, what millions of Americans don't realize is that health isn't just about monitoring the calories in your food. Being healthy includes taking care of your mental, emotional, and social health on top of physical well-being.
The teachings of the Buddha and the philosophy Buddhism emphasizes this practice of "Whole Health", which is vastly more important to living a healthy life than just focusing on physical well being. Modern day science only ...view middle of the document...

The problem with this, as stated above, is that this definition is solely telling people that being healthy is just taking care of your physical body, and maintaining the idea that humans are only consuming food to contain their physical health and appearance. When looking at food from a Buddhist point a view, the authors of "Buddha's Idea Concerning Food and a New View of Nutrition" argue that "Food is viewed as a holistic concept connected to the mind, soul, and community, and ecology instead of a merely measured and calculable matter which affects only the body."
Modern science also defines unhealthy in the Oxford Dictionary as "Not having or showing good health." While the specific definition of "good health" in this definition is very vague, it can be assumed from what was previously stated that this specifically means someone who is not physically fit or suffering from a serious illness or injury. This just doesn't seem sensible, as it is very possible for someone to be physically unfit, or sickly and be extremely healthy mentally, emotionally and socially. But modern science will automatically declare someone who is grotesquely obese unhealthy without even remotely considering the other aspects of his life. Even though the Buddha even said that being physically ill causes mental weakness and unhappiness - and that therefore this obese man would naturally be mentally and physically unhealthy - this isn't necessarily one hundred percent true for all obese people. Many are actually happy with their physical appearance. Modern science shouldn't just automatically look at someone's physical appearance and deem them unhealthy, when they might be very healthy in the other equally important aspects of their...

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