BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 21 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1595
  1. John Garrow, retired professor of human nutritiona
  1. a Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire WD3 2DQ

    If I were permitted to abolish six of the deadly sins from our planet the one which I would retain is gluttony. People who are driven by pride, wrath, envy, lust, or avarice probably make life unpleasant for those around them, but the penalties associated with gluttony and sloth (which are often mentioned together) fall mainly on the sinners themselves. To choose between these two last intransitive sins, consider their opposites: asceticism and hyperactivity. I would not mind people around me being hyperactive, so long as their motives were purged of the other deadly sins, but asceticism, restraint, or self denial are not characteristics that I would welcome in my associates …

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