At the British Union Conference Ministerial Institute, held in May of last year at Watford, England, the subject of health education was not neglected. Material from two of the papers presented is reproduced herewith, almost in entirety, and an extract from a third. It will be noted that in connection with institute work we must present topics that are adaptable to the needs of the country as well as the group to whom the health counsel is given.
In the paper from Dr. J. E. Cairncross, medical superintendent of the Stanborough Park Sanitarium, we note that he presents in a scientific and forceful way the importance of whole-grain foods and the harmful effect of the use of refined flour and sweets by so many British people. He concludes his remarks by quoting a summary of what a healthful dietary should contain. His counsel was based on a British authority on nutrition, Sir Robert McCarrison. This summary follows:
"To ensure perfect nutrition and a high grade of physical efficiency and health in human beings, the following foodstuffs are recommended:
"1. A good whole-grain or a mixture of whole-grain cereals, or a good whole-meal bread. [Under this category would come our excellent food product, Granose Biscuits.]
"2. Milk and the products of milk—butter, cheese curds, buttermilk.
"4. Green-leaf vegetables.
"5. Root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, etc.
Introducing Health Education
By J. M. HOWARD, Minister, South England Conference
A second method of presentation is giving a health demonstration in a hired hall. This, when well organized, can be a great help in giving publicity to our health work, and in leading new believers to feel that the health message is a going concern. These demonstrations can usually be made self-supporting. Great care should be exercised in the selection of a well-qualified individual to give the demonstration.
Still another method is conducting a comprehensive series of cooking classes. We have usually found it wise to hold these classes in our own homes, so that they are under our direct control. The method we use is to give a course of six classes covering every phase of health cookery that the average housewife is likely to need. During each class period, four or five vegetarian dishes are made and a dozen recipes given. By the end of the course, those in attendance have about seventy practical recipes to use.
The field we usually cover in the six lessons includes: (1) nut savories, (2) legumes, (3) cheese and egg dishes, (4) soups, stews, gravies, and sauces, (5) how to use our patent nutmeats, (6) healthful beverages. It is our duty to provide those who attend our classes with all the practical information at our command. For those who cannot attend the more comprehensive classes, we provide a stenciled sheet of about fifty recipes.
We have a profound conviction that our sisters must be armed with a knowledge of sources where wholesome protein elements can be secured, before they are made aware of the present dangers in flesh foods. The health message is often seriously prejudiced by the efforts of well-meaning but uninstructed or half-instructed new disciples. "A little learning is a dangerous thing."
Health Teaching in Public Work
By B. A. WILLIAMSON, L.R.C.P.& S, Stanborough Park Sanitarium, England
Such is being done at present here in England along health-education lines, but there are principles in the maintenance of a high standard of well-being in which the public health services still are far behind those of the Seventh-day Adventist health message. Our effort consists principally in the reiteration of simple rules of health, hygiene, and the adequate aiding of nature in combating disease. This effort must be guided by such high-minded lay education in health as is found in the pages of "Ministry of Healing."
If from among the nurses graduated at our sanitariums, there can be taken representative characters, appearing in uniform, to aid in our evangelistic efforts, discussing health questions, and emphasizing the fact that the Adventist people are a health-conscious body, much good will accrue, I am sure. Ministers, self-instructed through "Ministry of Healing," or guided by a nurse, should bring to new converts the blessings of reform—not as a millstone with which to sink them, but as a better way of living.
For the purpose of educating new converts healthwise, it would be well if churches in large centers could give some financial support to establishing a nurse in their community. Another plan with greater possibilities is for several workers to establish a hostel as their headquarters, pooling their ideas and resources. Such a group might consist of a Bible worker, two nurses, two or three colporteurs, and a part-time housekeeper. With the literature work as strong as it is in the British Union, such a plan would be more feasible here than in the United States. By the nurses' giving treatments to the sick among those whom the colporteurs have contacted, a friendly influence for health reform is established, and the Bible worker, and eventually the minister, can reap results.
Nurses with public-speaking ability can make valuable contacts with women's cooperative guilds and other organizations. The closest cooperation should exist between the medical ministry and such auxiliary activities as our food factories and the publication of our health magazines. Much more could be done than is being done. The backbone of health propaganda in any country is its medical institution. It is only as the methods and the personnel of an institution become known in any locality that the greatest good can be derived.